Way back in the earliest days of the pandemic, Greg Chait recorded a message to his future self on his phone. In the video, he stressed the importance of “settling in to our moment.” It was an ominous but ultimately correct prediction that lockdown life would be around for some time. Now releasing his third pandemic collection, Chait has figured out how to keep The Elder Statesman settled in—and thriving—in this moment.
It helps, of course, that he creates exactly the type of clothing so many of us are craving now: optimistic, colorful, hand-made, cozy. He reports that his business is going swimmingly. But rather than rest on those laurels, Chait and his teams are iterating and innovating. Their big mission for pre-fall 2021 was to tweak things ever so slightly to give a new silhouette or slouch. The most noticeable change here is the introduction of a new lounge pant in cashmere with a slight bell shape called the Skater and a complementary sweater without ribbing at the hem. The pieces are two of the loosest and roomiest garments The Elder Statesman has yet offered.
There are other small shifts, like the addition of a new pile stitch material used for cardigans, sweaters, and pants, as well as hand-loomed shorts in a stripy knit. Mushroom cap beanies top off the looks, photographed on a troupe of homesteaders and pot farmers in Northern California. Chait said that after two seasons of photographing collections on his co-workers and friends, he liked the idea of a journey for this collection, showing off another community of California vibe lords. It’s not hard to see the appeal of the living-off-the-land set: They know how to harvest their energy and creativity into a sustainable way of life.