Let’s get one thing straight: Rachel Chu would be appalled by the idea of the Crazy Rich Collection. As a professor of economics at New York University, Rachel is deeply concerned about global income inequality, but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy wearing beautiful things—she certainly does, but she believes that looking great doesn’t require a trust fund, and that the $200,000 one might spend on a couture gown could be better used providing clean water to a village or empowering women in developing countries through micro-lending programs (see China Rich Girlfriend). It’s no wonder that Rachel has always admired Bay Area designer Erica Tanov, whose clothes are made locally in San Francisco utilizing sumptuous, eco-conscious fabrics that often incorporate the handwork of traditional artisans from around the world in an effort to preserve their unique techniques and crafts. Tanov’s meticulously constructed designs have a sophisticated ease coupled with a dash of the exotic—they evoke a woman that has lived in far flung places and assembled an eclectic, intriguing wardrobe. It’s a look that has inspired a devoted following for the past twenty-five years.
In creating a look exclusively for the Crazy Rich Collection, Tanov says, “I see Rachel as a natural beauty who isn’t ultra fashion conscious yet cares deeply about the quality and integrity of her clothing. Drawn to natural fibers, subtle luxury and understated glamour, I have created this ensemble for her––relaxed, versatile, quietly beautiful…completely Rachel.” The outfit effortlessly takes Rachel from morning to night: the Sand Leather shopping tote is a wondrously practical and perennially elegant accessory, while the “Flora” drawstring dress is a study in simplicity—perfect for morning coffee and bagels in Washington Square Park with her colleague Sylvia Wong Schwartz. Throw on the “Vincent” cotton canvas jacket embroidered with gold stars, and Rachel is ready to give a lecture to a room full of students or attend a luncheon with the Provost. Later in the day, the covert luxury of the “Flora” dress comes into focus as the linen fabric interwoven with gold threads allows the dress to morph into something far more glamorous after dark. Adorned with a stunning hand-woven tapestry necklace, Rachel is ready for cocktails anywhere. All in all, it’s an ensemble that doesn’t need to scream its fashion credentials. Instead, it just speaks volumes about the woman wearing it.
To get this look, please contact http://www.ericatanov.com/
Photographs by Gabrielle Stiles