Thank Mod for Ralph Lauren! Lauren produced one of the best collections of his career with this Ode to Mod and Equally to MODERN! It was Classy, Sporty, And More importantly, FUN! There was a healthy Dose of Wit and Mischievousness that gave a Buoyancy and Lilt to the clothes. The Pure Freshness of all that spectator Black and White punctuated by Huge doses of Eye-Whomping Colour was just the right way to Start 2014 for the House of Lauren.
Honestly... the past few years have seen essential regurgitations of old Lauren tropes in his collections and while being updated, yes... they felt inherently recycled... variations on a theme... and at their worst they were just Boring. Lauren has a tendency to fall back on Familiar ideas and Tried-And-True Winning Formulas, that while they will keep his billions secure and his shareholders happy, they don't do much to change the veneer of Uptown and communicates really to a very specific woman.
Starting with his Effortlessly Beautiful Resort 2014 collection inspired by Ballet, Lauren has seemed to finally retrace the course he was following in the late 90's and early 2000's where he was injecting Speed, Vitality, Youthfulness and Modernity into his collections and were making them Sportif and Chic! This collection plays on that idea and perhaps is the finest apotheosis in the lexicon of Lauren.
Injecting a bit of Carnaby Street circa 1964 and a little bit of Courreges and Gernreich into the collection did wonders when those motifs were viewed through the Ralph Lauren Prism. The opening was a Simple as simple could want to be but in it's simplicity spoke VOLUMES! This being Chez Lauren, there couldn't NOT be a nod to Preppy and what better place than England to poach some Prep attitude from! It MUST be said that all that Spectator colour did not come off One WHIT Boring or Dull in Laurens' Learned and Trained hands... in fact it was cleaner, fresher and more hip than anything most of the Critical Darlings of 7th Ave. have produced in their Entire careers.
A Op-Print Trench over a Gleaming Black patent mini, White Shirt and Tie at Exit No. 8 was Sweet but also Hard and Perfect. A Windowpane check Shift at Exit No. 16 had It ALL! It was Effortlessly Wearable and Teetered that line of 60's Mod and the contemporary feeling of Now in one Sleek Motion! Exit No. 22 was simply the Iciest, Sharpest, Coolest Invocation of the White magic that has been going nonstop this season in a cropped brief Space Age Flawless suit!
And then it was A Trippy Colour Explosion! Apple Green, Lemon Yellow, Fire-Engine Red, Carrot Orange! The most delightful exposition being the Gazar evening gowns that floated down the Glossy White runway and were decorated with Flamenco ruffles at Exits No. 38-40! There was a Snowy Flurry of White evening pieces and then a Final Salute in a Red Crepe Cape Back Opera gown that was The Epitome of Minimalist Opulent Extravagance! It evoked comparison to the White Tom Ford last season but was actually more Dramatic and Pure!
I have rarely been more moved by a Ralph Lauren collection in the over 20 years of following fashion that I have racked up. It was Sterling! It was Utter Perfection with a Capital P! It couldn't have done anything one iota better to make the collection more Desirable and Awe-Inspiring! It was the best move in the right direction for the house that has been taken in YEARS and one can only hope that this style is pursued Chez Lauren in future collections, because it is The Right path for the future of Ralph Lauren!