Thursday, February 19, 2015

In the Market Report: Ralph Lauren & Delpozo

‘Cream’ of the Crop


Ralph Lauren brown merino shearling coat over roving cream  
cashmere turtleneck and cream worsted wool pant
(All photos Style.com)

Ralph Lauren may well have a very strong design aesthetic, but he is a designer who wears many hats. And his numerous labels encompass many different collections which have from time to time, been built around certain color themes: black, black and gold, black and white, black and neons, navy and white, winter white, vibrant color, and soft pastels. But there is perhaps no color palette that is more ‘signature’ Ralph, than the one built around pleasing and rich shades of cream, taupe, ecru, stone, and dark brown; which in fact, accounted for more than half of the 43 pieces which comprised his fall 2015 collection, shown Thursday morning. The rest of the line was almost entirely black, which provided a perfect stark relief to what came before, and included the designers’ impeccably tailored black wool crepe (or leather) pantsuits, jumpsuits, black floral lace and black velvet evening dresses.

Cream floral lace evening dress

The collection was signature Ralph in that the overall mood had a gutsy, rich bohemian undercurrent and the silhouette was long: below the knee to ankle length (two overall trends that have been seen elsewhere this season). The emphasis was on rich fabrics and fabric mixes; it was really all about cashmere, suede, alpaca, boucle, textured Donegal, and shearling (lots and lots of shearling, and the shearling pieces were in fact, the hands down standouts). There were shearling coats, capelets, jackets, collars, vests; there was even a patchwork shearling jacket trimmed with feathers, and a bronze embroidered shearling jacket. (FYI, some of the more simplified straightforward pieces looked best).

Black wool crepe jacket and pant with beaded  
silk halter turtleneck              

It was also quite dressed up (day for night and night for day), with decorative surface interest coming by way of feathers, beads, embroidery, fringe. Sounds like a lot going on? There was indeed, but it worked (well, mostly).  A cream alpaca cashmere shawl jacket with fringe, and cream soft boucle cape looked a bit too much like the Komondor for my tastes (this dog breed was resembles a mop at the Westminster Dog Show).

One of a Kind

Delpozo long blue coat with leather appliques

So, if Ralph Lauren’s collection looked a bit familiar, and hit upon all the high notes of the season (albeit doing it his way, of course), one collection that didn’t resemble anything else this season (and never does), is Delpozo. It is always a treat and a feast for the eyes, and one of my favorites.

The word “artist” is bantered around ad nauseum in fashion, particularly as it applies to fashion designers. And while there are many who can lay claim to that label, there are admittedly some more deserving than others. Joseph Font, Creative Director of Delpozo, certainly falls into the second category. With his highly individual point of view, his unique approach, his amazing workmanship and fastidious attention to detail, his shows are the closest you’ll get to haute couture during New York Fashion Week.

Long white column with handcrafted fabric flowers

For his otherworldly, beautifully conceived and executed fall 2015 collection, which was shown Wednesday in the gleaming all white lobby of the IAC Building, the designer took inspiration from not one, but two artists. Australian artist Rys Lee was the jumping off point for the surprising and colorful palette (Yves Klein blue, blush, red, black, chocolate brown, nude, chartreuse), and the painterly brushstrokes. And Russian painter Andrey Remnev’s modern interpretation of the Pre-Raphaelite spirit artwork inspired the rich textures.

Embroidered crochet dress

Because the Spanish born designer studied architecture before turning to fashion, it’s not surprising that his designs can always be considered as architectural, though this season, he placed an emphasis on a straight columnar shape and the use of controlled volume translated in wool voile, crepe, felt, mouton, and velvet, which was used throughout for day and evening. Highlights included the amazing knitwear made of mohair, merino wool, alpaca with silk (the embroidered crochet pieces were exceptional); the leather patchwork; the geometric patterned metallic appliques; the embroideries; and the handcrafted fabric flower ‘corsages’ which decorated blouses and dresses (they were excruciatingly shaped petal by petal). The colorful and artistic footwear, round toed poupee pumps and boots with calfskin collages, and architectural head wraps, were perfect accessories.

 Two piece dress with embroidered flowers

I love that Joseph sees his customer as ageless, and in fact, he once declared, “Women like art, have no age”. So it’s not surprising that he appeals to strong, smart, highly individual and grown up women who have a strong sense of self (among his loyal fans are Julianne Moore, and Cate Blanchett, both of whom have worn his individualist designs on the red carpet). I can easily see both of them turning up somewhere fabulous in one of his designs in the near future.





- Marilyn Kirschner







The Daily Bet

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