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Show Report

Show Report: Ralph Lauren A/W 16 Womenswear

by Kiki Georgiou on 18 February 2016

Kiki Georgiou reports on the Ralph Lauren A/W 16 womenswear show.

Kiki Georgiou reports on the Ralph Lauren A/W 16 womenswear show.

One of the funny things you learn about Americans after living in their country for a while is that they love a standing ovation. They give one every night on Broadway, for example, no matter what. So, of course they would stand and clap and cheer when the King of American fashion took his bow this morning. In a way, this Ralph Lauren show was a little like a Broadway show, from the pre-show fairy tale soundtrack (my neighbour on my left commented that it sounded like a Disney movie) to the abundance of ruffles on the clothes to that ovation. If it were it’d be an all-American story. After a sojourn in his favourite city, Paris, and a quick flirtation with Downton Abbey, Ralph was firmly on American ground.

Karlie opened the show in a palette cleansing taupe cashmere cardigan and powder silk shirt over loose flannel trousers and that calm continued with oaty turtlenecks and easy wool and herringbone jackets in the same earthy tones like a deliciously sounding truffle brown. A trench coat, belted loosely over a silk shirt and tie, was pretty perfect and olive tweed culottes added volume to an otherwise pretty straight collection. A brown wool patchwork coat looked like something Ralph and Ricky would wear at the ranch that you’d want to borrow and never return (I don’t think they’d mind) and so did the fringed tweed and check capes that followed. The things took an unexpected turn when bows and frills took over, interesting on a Sixties black leather mini dress but slightly alarming when climbing all over the sleeves of a velvet dress like a vicious ivy.

Perhaps all this talk of Broadway was not so silly after all. Was Hamilton, the hit game-changing musical, for which you'll need to remortgage your house, the real inspiration here? The brocade robes and Edwardian gold-embroidered costs, the colonial flouncy jackets and high ruffled shirts... Special mention must be given to Mr Lauren's own herringbone jacket and its well-worn leather elbow patches. He knows that some things just don't need fixing.

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