Ralph Lauren introduced his new Polo collection for women during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The first twenty-five looks of the show were Polo label, and it was a diverse offering. After more than four decades in business, Lauren bridges worlds. There were serape blanket coats and distressed leather bombers, a pinstripe suit, athletic outerwear in acid hues, and even what looked like a nod to grunge in the tweedy tailoring he mixed with floral silk dresses and plaid scarves. All recognizably Lauren but with a casual, easy spirit that was unusual for the designer’s fashion week runway. Leggings paired with patent Mary Janes and rag wool socks worn with platform sandals reinforced the idea that the new collection is aimed at a young crowd.
Polo is devised as a label with a younger downtown feeling, with huge leather rucksacks, great Navajo knits, leather jeans, biker jackets and flippy mini skirts – all with loose swinging hair and all in a spectrum of primary colours: youthful, luxury optimism all the way. In contrast the womenswear afterwards was the epitome of Lauren’s uptown luxe, starting with an array of winter white that was unimaginable to wear in the ice storm outside the show. The soft mauves and dove greys – which have been popular this season so far – were worked in classic Ralph Lauren styles: off the shoulder silk tops glimmering above split-side column skirts, shawl-backed sheath dresses and voluminous cloaks over masculine tailored suits. A mannish fur ted overcoat was stand-out, as were the suede capes and over-the-knee boots, while the finale of evening dresses were perfect in their simplicity. This ran the gamut of everything a woman could want in her wardrobe – a really strong Lauren show.