Models dressed in three-piece Glen plaid suits wearing top hats and carrying walking sticks heralded Ralph Lauren’s “Downton Abbey” moment. The PBS TV hit set in the early 1900s England is about the lives of aristocrats and their servants. Lauren went so far as to include the score from the show as runway music.
The designer, who is fascinated by the heritage and romance of England, played that deck to the hilt with those opening suitings -- some horsy-set luxe -- jodhpurs, tweeds, plaids, checks sometimes paired with Fair Isle sweaters, some done up in upper-crust burgundy and dark purple velvet. There were a few animal-print shearling coats, mock trophies, undoubtedly from a Colonial safari.
For blue bloods: a black-beaded distressed motorcycle jacket worn with a stiff, white wing-collar shirt and green tartan boy trousers; swanky, slim black dresses -- many with gold beading, one with a bejeweled illusion back.
A fabulous velvet smoking robe with a scarlet shearling collar conjured an aristocratic lifestyle. And for evening dinner soirees or the opera, two slim, fuchsia satin gowns, though a black fluid column topped by a black and gold Ostrich feather cape and a liquid gold-lame gown most evoked the high life.