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Presented on the final day of shows, as always, Ralph Lauren’s fall/winter 2005 collection, comprised of impeccably tailored slim, flattering, suits, standout belted jackets, gutsy coats (including a belted ankle length gray cashmere trenchcoat that defines the genre), luxurious cashmeres (many with sporty cognac leather epaulets or elbow patches), amazing leathers and shearlings, and 30’s deco inspired beaded and satin evening gowns, could not have been a more fitting (pardon the pun) end to the week. Ralph relied on his tried, true, and urbane color palette of black, white, brown, and gray (mixed in with handsome menswear inspired pinstripes, hound’s-tooth, and glen plaids which were thoroughly feminine).

This was ‘vintage’ Ralph- and hardly a coincidence, since he admitted to having been inspired by the sleek, timeless, beautiful lines and colors of his legendary vintage car collection (13 go on display at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on March 6). Avoiding the ubiquitous use of volume that has been sweeping the runways (though there were a number of skirts with some graceful movement including a standout version in gray cashmere that was cut practically to the floor and gored, which he paired with a cognac belted short shearling), the silhouette was basically long and lean (skirt lengths varied but everything was below the knee or longer). Accessories were kept to a bare minimum as well- pigskin and leather gloves, cognac leather stacked heel boots, classic berets- no Cossack hats or knitted ski caps. And flawless grooming was the order of the day (natural manicures and make-up- hair severely pulled back away from the face, knotted into buns. Although there were several looks that could have been ‘day for night’ (or is it ‘night for day’?), the group of long graceful evening gowns at the end (which always define Ralph’s work), conjured up old Hollywood glamour.


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