NYFW: RALPH LAUREN S/S 2014

We’re down to the last day of New York Fashion Week, which means only a small collection of shows remain, and those belong to some of the strongest and most respected names in New York fashion.

Starting the day was Ralph Lauren, perhaps the strongest and most recognized of American fashion brands. Lauren is known as much for his innovation on the business side of fashion as he is his clothing. His moves are carefully calculated, never one to blindly follow trends or chase after a whim.

So, it was a bit of a surprise when well over half the ensembles sent down the runway this morning were black and white and deeply immersed in styles more identifiable with 1960s London than his usual New England influences. The first looks worked from an A-line shift to more masculine tailored suits. Lauren seems to have some fun tossing men’s ties with black and white floral patterns on a few pieces before giving in to a monochrome floral pattern completely.

When the designer did finally convert to color, it was bright and bold, green, yellow, red, and blue. The separates sill maintained that chic 60s London feel, but Lauren jumped back across the pond when he got to the evening gowns that seemed to be the hit of the collection. A strapless cobalt blue gown worn by Karlie Kloss was an instant hit and was making the rounds on Twitter and other social media within seconds. Other gowns in green orange and red delivered the rich feelings of glamour one expects from the brand.

The big question that remains is whether the looks will actually catch on. Lauren is the only New York designer who explores such a strong 60s chic look so thoroughly. Will others follow? Will clients wear it? Listening to comments after the show, some questioned whether this might be a rare miss on the part of the designing legend. But then, people have questioned Ralph Lauren before. I won’t be the least surprised to see black and white separates, complete with broad men’s ties, on the sidewalks next spring.

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