Every Ralph Lauren show feels a little like a retrospective — after all, the designer has been tilling the same soil for decades, a nostalgic plot of land that I actually have a warm feeling for, although this season this particular garden was more successfully planted by Anna Sui. In case you missed the point of all the suede fringe and crocheted dresses, Ralph inscribes the numerals “1967” on the back of one of his leather vests. Still, just because it isn’t exactly revolutionary doesn’t mean a lot of it isn’t pretty, though one hopes that the short neo-Victorian jackets with leg-o-mutton sleeves won’t be worn by muttons dressed as lambs around the country club pool at Palm Springs next summer.
Ladies of a certain age will be better served by Isaac Mizrahi, who mounts a big show in a big tent and opens with some nice if unthrilling frocks in this season’s now ubiquitous white (boo) but soon morphs into a mushy flowered print covered with a layer of tulle (yay). A group of dresses distinguished by smocking lifted from little girls' best outfits have the kind of winsome American charm that the designer is famous for, though even a Brooklyn boy like Mizrahi can take a trip to Europe — his black strapless dress has a giant screen-printed bow straight out of the Martin Margiela playbook.
The downtown style icon who calls herself Lady Fag turns to me after the Jeremy Laing show and says, “I need a pair of leather batwing shorts!” If she does, this is the place to get them, along with a number of garments with dangling pieces of fabric that will require a careful wearer — remember what happened to Isadora Duncan when her trailing scarf met a Bugatti?
It’s a thrill to sit next to Lady Fag, who is clad in a pair of sheer Laing leggings — they’re both from Canada — and with a pair of shoes so perilous that she confesses she’s racked up hundreds of dollars in cab fares this week — who could even stand up, let alone make it down the subway stairs, in these things?
My brief conversation with Lady Fag reminds me of all the other fabulous looks I’ve seen this week — in the audience, I mean. To paraphrase Lenny Bruce — in the halls of fashion, the only (real) fashion is in the halls. So here’s to the two flappers who stopped me to chat at the Lincoln Center fountain, and the guy who looks like a Sherpa with the hand-painted jackets and golden trousers and matching cap who is always at the shows but no one knows why. When a woman of my acquaintance, dressed halfway between a geisha and a pasha, crashes a front-row set at Anna Sui, I am at first annoyed — she isn’t even invited and there she sits, beaming, in a better seat than I have! But then I decide that maybe she does deserve that perch after all — it’s the true lovers of fashion, cobbling together their fantastical fantasy looks and then venturing out to face the world, that really keep this business alive.
Most Viewed Stories
Everything We Know About Brad Pitt’s Plane Incident
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
Jaden Smith on the Many Subtle Flavors of Water
Kim Kardashian Might Vote for Donald Trump
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
If You See Brad Pitt As a Fallen Hero, It’s Because the Rules Have Changed
Kylie Jenner’s Getting Sucked Into Tyga’s Debt Problems
Taylor Swift’s Squad Begged Kim Kardashian for Mercy
Bask in the Glory of This Dramatic Email Sent to a UCLA Freshman by Her Future Roommate
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.