Over the lifetime of every designer there is at least one collection devoted to Paris. The City of Lights’ ineffable je ne sais quoi holds sway over the rest of the fashion capitals as one of the most inspirational. However, there are plenty of other places in France to explore, and for Spring/Summer 2016 Ralph Lauren looked to Deauville — an utterly chic seaside resort that is famous for being the location of Coco Chanel’s first-ever boutique. Lauren’s American sportswear signature formed the basis for this seafaring collection, which effectively blended country-club style with crisp nautical-inspired details. For the spring season, Lauren’s girl is poised, but not snobby, capable of pairing a gala-worthy maxi skirt made from billowing layers of white ruffled chiffon with a basic striped button-up. The models on the Ralph Lauren runway were golden and glowing, and presented an ideal of chic, feminine beauty that was hard to resist.
Daywear highlighted a relaxed silhouette, carried forth on loose palazzo pants, mannish blazers, and flirty midi-length skirts. In contrast, dresses were tailored and fitted, and came in energetic shades of mandarin red and navy. Lots of the looks were familiar, as Lauren jumped on board with the biggest trends of the moment and expanded on them. There were leather culottes, cutout slip dresses, silky jumpsuits, lace-front tops, and cropped body-conscious turtlenecks that proved the designer was paying attention to the popular vote. In some ways, Lauren improved upon some of the prevailing trends. That lace-front leather hoodie? We want it now.
Although simple, clean, sophisticated looks prevailed on the runway, there were some dramatic moments worth pausing on. For instance, Lauren teased out the drama by including something as simple as the diagonal sweep of an asymmetric slit on a navy and white maxi skirt, and showed a vivid geometric print on bags, trenches and, best of all, a floor-sweeping ballgown. With this vibrant, energetic display, the Ralph Lauren brand presented an exciting new direction — we can only hope that it keeps heading down this path.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree