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Ralph Lauren Goes on a Passage to India

The designer's spring 2015 collection heavily referenced the dress of colonial India, styled in a uniquely Ralph Lauren way.

When Ralph Lauren seeks out collection inspiration, he often looks at a map. Lauren's spring 2014 collection was London-inspired; fall 2014 looked to Paris. For spring 2015, Lauren traveled further east, to India.

Lauren's interpretation of his theme was quite literal, borrowing both from the dress of British colonists and native Indian dress. There were the safari jackets and cargo pants, and sari-inspired blouses and dresses in fuchsia, yellow and orange charmeuse. But the proportions and styling were contemporary, and so the effect was not costume-y. A sari-like silk blouse was paired with cargo pants for the opening look, and a khaki skirt suit was styled with heavy jewelry, a brown alligator bag and matching pointed-toe pumps. A series of all-white looks -- a neatly tailored silk suit, and a white crepe tunic worn over straight leg trousers -- were less literal, and truly lovely.

Lauren wasn't the only New York designer to look to India for spring: Contemporary brand Trademark, now in its second full season, was similarly inspired, though its references were more subtle -- a cotton shirt with a tab collar, a skirt in dusty yellow. Less subtle was the sweatshirt emblazoned with the name of the country.

We'll be watching for more India-inspired collections through the rest of fashion month.

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