He's conquered the Boulevard Saint-Germain and Madison Avenue with sweeping new flagships, so where to next for Ralph Lauren? From the looks of his Fall runway, Shanghai and Beijing are on the horizon. (As it happens, the company bought its Southeast Asia business back from a licensee last year and has made no secret of its expansion plans throughout the continent.) Not unlike Oscar de la Renta yesterday, and Marc Jacobs last season at Louis Vuitton, Lauren looked to the Orient for inspiration—China specifically. The models wore jade and coral earrings, lacquered red heels that matched their lipstick, and bold middle parts, but in case you didn't get the references, the designer played a cover version of David Bowie's "China Girl." If that little detail was less than subtle, Lauren employed a lighter touch for the most part when it came to the clothes.

He opened with a crisp white shirt tucked into a pair of wool trousers, and from there moved on to mannish tailoring and cocktail fare, cutting his clothes in glossy fabrics nearly as reflective as the lacquered runway—satin for a blouse, polished leather for a halter dress, Lurex-shot cashmere for a hobble skirt, and panne velvet for a quilted jacket. Chestnut brown shetland tweed coats with shearling lapels—shades of Shanghai's early-twentieth-century colonists—broke up all the black and white. The show was not without its costumey moments, chief among them a China red tuxedo jacket with multicolor dragon embroideries. It finished strong, though, with a series of elegant black evening dresses accented with a single brooch or beaded in an Art Deco style.