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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 Review: Ralph Lauren's English remix

February 17, 2012 |  9:45 am


For New York Fashion Week's resident patrician, Ralph Lauren, "Downton Abbey"-as-inspiration was a natural. As soon as the music from the TV show started up on the soundtrack, we all knew we were headed for the tweedy English countryside.

All the classics were here -- the three-piece suits, jodhpur pants, smoking jackets, silk ascots, pocket squares, top hats and walking sticks -- along with some dandy surprises, including rainbow-hued Fair Isle sweaters that keyed into fall's bright color trend, leopard-print coats, argyle socks and jeweled feather brooches, which made the collection fresh and fun.


With the tailored pieces, I liked how Lauren styled different sizes of Prince of Wales and houndstooth checks in one outfit. And the red velvet on a pantsuit was as rich as fine upholstery. Chunky, gold chain necklaces and heels with gold filigree details were nice additions, as were luxe crocodile mini-attache cases and doctor's bags.


For evening, there's nothing more chic than the combination of black-and-gold -- a gold-embroidered, cable-knit cardigan over black pants, for example; a black bias-cut gown with ropes of crystal beading like jewelry down the back, worn with heels with gold filigree details; or a black-and-gold ostrich feather cape.

If only "Downton Abbey" actually looked this good.

-- Booth Moore in New York


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Photos: Pieces from the Ralph Lauren fall 2012 collection. Credits: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press, except middle right by Peter Foley / EPA