Talk about stealth wealth: What sets cashmere brand The Elder Statesman apart is nigh on invisible for those who aren’t as seriously into yarn process as Greg Chait, for whom texture and technique are everything. Listening to him talk about finishing techniques is like getting a crash course on textile research.
During his Paris presentation, there were tie-dye sweaters, striped Rastafarian cardigans, hoodies that looked like they’d felted through diligent use, and brightly colored thick socks — a new category this season — alongside faded silk cashmere pyjamas, and hand-splattered designs. The Elder Stateman’s spring collection came together when Chait threw in his inspiration for the season, funk. A “clash of sounds and genres” that matched the layered, multithread offering at hand.
Another range was The Wallace, a surprisingly classic, democratically priced subset featuring solids and stripes in soft pink, lilac and tan. They contrasted sharply with the sweaters adorned with stick-and-poke tattoo artist Tati Compton’s tarot designs. “All of the pieces are there but Death,” Chait pointed out, before showing off a long cardigan with card suits. That was handwoven on centuries-old looms in Guatemala from the plushest Italian yarns.
But ultimately, all this theoretical talk about yarn and funk was secondary to the reality of what Chait achieved: among the softest cashmere products that money can buy.