Designer Bio: Born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx in 1939, this designing powerhouse first started his empire selling ties to his fellow classmates before he even graduated from high school. He changes his name to Lauren after his brother did so and after a stint in the Army, began working at Brooks Brothers as a salesperson. With financial backing from Norman Hilton in 1967, he began selling ties under the label “Polo” and an American clothing giant was soon on its way. Ralph Lauren is now a multi-billion dollar lifestyle brand that encompasses everything that Ralph dreams America can be at its finest: womenswear, menswear, bridal, home. With multiple lines and products under the label, this is a designing giant that consistently turns out spectacular, beautiful items time and again. As a lifelong fan, it was my sincere honor to not only be invited to attend the show, but carry one of the new Lauren Ralph Lauren bags. This show, my friends, was a personal dream realized.
The collection: Ralph Lauren went back to America’s pioneer roots, turning out a Western-inspired collection highly evocative of the goods he showed in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Everything was incredibly romantic and a great mixture of masculine goods from that era (bowler hats, dusters with buttoned vests and matching pants, suede fringed and leather cowboy pants, plaid shirts) but mixed with materials that are infinitely feminine (eyelet lace, white cotton, calico, beads, sequins.) The collection brought us back to the wild frontier with incredible panache (those of you who watched the HBO series Deadwood or anyone who’s a fan of old Westerns will recognize many influences,) an interesting statement in these fluctuating financial times where we’re all being asked to go back to our pioneering roots and forge ahead. The collection for evening is particularly spectacular, with luxe beaded skirts paired with plaid shirts and suede conch belts, gorgeous gold evening gowns that seem to shimmer with sequins to the floor, slip dresses that float around the body. This is a collection for a woman who’s out to get what she wants and the entire collection was incredibly beautiful, well-crafted and perfect for the American woman come spring. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 85, this collection has something for every woman. It’s perfectly Ralph Lauren.
In order to show you how gorgeous the collection is, I not only added a photo gallery…
But I was able to record the final walk of the show from my seat with my Kodak Zi8 video camera. Please do enjoy it as if you were there.