A model in Ralph Lauren on the New York catwalk yesterday / Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

 

The Proenza Schouler and Ralph Lauren shows for autumn/winter 2015 helped bring the New York leg of the international collections to a close. Today, London begins.

Ralph Lauren is, of course, the elder statesman of American style. His show swaggered past in a caramel-coloured cavalcade of cashmere artisanal knits, tweeds crunchy like steel-cut oats, beading glistening like the chandeliers that lit the lives of Edith Wharton heroines.

Sounds like a lot of cinematic, nostalgic gumph: but that’s what Lauren has built his business on, an idealised dream of winter suntans and siren evening dresses topped with Davy Crockett fur hats. It’s all as fake as the marbleised columns that flanked the head of Lauren’s catwalk: but faking it has enabled Lauren to make it. This show felt repetitive: but Lauren doesn’t need to say anything new –  the world buys into his imagined yet immovable Americana – to the tune of £4.82bn in 2014.

 

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler may have been in business for over a decade, but they still represent New York’s new. And they propose fashion that vibrates with energy and enthusiasm and ideas. Not all are entirely original, but their winter show was presented with such gusto, in chewy felt and a meat-packing palette of scarlet, scab burgundy and marrow greige, that it felt like it could have come from no other hands. It at least seemed new.

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