NEW YORK, United States Unlike many of his competitors, who are rolling their various sub-labels into one, to both unify their brands and eliminate duplicate cost structures, Ralph Lauren is sticking with the multi-tiered approach. There’s Polo Sport, RRL and Lauren by Ralph Lauren, just to name a few. It’s true that each of his collections, while generally rooted in preppy and equestrian themes, serve a different purpose. And often a widely different customer.
Perhaps the least defined of them all, though, is the brand's women’s ready-to-wear line, which can veer toward costume when it’s presented on the runway. This season, however, the designer thought more about individual pieces rather than relying on a theme such as yachting or cowboys or “Downton Abbey.” “I was inspired by the purity of clean lines and classic shapes, a romantic minimalism and feminine sophistication created for a modern way of living,” he said in a statement.
To Mr Lauren, that meant gentle clothes: softly tailored coats and trousers in makeup shades of taupe, putty, lavender and blush, presented in the fragrant environs of his company’s townhouse on the Upper East Side.
The minimalism that the designer mentioned came through in the monochromatic styling. For instance, a narrow flair, suede Chelsea boot and a double-faced cashmere coat, collar turned up, were all done in the same shade of truffle. A few looks later, a tan crepe-back hooded wrap dress was paired with matching kid suede sandals.
The romanticism, on other hand, was in the details. A pair of cropped, flyaway trousers floated off the body, while crinkle pleating added a flirty dimension to a chiffon dress printed with a deco motif. For those who deemed the palette too murky, a shot of sharp black looks at the end — mostly cashmere and silk separates accented with thick equestrian-inspired brown leather belts — cleared the air.