Ralph Lauren’s ladies had a silver-screen glamour…Francisco Costa’s Calvin Klein girl possessed a minimalist beauty…and Narciso Rodriguez’s women combined provocation with a little relaxation.
Ralph Lauren: Come spring, a lot of girls will no doubt want to tweak the lyrics that played at Ralph Lauren’s show on Wednesday morning to: “Steppin’ out in my Ralphie. Can’t go wrong, ’cause I’m dressed right.”
To be honest, from the program notes on the designer’s inspiration — “the sophisticated glamour of the silver screen and the chic refinement of cafe society” — this one could have gone either way. But fears of too-costumey an homage were dispelled as soon as Lauren’s models appeared on his set, an Astaire-worthy ivory paneled room with a glossy floor so perfect you practically heard the tap shoes in motion.
Certainly the screen divas of yore claim no exclusive on high-glam/high-sheen whites, delivered by Lauren in wonderfully insouciant, faux-casual combinations: a big-collared silk cardigan fastened with a brooch and worn with satin shorts and a cashmere coat; a satin midriff over trousers. He went for only the palest of color in icy pale blues and pinks, evoking not the iconic brassy bombshell but her aloof, aristocratic counterpart. True, in her devotion to chic understatement she sometimes tread the too-quiet side of discretion. But then, just like Tracy Lord in “The Philadelphia Story,” she forced herself toward frivolity in, for example, ruffle-collared pink organza.
That said, few of Lauren’s references were literal, save for their doggedly consistent sense of refinement. To that end, he wavered not an inch through the collection’s various motifs — linen suits, dressed-up sweaters, tailored metallics, graceful dresses, their assorted frills invariably well controlled.
In fact, much of the collection’s allure lay in its control, Lauren proving well the notion that au courant feminine dressing need not display the sensory overload found in what is now granny’s proverbial attic. That said, he did accessorize with diamonds galore, beaded cloches and the occasional marabou tickler, none of which looked forced.
For evening, Lauren infused siren dressing with an appealing serenity in beautiful charmeuse and satin gowns. And he punctuated his case for refinement by taking his bow in a so-dapper suit and tie. Bravo.
Issa Rae stopped by WWD's NYC headquarters to talk about season two of "Insecure," which premieres this Sunday on HBO. Click link in bio for all the details. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery; Styled by @mayteallende)
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"