For Pre-Fall, Ralph Lauren worked with a precise color palette—shades ranged from pearl to smoke to dove, with some taupe and putty in the mix. Most, if not all, of the looks were monochrome. You could call it his Fifty Shades of Grey moment but for the fact that it was as tasteful and dignified as anything the designer has ever done.
The show was held in his Madison Avenue flagship, and the proximity of the models on the runway, combined with the strict palette, put the focus on fabrics, which were predictably lush. There was suede in abundance on jackets, leggings, and wrap dresses, as well as cashmere, which was often trimmed in shearling. These were clothes designed to provide tactile delights as much as visual ones. It was that spirit that influenced the collections strongest evening look, a silvery silk cashmere sweater worn with a long, bias-cut satin pongee skirt.
Lauren accessorized some of the looks with raw crystal belts. Jewelry in a similar vein added an earthy dimension to the lineup, which was otherwise quite urbane. Come next summer, you couldnt go wrong with a sleeveless worsted wool sheath gathered at the side of the waist with a brooch.