For fall 2016, Ralph Lauren is a man of many moods. The legendary designer usually presents a collection tightly focused on one topic — Downton Abbey, the French Riviera, a glamorous African safari — but the one he just debuted at New York Fashion Week offers an eclectic range of looks for a variety of upscale lifestyles.
There's the English country look, exemplified by the opening number, in which supermodel Karlie Kloss appeared in a cashmere cardigan, silk blouse, and baggy wool flannel trousers. There are 21 daywear outfits in the collection, featuring soft, cozy clothes in darkish shades of taupe, brown, and olive. Actress Sienna Miller, sitting next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour on the front row, seemed taken with the mid-calf tweed culottes and comfy patchwork coats.
Lauren always excels in menswear-tailored looks for women. This time, he presented a range of styles — from the traditional, like big-shoulder, double-breasted jackets worn with taupe shirt and tie, to the flashy, like a black-and-gold jacquard tuxedo jacket with a black shawl collar.
There's also a rocker dandy edge to long velvet coats and ruffle white blouses worn with metallic jeans, a bit of Southwestern flair with blanket-patterned ranch coats, and a fringe moment with tweed capes and black suede pants dripping in swirling fabric.
For evening, Lauren returns to the elegance for which his brand is known. Breathtakingly beautiful velvet evening gowns in crimson, amethyst, and marine blue evoke an old-world feeling, while one of the closing numbers — a liquid gold mikado evening skirt, worn with a black jersey turtleneck, showing a bare midriff — seems totally modern.
Although the collection seemed a bit jumbled with so many varying looks, the message seemed clear: Lauren remains the master of luxe elegance — no matter what form it takes.