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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Ralph Lauren: Bear versus Bare

Suzy Menkes at New York Fashion Week: Day Seven

20 Февраля 2015

The first half of Ralph Lauren’s show was compelling; so perfectly realised in its haze of cappuccino-coloured cashmere and fur, with tribal details and a Brave Heart feeling about these noble women. 

But if big bear country was one half of this show on the last day of the New York Fall/Winter 2015 season, the second part was about being bare. 

The colours switched from soft moss green to hard black for slim dresses with naked backs and thin halter straps. They brought the mood right back to a cocktail party on the Upper East Side. 

Perky tuxedos fitted to the figure were perfectly done, but a reprise of familiar Ralphwear. 

“It’s all about freedom — there is the sexy bare girl and the one who wants to be to be a bit Bohemian,” Ralph explained backstage, after extracting himself from his extended family and from Kanye West, who pronounced the show “perfection”. 

Lovely as the final column of glitter was, with its classy cut that was quintessentially Ralph, in the fight between bare and bear I was far more engaged by the opening chapter. 

What could be more enticing than soft turtleneck sweaters, which the programme described as “heathered truffle cashmere”? The tactile materials in every shade of beige and moss were complemented with lush fur or even feathers in those fawn and taupe autumnal country colours. 

Combinations of suede and knit, worn with Lone Ranger hats, fringed boots or bags and tribal ethnic jewellery, were an echo of great Lauren days on the Prairie — but this time in the Pocono Mountains. 

I would have liked to see this ultra-sophisticated vision of winter – an outdoorsy glamour that even included a cashmere onesie — carried on through to the evening. But Ralph is right: Women not only have different and highly personal visions, but now have the liberty to choose their own dreamscape.

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