Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren mocha suede double breasted jacket
taupe luxury crepe de chine blouse mocha suede pleated pant
(All photos: Vogue.com – click images for full size views)

The collection Michael Kors showed yesterday may have surprised many as it was a departure for the designer, but the 46 pieces Ralph Lauren trotted out on the runway this morning were nothing if not traditional and signature all the way.

Black multi jacquard tuxedo jacket indigo stretch cigarette jean
white lightweight cotton shirt

What could be more familiar for this iconic designer, than cashmere cardigans, turtlenecks and topcoats; pleated trousers; natty double breasted jackets in suede, herringbone and windowpane wool plaid; ponchos; capes; topcoats, trenches, shearlings and ranch coats; tuxedos; embroidered coats; fluid velvet suiting evening dresses; face framing white blouses; and a length of fringe here and there? And while Michael Kors seems to be uncharacteristically (and I would assume temporarily) taken with lime green, baby blue, and lilac (colors not necessarily associated with fall/winter) Ralph focused on a primarily neutral (and traditionally fall like) palette of black, taupe, mocha, truffle, brown and loden with touches of marine blue, racing green, claret, amethyst, and gold.

Black fluid matte velvet evening dress

Eased up and comfortable would be a good way to describe the slightly oversized coats, elongated jackets with broad shoulders, full legged trousers, and hip pocketed below the knee length skirts. There were only three mini dresses (in black leather, velvet, suede), and the only things that were overly fitted or constrained were the stretch cigarette and second skin biker jeans.

Suede chelsea boots

The models sauntered effortlessly down the runway in their sensible, sturdy heeled footwear for both day and evening (calf suede oxfords and kilties, chelsea boots in calf suede and alligator, black velvet platform sandals, calf high boots).

Black wool cashmere embroidered coat cream silk shirt
carbon black biker jean

The emphasis was decidedly on daywear, with a blurring of the lines between what is day and what is evening (something Ralph has always been a signature of Ralph’s). This was exemplified by a black wool cashmere embroidered coat worn with cream silk shirt and carbon black biker jeans; a black/multi jacquard tuxedo jacket paired with a white cotton shirt and indigo stretch cigarette jeans; a racing green iridescent jacquard coat with black stretch wool gabardine ski pants.

Gold liquid mikado evening dress

Evening wear was relatively speaking restrained and subdued. 11 gowns which comprised the finale came by way of black with gold cashmere, matte and suiting velvet, jewel multi floral, and gold liquid Mikado (this had an uncanny resemblance to the gilded Oscar statue, which is given out to Academy Award winners).

At the end, Ralph took his bow wearing faded jeans, a tan suede vest, black and white herringbone tweed jacket with elbow patches, and two tone lizard cowboy boots. It was his signature look: lived in, well worn, and one that belies fashion. Pretty much like his collection.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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