flashes in the pan

I am not a major fan of metallics in clothing, especially when it's a fabric in a metallic colour - golding beading on a blouse or a dress covered in gold sequins I can still handle. So it was a bit of a surprise when I browsed through Ralph Lauren's spring collection, and found that my favourite looks were metallic pieces (though the rest of the mainly black and white collection looked quite nice, the first Ralph Lauren collection I'ved liked in ages).

Earlier on I rhapsodised a bit about this gorgeous jacket -

Apart from the hue (a great pewter rather than silver) and the fit of the jacket, I liked that it was shown with white, which makes a less trashy ensemble than one would imagine. White has a way of making metallics look right for day - very casual glam.

Then there were these capris -

Pairing it with a breezy white oversized tuxedo shirt is almost surprisingly edgy for Ralph Lauren, though I suppose this look wouldn't look out of place on a older, still-glamorous socialite vacationing in some tropical locale - maybe Lauren Hutton, maybe Marisa Berenson, maybe even Aerin Lauder, on someone's fabulous yacht party.

In any case, the fit of those capris is perfectly in tune with the look of the moment, and probably the closest Ralph Lauren will ever come to doing that leggings-with-floaty-top so popular with the edgy downtown-types at the moment. Either it was a complete accident or Mr Lauren was having a particularly spot-on rethink of a trend. Optimistically thinking, I prefer that it was the latter.

Okay this is sort of younger, fresher, more effortless version of a look I once saw and loved on Sharon Stone, when she wore her then-husband's shirt with a pewter satin floorlength Vera Wang skirt to some Hollywood event.

The white shirt and glitzy skirt thing is timeless, but it's a look I never thought I would attempt (when will I EVER attend a gala, really) until I spotted this look here. Love the loose-ish tuxedo shirt - I've been wanting one for ages, but had no luck finding anything like it - love the slightly-above-the-knee skirt with just enough swing, just love the effortless styling of it all.

Okay flapper dresses are hard to do without looking like you're dressing a costume drama set in the 1920s and frankly, even the way Ralph Lauren does it here isn't particularly successful in not looking too much like a costume. But then I think with the right shoes (maybe something black and patent), and somewhat less delicate styling, the dress actually really works.

The tank worn beneath is a nice and practical touch, and it's amazing how a dress in such a pretty and fine fabric manages not to look over-sweet.

This more-literal adaption of a flapper dress (I'm really liking these this season, maybe I am getting over my obsession with forties-style frocks) reminds me of the Prada dresses circa spring 2006, and typically, the whole lame thing would turn me off, but maybe in the context of a whole Ralph Lauren show, it somehow doesn't look as trashy as I would imagine.

I think styling is important here - if Christina Aguilera worked her whole platinum blonde, red lips and lacy lingerie thing here with the dress, it would supremely costume-y and wrong. Literal adaptions of the twenties' flapper look is what did it in. The clean, simple, fresh faced look here at Ralph Lauren rescues it from that somewhat, and the demure cut of the dress is a nice contrast to the showiness of the silver. So it works for me.

Here are a few other metallic looks that stood out for this New York season -

Vera Wang

Behnaz Sarafpour

Jason Wu

All pictures taken from style.com


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