2011 February 18

New York Fall 2011: Ralph Lauren, Bill Blass

Ralph Lauren Fall 2011 Ralph Lauren Fall 2011
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(NEW YORK) Ralph Lauren
Ralph presented a far east fantasy of slinky velvet, silk shantung and scrawls of embroidery in his Chinoiserie-inflected collection. The sumptuous textures, tangible element of darkness and lean silhouttes were in stark contrast to the petticoats and ruffled yolks in his previous collection. The Art deco-inflected pieces were done in black with a healthy dose of red and, to a lesser degree, lime accents, such as with the delectably lacquered platform sandals with bright knotted velvet detailing. At moments, the collection veered close to the realm of chintz. But there was an elegance to the sleek and luxuriously accented eveningwear, which models sashayed in down the runway to the sounds of a reworked "China Girl."

Bill Blass
Yet another collection harkening to the '70s, but this one was referring to the designer's looks from decades past. In his second collection for Blass, Jeffrey Monteiro did lots of black and white with a few flashes of red, drawn in clean, sharp lines. Examined at particularly close range from red banquettes encircling Monkey Bar, the collection alternated between feminized menswear-inflected suiting and fluid, floor-sweeping dresses that balanced thigh-high slits and asymmetrical cutouts with fairly demure necklines and sleeves. A sexy turtlenecked dress? In Monteiro's skilled hands, yes.