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Spring 2005
A Jeweled Passion >
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Ralph Lauren’s program notes read, “I was inspired by the romance and ruggedness of a shooting party” and it was not until a colleague (a well respected longtime fashion writer) said, “I’m so mad I’d like to shoot him” , pointing out, that considering the current state of the world, with our young soldiers dying every day as a result of gunshot wounds suffered abroad, this may not be the best time to cite “shooting” of any kind as inspiration for a fashion collection. But it conjured up an immediate image and I couldn’t get the image out of my mind, that Ralph’s ‘romantic’ vision would make the perfect basis for one of those typically visual and romantic Arthur Elgort/Grace Coddington collaborations that always find their way into Vogue Magazine. I can see it now…on location in Scotland, the tweeds, the plaids, the rugged knits, the tall weathered boots, voluminous capes, maxi coats…done in shades of loden and forest green, rust, taupe, and brown.

Certainly, one of the most comforting and constant things in the universe, is the way in which Ralph Lauren traditionally interprets the fall season for his customer, refining the classics- those pieces that never go out of style and those pieces that one comes to depend upon in a crunch. One almost comes to expect the rich and robust fabrics (wool, cashmere, distressed leather, velvet), typically fall patterns (plaids, donegals, tweeds), great hacking jackets, strong coats, fitted blazers, cashmere jodhpurs, the menswear touches like natty haberdashery fedoras, the beautiful tall leather boots, the great bags, and the mix of day and night which he does so well. This was epitomized by the argyle patterned chunky hand knit vest worn over a loden cashmere turtleneck and paired with a voluminous purple satin floor length skirt; the fragile burnished gold lace strapless knee length dress worn with a loden thick knit long scarf, matching gloves, and olive suede boots. And though long fluid evening gowns may not be the personification of the designer, he nonetheless offers his take each season, several of which will undoubtedly find their way down the red carpet at the Academy Awards (a standout black satin hourglass flare hem halter, and a gold double face georgette beauty, amongst them).




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