Ralph Lauren tweeted a picture from his show this morning, writing, "I am forever inspired by far away exotic places. I may never have been there, but in my imagination it is real." The exotic place in question for Spring could've been Spain or Latin America. Matador suits, serapes, ruffles, fringe—they all got the Lauren treatment.

Playing with black, white, red, and turquoise—the colors found in those serapes—he started with soft tailoring in suede, some of which was accented with tooled leather details. Shawls and ponchos turned up in various forms, and dresses and skirts were hand-crocheted. Scarves knotted at the neck, glass bead necklaces, and studded leather mailbags completed the vivid picture.

If the beginning of the show sometimes felt like a costume drama, Lauren didn't fail to deliver real-life chic. A double-breasted white suit looked sharp, and a trio of kicky silk jersey dresses will play well with the social set in New York and beyond.

But this collection really came to life when Joan Smalls glided down the runway in a black and white halter-neck evening dress. The dozen or so numbers that followed were all pretty much flawless, but a few in particular caught the eye: Lais Ribeiro's ivory silk V-neck gown with the red rose at one hip, Bette's black satin column with strands of jet beads draped across the back, Frida Gustavsson's white cotton shirt and flouncy organza skirt. Front-row guests Jessica Alba and Olivia Wilde would be lucky to wear any one of them.