Neither snow nor rain nor arctic winds could stop the last day of New York Fashion Week, and that was proven bright and early on Thursday morning at the packed Ralph Lauren show. Editors and buyers had to make an honest effort to arrive in one piece (reportedly one editor slipped on the ice in front of the venue and hit her head, which would explain why there was an ambulance parked outside upon our exit). But once we were safely inside, the cherry blossom branches and glamorous chandeliers that lined the space made for a welcome oasis from the storm.
After taking our seats, we were treated with a bit of a surprise on the runway: Lauren opened the show by debuting his first Polo collection for women. The youthful, all-American range included plenty of the brightly colored solids that the Polo men's collection is known for, along with a mix of Western-inspired plaids, blanket coats and floral dresses that added an unexpected element of grunge. There were also some easy, everyday blazers. As for the standout pieces, Polo showed a couple of vintage-looking, shearling aviator jackets that will surely be a hit among editors and consumers alike.
Once the Polo lineup left the runway, the luxe glamour that we were anticipating made an entrance. Sporty silhouettes in shades of winter white, soft pink, lilac and gray made up the collection, with just a bit of drama in the form of feathered jackets, fur accents and up-to-there slits (see below). Another welcome surprise? Seeing such elegant looks paired with simple white sneakers.
Ralph Lauren looked exuberant as he took his final walk down the runway, and despite knowing what awaited them on their trek home, so did the audience. Lauren gave us a two-part show with the best of both worlds -- one certainly worth braving the blizzard for.