NEW YORK — I want to live in Ralph Lauren's world. Who wouldn't? It's a world of beautiful people in gorgeous clothes who always look like they're having a great time.
At every fashion week, Lauren never fails to create a luxe environment of current-yet-timeless designs — they look fresh out of the pages of Vogue but can also be worn five years from now and still seem of-the-moment.
Antler chandeliers draped in crystals hovered over the runway, offering a hint that Lauren's fall collection might revert to the southwestern themes that have been so successful for him in the past. But once the first model appeared in an ivory silk bib blouse and navy sailor pants, with a shearling duffle bag and jaunty Greek fisherman's cap, it was clear that Lauren had taken a larger world view.
Once the first model appeared in an ivory silk bibbed blouse and navy sailor pants, with a shearling duffle bag and jaunty Greek fisherman's cap, it was clear that Lauren had taken a larger world view.
He led off with a nautical theme — wavy pleated pants and toggle coats, chunky cable knits and lighter-weight striped sweaters — before segueing into a Prussian military motif — jackets trimmed in red, with epaulets, braids and gold stripes at the wrist, paired with fitted or full slacks.
A master of mixing the masculine and feminine, he showed tiered taffeta skirts with cutaway coats and a herring bone vest paired with long green velvet skirt. Mixed throughout were terrific basics — a ruffled white shirt, burgundy cashmere cropped cardigan, down coat trimmed in shearling — that never go out of style
Lauren veered into edgier territory with some bondage-like leather pieces — a sexy leather corset jacket and pleated leather/silk georgette evening dress are standouts bound to be featured in next fall's fashion magazines — before returning to a series of more traditional, yet breathtaking, red-carpet-ready evening gowns in velvet and taffeta, topped up with Dr. Zhivago fur hats.
Taking his runway bow, the 74-year-old design shyly acknowledged the crowd as his wife, Ricky, children and their spouses stood and applauded wildly as they do at every Lauren show.
Dressed in navy sailor pants and a chunky knit turtleneck sweater, Lauren looked like a character from Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
A grand old man, indeed.