February 09, 2006
Rustle up your riding boots: For Fall, Ralph Lauren organized a Highlands hunting trip, complete with glen plaids, cashmere jodhpurs, sweeping carriage coats, and swaggering horse-blanket capes. It was inspired by what he called a "modern shooting party," but of course it will work perfectly for those whose idea of the great outdoors is the jaunt from townhouse to town car.
Lauren's women's collections are at their polished, elegant best when he weaves haberdashery into the more feminine elements. The jackets of three-piece plaid suits had a peplum kick, and the matching pants a fitted cut far sexier and more youthful than last season's pinstripes. Finely tailored blazers were paired with soft leggings on the runway, but there were also slim suede pants to satisfy clients in search of more structure. After the loden-and-olive opening, Lauren moved into rich black velvets, some embellished with gold braid and bullion, in keeping with the show's horsey inspirations.
For evening, the designer's theme was at its most literal, and least persuasive, in patchwork taffeta tartans. And we've seen the gold-and-crystal-embroidered tulle dresses that closed the show before; they're flirty, if a trifle light. A black satin column with a high neck and a dramatic bare back, on the other hand, is the last word in urban-huntress chic.