Friday, February 18, 2011

Ralph Goes to China

What can one say about a designer who has the magic touch? Whether he is translating the iconography of American history or F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mr. Lauren takes the hackneyed and turns it original while under his masterful hand.
The Chinoiserie or Orientalia of this collection is rendered without ever looking cheap or tired and most certainly while retaining all that has become Ralph Lauren. He takes the typical dragon embroideries, cheongsams, mandarin collars, kimono like garments and turns them modern with his touch. Trim them in fur and then, turn them into a tuxedo and all the better to offer up some glamor of an Art Deco Shanghai where there is news to be made.
Mr. Lauren takes poetic license and therefore infuses his DNA into the theme and turns out just one more wonder for Fall 2011. There are enough pure “Ralph” moments to keep registers singing starting almost immediately when I am sure there will be a trunk on Madison Avenue within weeks of this presentation.
Particular favorites include the long purple coat with lush huge shawl collar, the Dragon tux and the beaded pieces. He manages to evolve his look while never causing a revolution and therein lays the genius of Ralph Lauren.