Ralph Lauren's Spanish fiesta
Ralph Lauren s/s 2013 New York Fashion Week
Ralph Lauren has bid farewell to New York's spring/summer 2013 runways in fitting style, giving onlookers a sun-drenched escape into the heart of Spain to launch his latest collection.
As ever, directional design with a clear identity and tangible theme throughout made the show one to remember: it was Iberia through and through. And with the plains of Spain come sassy colour, sexy, feminine movement and a dash of cheeky ulterior motive.
The undisputed heavyweight of American fashion - whose various labels outfit everyone from babies to Presidents - watched on as gamine models strode in his Spanish-themed collection, wearing sleek, figure-hugging skirts, jaunty blacks hats, crocheted scarves splashed as colourful accents and demurely angled berets.
Natty red and black neckerchiefs and bold floral patterns were set off by elegant bolero jackets and platformed heels cried out to be tapped to the beat of flamenco.
Blasts of high-octane glamour saw one model with oversized black shoulder puffs adorning her scarlet gown and another with a blood-red rose attached to her ivory-clad hip.
Waists were cinched with leather belts and fastened with oversized, etched cowboy buckles at the Fashion Week finale.
Dancing ruffles vied for attention with Latin American-style rainbow stripes - ubiquitous from Guatemala to Peru - while cropped pants emblazoned with gold embellishment screamed pure, passionate matador.
It was at once chic and sophisticated and sexy and playful and - in the same way that the 72-year-old designer stuck to his Great Gatsby theme in his last two shows - we can't help but see a long Spanish summer ahead as others race to imitate the savviest of New York Fashion Week stalwarts.
Franco might well raise a disapproving eyebrow, but the rest of us are begging for more. Bravo!