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2012 June 20

Richard Chai, Hilary Rhoda, and Effen Hit The Electric Room (To Make A DIFFA-rence)

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Hilary Rhoda and Richard Chai Hilary Rhoda and Richard Chai
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(NEW YORK) Vodka, fashion folks, and a touch of a charity tie-in: so much to love! Last eve, Richard Chai threw a cocktail shindig with Effen Vodka at the Electric Room and unveiled the custom gown in a shark-y gray, designed to get auctioned off with proceeds going to DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). On hand to model the sophisticated, pared-down flowy frock, which is Chai's second project with DIFFA and Effen? Chai's longtime pal, Hilary Rhoda. The Effen cocktails (a potent, mostly-vodka "Cucumber Sartorialist," anyone?) circulated avec tuna tartare cones, bite-sized crabcakes, spoonfuls of parm risotto, and quartered artichokes wrapped in prosciutto. Your Daily snagged the designer-mod duo to discuss the collab, their stances on taking shots, and more...
BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV 

How did you two pair up?
RC: I've known Hilary since she started modelling. When we were looking for someone to wear the dress, I immediately thought of Hilary. With Effen there's a whole approval process, and when I suggested Hilary, they said absolutely. That was it! 

Are there Effen bottles littering your studio currently?
RC: They're really gracious, and they've sent over cases. I mean, a case...but I haven't gone through it yet. I'm still working on it! 

What's it like working with the Effen crew?
RC: They're really lovely people, and they have such a respect for the integrity of design. Their vodka is such a quality product, and even the bottle is designed thoughtfully. I subscribe to a lot of the same approaches in my own design philosophy.  

Can you two handle shots of vodka, should the occasion arise?
HR: No, no...
RC:
I definitely cannot! We're wine drinkers, actually. I can drink vodka every now and then but I can't say I'm as versed in vodkas as I am in, say, sake. But when I first tried Effen, I knew it was good because it didn't have that sting to it.

How's the dress feel, Hilary? 

HR: Amazing! I went in for a fitting last week, and it was perfect! 
RC: Just bear in mind, she's an easy fit. [laughs]  

Where do you want to wear this Effen-inspired Richard Chai frock?

HR: Anywhere! It could be dressed up or down, and the detailing is so amazing.  

What should Richard design for you next, with Effen as inspiration?
HR:
Since I've got this gown already, I think a fun, flirty cocktail dress! Like his Richard Chai LOVE collection. 




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