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More NY Autumn 2003 photos -
  Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta and more!

The smart merchant is definitely paying attention to what his customer wants (and wears)…this season. For Ralph, it is all about an eccentric, eclectic and personal mix- the way clothes are often translated in real life. While his program notes described ‘tea stained’ color, the colors were somehow not muddy, and everything was romantic and feminine with a tattered edge- a decidedly very vintage feeling.

It’s all about the way in which clothing is mixed and combined for high contrast…it’s the combination of tradition/freshness… masculine/feminine… high/low, hard/soft. He concentrated on suits- matched and mismatched- all with
fitted hourglass jackets (many had a Victorian and Edwardian cut), bias slip dresses, gilded or hand painted leather jackets (some with delicate vintage inspired chintzy florals). Zany combinations of tulle and shredded chiffon, delicate drop earrings, unusual evening bags, and tattered scarves completed the look.

Taking denim to the max (literally), Ralph’s delicate beaded top and tiny evening bag, paired with a distressed blue denim bustle ball skirt, exemplified the eccentric combination that defined his collection.