Ralph Lauren was in a nautical state of mind for his Spring/Summer 2016 collection. But instead of sticking to tried and true sailor inspired styles, the designer smartly broadened the scope of his seafaring show.
The collection started out with pieces that felt familiar as they reworked classic sartorial elements of this particular theme. There were the blue and white stripped tops, the captain's cap, the gold buttoned navy blazer. But once he got those staples out of his system, Lauren began to play with the fluidity of fabrics, bright color blocking, and sporty shapes that elegantly inferred the sailing idea rather than hitting the audience over the head with it.
The vibrant flags that are often raised up the rigging of sailing boats became a chic kaleidoscope of color print that the designer crafted into shirts, trench coats, and long dresses. The movement of water was implied on a show stopping gown worn by this season's it model Lineisy Montero – its floating navy bandeau top designed so that the color flowed down and over the skirt like a wave sliding over a white sandy beach. The pristine beauty of white sails, pregnant with a hot summer wind, became voluminous outerwear, while the red, white, and blue color palette of the collection gave the entire show a rather patriotic slant.
It was also nice to see Lauren getting a bit more experimental. His choice to cut a classic blue blazer or tailored caramel suit in glossy leathers was an unexpected treat. And with the sporty, sexy cutaway at the bodice, his evening dresses will surely tempt a younger customer base. Perhaps the only off note was the music that accompanied the show. Instead of something fresh and zesty, it was a soothing melody that could almost rock a viewer to sleep.
This was a fine expansive show that will only have smooth sailing ahead as these pieces take port in the wardrobes of stylish women everywhere.