Before we plunge into the beautiful Fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection, let’s discuss the miniaturization of Ralph Lauren‘s most iconic bags. I’ve been extolling my love of all bags tiny for some time now, and to see all my favorite RL shapes in itty-bitty versions (worn crossbody, no less!) was titillating! The first on my to-order list is the mini-Ricky in crocodile, a darling version of my all-time favorite RL bag. Cast in glossy croc, it’s far more sophisticated; scaled down to cute proportions, it’s nonchalantly glamorous. I got the same rush from the baby saddle bag: a Western-inspired buckle and splashy tassels ensure a small bag is big on impact.
After last season’s foray into Spanish bliss, Ralph has returned to his American roots, his tried-and-true formulas suddenly rethought for new freshness. A black and white palette, with an emphasis on black (as with many other designers we saw at NYFW), was key, but this jam-packed collection possesses a flair that is pure Ralph Lauren. Military details made for plenty of strength, especially in the high, exaggerated collars and emphasized shoulders. Fur hats speak of Russian opulence, but this was undeniable classic American glamour. It’s high drama, for sure, but the drama is in the details. All of these pieces (discounting the evening gowns, of course) could be worn to death: these are instant wardrobe staples if you break the looks down.
But why would you want to? From bejeweled collars to liquidy velvets to emerald-green feathered arms to pleated leather, Lauren delivered all the things we love about fall. One detail really stood out: a dress dripping gold chains across one arm (which caused Kelly to whisper to me, “Does one have to hold their arm up when wearing this gown?”). The show closed with one potent gown after another, and the accessories (like opera gloves and Mongolian lamb vests) only added to the luxuriant effect: the Ralph Lauren girl has a taste for decadence. And I have a taste for Ralph!