The Joads Do Fashion at Ralph Lauren

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In what was the most literal statement on the ongoing economic crisis, Ralph Lauren sent out a collection that drew from the Depression Era. More than one editor could be heard referencing The Grapes of Wrath as they exited the downtown studio. The thing was, it wasn't at all depressing. And it felt decidedly American, in that very Ralph way. The show notes included a quote from the designer that summed it up nicely, "I believe in the resilient spirit of America. Hard times seem to sharpen our capacity for idealism and our optimism that tomorrow will be a better day. I am inspired by the character of the worker, the farmer, the cowboy, the pioneer women...I have always admired the honesty of their work wear..." There was tons of incredible denim, newsboy caps right and left, chic overalls, pinstripe blazers, denim-inspired blue evening wear (with the finale dress evoking that overall feel), and sparkly sheer long tops over jeans. I pretty much loved every piece, save for one of frilly evening look that seemed a bit overwrought. Ralph walked the runway waving and saying hello to front row friends to the sounds of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", and Dylan always brings a smile to my face. Well played all around, Mr. Lauren. Go team American sportswear.