The veteran designer showed red carpet-ready gowns and a bevy of far-from-basic black.
How fitting that on Valentine's Day Ralph Lauren showed his romantic, bohemian side: tiered taffeta skirts and purple silk velvet, tasseled booties and bead-draped gowns, Mary Poppins carpet bags and a shearling/feathered bolero in forest green. (There was no pink here and only touches of obvious Valentine's red: under collars and at wrists.)
Lauren layered textures to luxe effect: embroidered vests over silk blouses, distressed jackets over herringbone vests over cashmere turtlenecks, with thick brown belts to rein it all in. (Other adornments were yanked from the military: epaulets, officers' stripes, braiding.)
The designer underscored his status as one of fashion's kings of effortless contrast, beginning with those antler-and-crystal chandeliers: a cream cable knit sweater was paired with a black organza skirt, sturdy shrunken jackets and dark leather boots were mixed with sumptuous velvet dresses in wine and violet. And the finale gowns in tulle and taffeta? They were crowned by black fur hats.
The holiday was honored in a more literal way, too: At audience members' seats were boxes of chocolate from daughter Dylan Lauren's Candy Bar.
Dylan, along with mom Ricky, brother David and sister-in-law Lauren Bush Lauren, gave a standing ovation to her dad, who walked out in a cream fisherman's sweater and navy sailor pants to a smile from Anna Wintour.
Aw, fashion love.