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By
AFP
Published
Feb 18, 2011
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In NY, Ralph Lauren opts for Chinese opulence

By
AFP
Published
Feb 18, 2011

Feb 17 — 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.

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren NY Fashion Week (photo by Pixel Formula)

Nearly every item presented on Thursday 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.

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren NY Fashion Week (photo by Pixel Formula)

Most dresses were long and many of the models who wore them were Asian, with names like Jing Ma, Ming, Siu He or Liu Wen.

Among the coats there was a beautiful Astrakhan-lined overcoat, a long raincoat decorated with colorful dragons, and a large black leather trench coat, with a wink to the Mata-Hari of the early 20th century.

After Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein closed the show of important designers Thursday afternoon, with a collection that contrasted with the week filled with luxury and furs.

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren NY Fashion Week (photo by Pixel Formula)

True to his minimalist taste, artistic director Franciso Costa chose simple trapeze dresses, jackets and coats, aiming for elegance in solid tones, black, gray or tobacco. There was one concession to glamor, with matte silver lame tunics appearing at the end of the show.

The week was marked by designer Gilles Mendel, the king of a fur dynasty stretching back five generations. Half his models came out wearing either sumptuous furs or leathers.

A new fashion week starts Saturday in London, before new collections are revealed in Milan and Paris.
Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren NY Fashion Week (photo by Pixel Formula)

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