No matter when we ask whether Ralph Lauren show is good or bad, this fashion giant runs like a well-oiled machine; the designer and his team will produce a notably bad collection is a bit like expecting Starbucks to make an undrinkable coffee. It could happen. But it won’t.
The team has created such a potent brand, like if you stop 10 people on street, they could undoubtedly pinpoint the features of label. This is blessing for a designer like Ralph Lauren. Lauren shows no desire to step outside the confines of a warm, lucrative, and widely admired comfortable space.
But how often has he stepped outside his actual home during this long, slushy season? Despite an overnight snowfall and unshoveled sidewalks that left fashion editors and retailers wondering if they’d get a snow day, even just a morning. Thus, Lauren put his fall 2014 collection on the runway bright, who could blame him? The samples were done, the venue was organized, the chandeliers were hung, and the floral arrangements ordered. So it was more than jarring to witness Lauren’s vision of cold-weather gear — with his dove-gray, suede over-the-knee boots, mauve cashmere capes, ivory cashmere sweat pants, and cream leather sneakers — after having done a back-country hike through freshly fallen powder and face-pelting sleet. It was a bit like stepping into an alternate universe — not one that made you swoon with desire but one that basically away from you.
Lauren is surely not to be blamed for the bad timing of showing the collection, which seemed mocking the reality of people who don’t have private drivers to take them see around the city during rough weather. So let’s move on from the practical clothes to their beauty. They are lovely: refined, beautifully constructed, and luxury. In particular, Lauren’s use of Wall Street–gray for his formal evening gowns, which were ornately beaded or stitched from silk jersey, refreshed the classic silhouettes.
Lauren also put his Polo brand for women on the runway. The younger and sportier line was filled with leather skater skirts and brightly colored sweaters, puffer jackets, and woolen anoraks. Reliable. Commercial. Good. Strong. Fashion’s equivalent of another perfectly pulled latte.