By  on April 13, 2009

For Ralph Lauren, the design process of a collection almost always begins in the same way. In a creative process that is the stuff of industry lore, Lauren imagines a movie scenario in his head, then uses the heroine as muse.

For fall, Lauren couldn’t have picked a more au courant storyboard. Sitting in his Madison Avenue office a few weeks after the show, the designer recalls the impetus for his triumphant collection. Speaking amid the model airplanes, photographs and other vintage memorabilia he has collected over the years, Lauren explains that this season’s protagonist grew up in a wealthy home in Europe, but like so many historic European estates, the family loses its fortunes and can no longer afford the home’s upkeep. His character inherits the grand home, and has no plans to sell out, even if the material things around her have crumbled. Yet, in spite of her new reality, she’s able to maintain her style.

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