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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Ralph Lauren: The art of black and white

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

Ralph Lauren -- who allegedly created the wedding gown worn by Jenniffer López this past weekend -- reimagined classic patterns like houndstooth, checks and plaid in the ever elegant dichotomy of black and white for his Pre-Fall 2022 Collection.

With very few pops of red and gray, models brought out new and refreshing looks for classic shirts, cardigans, ascot ties, ruffle neckties and pencil skirts. Loved the pattern on pattern styling, so very artsy and refined.

The Houndstooth pattern is my favorite. Ever since college, even high school, it was always the smart choice. It was easy to style: houndstooth bottom, black turtleneck, loafers or boots and there it was, perfection. The Scottish pattern, also known as Border Tartan, is back in garment racks. And why not? In the right fabrics this particular design exudes class, has personality, it’s easy to mix and match and, of course, it is timeless.

The collection is full of sleek styling with an aristocratic feel. After all, Ralph Lauren is not a just a wardrobe, it is a lifestyle. A luxurious lifestyle. Most memorable looks? The suits, smart suits for women not afraid to wear boxier, more masculine-style suits. The suit has had a huge comeback, and judging from this collection we are looking at suits with a glorious past. We are seeing some 1940s vibes in the silhouettes and in the construction. I could see a little of Marlene Dietrich, but hey, also saw some Kim Basinger attitude from 1980s New York, specifically from the movie “9½ Weeks.”

For the show, his first since September 2019, Ralph Lauren transformed a gallery at the Museum of Modern Art into a replica of his Fifth Avenue apartment. With home decor accents in black and white, the collection includes cigarette pants and equestrian leggings with embellished hems, tweed jackets, blazers, preppy vests, baggy trousers, and velvety ski sweaters.

With houndstooth details in pockets, piping and hems, Lauren creates a mosaic effect across some garments, like cardigans, he said, “While grounded in classic signatures … (the collection) subtly reveals a reclaiming tradition. The iconography of black and white is contextualized within a sleek New York apartment. Fine tailoring and patterns are juxtaposed with a spirit of modernity.”

Eveningwear is elegant and sophisticated in a very Ralph Lauren way. There are no blinding embroideries, beading or princess skirts. Dresses by RL are about silhouette, cut and fit. Body hugging evening gowns in black, white and black and white with elegant cutouts, sleek lines, soft transparencies, and tiny sequins.

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