Aaaaand we're done, Fashion Week but a lingering memory. The critics, however, still have a few final things to say on the last of the shows.
Ralph Lauren's elegantly rendered safari-chic collection gave the impression of a glammed-up Indiana Jones for many. "If there is such a thing as 'refined ruggedness' Ralph Lauren found it," remarked the Associated Press. Fashion Wire Daily elaborated, "[Lauren] mixed sporty glam with Third World Princess style." With a subtle nod to YSL, "Lauren brought the same sense of luxury, glamour, and exceptionalism to this collection he brings to every other element of his brand," assessed Robin Givhan of the Washington Post. Critics praised the show as an adventurous turn for the designer, both in his deft rendition of traditional styles of dress and the diverse group of models he chose to stalk the runway. Evening gowns were standouts — "The chiffon versions floated. The silk styles slithered. Mouths watered," wrote Givhan — as well as a pair of gold sequined harem pants that Cathy Horyn called the "best harem pants of Fashion Week." WWD agreed, cheering, "Let's hear it for tricky pants that worked." The rare missteps came in the accessories department: Fashion Wire Daily lamented that there were simply "a tad too many," and most reviewers pounced on a particularly "ginormous" turban that British Vogue thought resembled a person "suffering from a really bad toothache." But the show was generally heralded as complete and inventive. "From the first ensemble to the last, Lauren proved himself a supple, smart, and sophisticated designer," declared Givhan.
Watch a slideshow of the Ralph Lauren collection.
Though critics recognize that Scott can put together a dazzling show — Sarah Jessica Parker and Ellen Barkin and beau Mick Jagger gussied up the front row — "this time it was more about the clothes than ever, with a real point of view," asserted WWD. Cathy Horyn agreed, calling the showing "Ms. Scott's strongest collection since she began her label." Style.com noted that the predominantly black-and-white collection combined Scott's "typical rock 'n' roll elegance" of second-skin jeans and slim silhouettes with elements of "billowing movement" — pleats, capes, feathers, fringe, and lace fedoras. "The striking thing about her dresses was the intimacy and the refinement of details," remarked Horyn; standouts included midcalf sheaths "sizzling with rhinestones" and a black plissé dress with white lace shoulders. Now in her fifth season, "her message rings ever more confidently and clearly," concluded Style.com.
Donna Karan presented a provocative collection of "lovely, languid clothes that pour over the body," WWD sighed. The Associated Press called it a "new take on the nice girl-naughty girl contrast," and Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily agreed, calling it a "happy counterblast" to a week heavy on buttoned-up "secretarial looks." Several reviewers praised the fluidity of the silky designs, which draped and dipped around the body, though there were a few critiques amid the praise. Cathy Horyn at the New York Times thought the collection "felt repetitive and in need of more color and surprise," and the Washington Post's Robin Givhan derided a "peculiar color that could best be described as soap scum." WWD countered that the shades "created some of the week's steamiest moments," and Style.com called them "seductive." Most noted that the "butter soft, slinky" looks weren't exactly office-appropriate, "[b]ut what a vacation wardrobe it would be," lauded Style.com.
Watch a slideshow and video of the Donna Karan collection.
Chado Ralph Rucci
Ralph Rucci unveiled a sheer, chic collection of structured suits and layered skirts. Critics praised his foray into new fabrics, particularly "geometric insets of wool on sheer tulle." "The effect was both modern and, yes, kind of sexy," assessed Style.com. WWD noted that the labor-intensive clothes seemed to skew younger than usual, concluding, "It made for an impressive collection." Cathy Horyn of the New York Times concurred, "Somehow, the collection seemed more spontaneous and free-thinking than usual." Standouts included a black sequined jacket paired with a slim, floor-length skirt and a fuchsia party dress with back cutouts. "The clothes were light in attitude, fabric, and, above all, proportions," asserted Horyn. Overall, the collection was viewed as an creative feat from a particularly skilled designer. "Rucci makes exquisite clothes of an extraordinary quality unparalleled in New York," declared WWD.
Watch a slideshow of the Chado Ralph Rucci collection.