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Elder Statesman Fall/Winter 2013: Of peacocks and pencil skirts

May 07, 2013|By Adam Tschorn
  • The Elder Statesman's Fall/Winter 2013 collection includes a men's V-neck sweater with an intarsia pattern inspired by a peacock feather, a design by Audrey Louise Reynolds (at left, TES X ALR, $1,257) and a women's felted cashmere pencil skirt with a woven honeycomb pattern (at right, $693).
The Elder Statesman's Fall/Winter 2013 collection includes a men's… (The Elder Statesman )

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Greg Chait is spreading his wings a bit with the Elder Statesman's Fall/Winter 2013 peacock-inspired collection, both by adding to the range of super-soft cashmere items he's making and by expanding from his slouchy, mostly unisex collection into distinct offerings for men (think sport coats and chinos) and women (pencil skirts and tuxedo jackets).

On a recent visit to Chait's West Hollywood atelier, the cashmere wunderkind walked us through a collection grounded in grays and blues but with pops of purple and green he explained were originally inspired by the colors of a peacock feather. In addition, a peacock-eye design was one of the collection's recurring motifs (a simple floral was another) appearing on intarsia knit sweaters and leather jacket linings. 

Thanks to the Culver City factory space he opened in December 2012 (and which, he points out, is already on the verge of outgrowing), and the addition of a new full-time designer, the biggest shift for Fall/Winter has to do with the range of pieces on offer -- and the decision to create separate men's and women's collections.

Since that essentially means offering a selection of skirts, dresses and capes alongside the existing men's/unisex line the women are the big winner here, with standout pieces like plaid pleated pashmina skirts (say that five times fast) and honeycomb-pattern felted cashmere dresses and pencil skirts.

But there's new covet-worthy cashmere for the guys too -- most notably the pashmina cashmere twill sport jackets and chino trousers (Chait was wearing one of the jackets when he won the CFDA/Vogue honor in New York City in November).

Sure, it may be the middle of spring, but after checking out what Chait's got on tap for next season we swear we drove down his West Hollywood driveway downright wistful for winter.

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