American designer Ralph Lauren moved away from his characteristic chic sportswear in favor of the luxury of pre-revolutionary China, on the final day of New York Fashion Week’s Autumn-Winter 2011 show Thursday.
Nearly every item presented by his 50 models before a handpicked audience was clearly not intended for the working woman. Lauren, who recently made his first visit to China, an emerging market for his and other labels, boldly opted for luxury.
There was nothing this time around for the women of horseback riding and golf-playing crowds. Away from tweed and jodhpurs, Lauren has thought about those who spend time in casinos and luxury hotels — with a nod to the Roaring Twenties and the decadence of Chinese emperors.
Most dresses were long and many of the models who wore them were Asian, with names like Jing Ma, Ming, Siu He and Liu Wen. Among the coats there was a beautiful Astrakhan-lined overcoat, a long raincoat decorated with colourful dragons, and a large black leather trench coat, with a wink to the Mata-Hari of the early 20th century.