As spring is approaching, I’ve got one collection on my mind: Ralph Lauren‘s spring-summer 2003 line-up. This one is like wine – it gets better with time. On the 20th of September in 2002, in the middle of New York Fashion Week, Lauren pitched an enormous muslin-draped tent, filled with white cushions, huge candles and twinkling crystal chandeliers – in the lush walled gardens of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Entering the building, the audience was met with trays of champagne, while the smell of tuberose and the strains of Erik Satie wafted through the evening air. If that wasn’t enough to induce a romantic swoon, the clothes would have done the trick. Lauren loves the womanly silhouette of the fin-de-siècle, with its nipped waist and curving hips. For spring he chose to highlight that silhouette with regal fabrics like damask, jacquard and silk moire, made into curvy jackets, bustiers and vests, and shown with creamy linen or silk trousers or light, pretty skirts. There were great leather pieces, gilded or printed with a wallpaper floral, and beautiful, skin-baring silk chiffon dresses. While Lauren makes no secret of his love for the past, that season he was resolutely modern: for evening, he showed a beaded top with a floor-length bustle skirt made from very distressed blue denim. This feels so good in 2022!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.