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Review: Ralph Lauren goes for the gold with super-luxe, less-is-more in-season looks

Review: Ralph Lauren goes for the gold with super-luxe, less-is-more in-season looks
Looks from the Ralph Lauren spring and summer 2019 see-now, buy-now runway collection presented at the Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue flagship on Thursday during New York Fashion Week. (Ralph Lauren)

We’re not sure what circumstance might call for throwing on a liquid gold metallic cape with military-inspired epaulets or a fireman’s coat with gleaming gold hardware and metallic trim, but should the occasion arise, Ralph Lauren’s latest collection, shown at New York Fashion Week, has you covered — and then some.

In addition to the deep vein of gold metallics (perhaps a nod to the brand’s golden anniversary, which was celebrated in Central Park last season) the in-season — as in available now — spring and summer 2019 women’s collection presented at the Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue flagship Thursday morning was heavy on black and white, with silhouettes heavy on the exaggerated wide-legged trouser on the bottom and sharp tailoring north of the chunky statement belt.

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In addition to the gold-embroidered epaulets, which were sprinkled liberally throughout the collection (most memorably adorning a sleek, white pleated crewneck dress), military details came by way of a chevron-adorned double-breasted officer’s jacket layered over gold metallic cable-knit sweater and a stunner of a gold metallic micro-sequin column gown with a top half inspired by a naval blazer. Another high-fashion hybrid came by way of a white silk double-breasted tuxedo dress that riffed on the one designed for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for the above-mentioned 50th anniversary runway show.

The Ralph Lauren spring and summer 2019 collection was heavy on black, gold metallics and military-inspired details.
The Ralph Lauren spring and summer 2019 collection was heavy on black, gold metallics and military-inspired details. (Ralph Lauren)

Other standouts included a wide-legged silk jumpsuit inspired by an archival ’80s design that, had it hit retail just a few days earlier, would have been a viable power suit option for this year’s State of the Union address and the symbolic wearing of suffragette white; a black-and-gold-striped sequined sweater dress that was as clingy and form-fitting as it was sparkly; and a knee-length metallic gold lambskin trench coat with a contrast notch-lapel wool collar.

The collection’s stripped-back color palette, cinched-waist-meets-wide-leg silhouette and super-luxe fabrications gave it a lot in common with Tom Ford’s fall and winter 2019 runway collection presented here Wednesday evening. Unlike Ford’s collection, which won’t hit retail for another six months, Lauren’s sleek elegance is just a few clicks away.

Ralph Lauren is one of the very few labels that presents a see-now, buy-now collection during New York Fashion Week, a fact that has made him a bit of an outlier for the last couple of seasons. But, if these trends start cropping up in other fall and winter 2019 collections this week — and at this point, it’s far too early to tell — it could end up being a truly golden opportunity.

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