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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Ralph Lauren – Paper Moon Performance

Godfrey Deeny
September 17th, 2009 @ 2:08 PM - New York

Eight days and some 150 shows into the New York fashion season, it was left to Ralph Lauren to be the first American designer to address the current economic recession, in a show on Thursday, Sept. 17, that managed to be workerist and wonderful at the same time.

This was patricians meets "Paper Moon" in a spring 2010 collection whose key fabric was denim, or silky variations of it, in a show where one third of the models wore Depression era flat caps.

But Lauren’s is a denim used in torn jeans kitted out in crystals. Talk about haute gamme hobo.

Even his pinstripes look faintly misprinted, as women got to go to work in the grandfathers shirts, or denim overalls, so worn they have six-inch holes at the knees. For a date, women throw on pink floral dresses, completing their outfit with white socks, granny shoes and handkerchiefs tied around their neck.

Halfway through the show,a trio of models appeared in chalk stripe men’s double-breasted suits like the gangster molls of Paul Newman and Robert Redford in “The Sting”, one model even had on plus fours. They hit the catwalk as a mouth organ wailed a lament on a Neil Young song.

The designer did mingle in some classy faded pink gauze cottons looks and a series of metallic lame gowns that were decidedly uptown.

Great fashion should be a mirror of society, and it’s been pretty remarkable that the collections shown in Manhattan this season had practically no reference to the fact the audience at most shows are living through the worst economic conditions of their lifetime. Lauren, however, addressed the issue head on, finding a certain nobility with people’s struggles, and “our optimism that tomorrow will be a better day.”

“I am inspired by the character of the worker, the farmer, the cowboy, the pioneer women of the prairies living authentically through challenging times,” the designer continued in his program notes.

Lauren took his bow in denim shirt and jeans paired with an erratic pinstripe blazer, completing his long stroll down the catwalk of Skylight Studio as Bob Dylan screeched out “Like a Rolling Stone.” Aptly, for this is one designer who is gathering no moss.

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