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Ralph Lauren: Atlas Mountain Moment

Godfrey Deeny
September 13th, 2008 @ 12:05 AM - New York

We visited Morocco with intermittent stops in Rajasthan in the latest Ralph Lauren collection, an exotic safari where the American designer mixed sporty glam with Third World princess style.

Staged Friday, Sept. 12, on a custom-made stone floor before a curvy half moon arch through which the models emerged, this spring 2009 collection seemed custom made for an afternoon’s falcon hunting in the Atlas mountains.

Ralph opened brilliantly with a ragged shouldered gabardine shirt worn over gold beaded dhoti jodhpurs, an image that said sultry yet effortlessly upper class.

Lauren’s uniform for the coming summer involves lots of safari jackets, beaded tops, broad cloth shirts and camisole sweaters, in desert hues of beige, sand, burnished gold or bronze. Practically every look combined garments that were either faded by the sun and wind or sparklingly, brand new.

The designer added a tad too many accessories – water bottles, satchels and backpacks – in a white hunter, chic heart moment, that rifled through the designer’s huge catalogue of wealthy at play props.

Adding to the exotic mood, Ralph called in master Irish hatter Philip Treacy, who created a brilliant series of Tuareg and Jaipur turbans, in everything from stiffened cotton to metallic silk. Plus, the selection of jewelry – made in collaboration with Janis Savitt and Bless - created a delightful series of snake figure armbands or chunky Jodhpur–style pendants that all looked great.

For evening, Lauren kept things high glitter with champagne silk columns or cream silk dresses cut low gorge at the front and open at the back. His finale, an all black silk and satin affair, had lots of polish and climaxed with wonderful antique gold lame dress.

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