Ralph Lauren sets out to beautify his customer’s life without complicating it, and that philosophy has served him well; his far-reaching lifestyle empire now brings in about $2.4 billion a year. With his confident, colorful Spring collection, Lauren once again demonstrated his time-honored skill at balancing classic sportswear with a sense of luxury.
He started with a group of cream and black pieces inspired by the athletic life. There were tennis-flavored dresses, one in white silk with a polo collar and a swingy pleated skirt, another inspired by the classic cable-knit sweater with a plunging V-neckline; a pinstriped baseball jacket worn with a matching pencil skirt; a sequined varsity cardigan; and a sexy white silk gown with a silver mesh racer back that suggested fencing gear. Lauren cuts a great jacket, and there were plenty of terrific options in black silk stretch or white cotton, with nipped waists and a bit of flare over the hips to emphasize the female form.
For the second half, Lauren exploded into color, assembling tropical hues of violet, lime green, yellow, pink, and fuchsia and sending out classic man-tailored pantsuits worn with vivid contrasting cashmere sweaters and georgette shirts. The designer ended with a handful of utterly simple, perfectly cut liquid charmeuse gowns, in bird-of-paradise colors guaranteed to intoxicate.