NEW YORK (AP) — Ralph Lauren's runway show happened to come around the height of Thursday's winter snowstorm, with a fierce wind whipping down the Greenwich Village streets near his showroom to such an extent that some people were taking cover against the sides of buildings, and shielding their faces from sleet.
Once they got to the building, they had to climb over mounds of powdery snow. Pity — or admire? — those who still felt they should arrive in fashionable heels.
Like Ashley Kozel from Sarasota, Fla., dressed in Louboutin pumps. "It's fashion over function," said Kozel, who had actually hitched a ride on her boyfriend's back for a few yards to avoid stepping in the ice and snow.
Most people made the more practical choice, wearing chunky snow boots or at least rubber rain boots. But come they did, undeterred by the conditions.
For their troubles, they were awarded with not one fashion show, but two. First on the runway was Lauren's new, casual Polo collection. Then came his more glamorous Women's Collection.
In casual clothes, Lauren featured sweaters in bright colors — bright orange or neon green, for example — with short leather skirts. An orange quilted parka seemed warm enough to wear out into the storm. A tan leather fringe jacket was more autumn-like. A black motorcycle jacket bore whimsical patches like one for Penzoil.
Shoes included clog sandals, hiking boots, and black patent Mary Janes.
Then came the more formal collection: Flannel suits, cashmere coats and jackets in colors like pale pink and cream, a shearling cape, a "Mongolian lamb" wrap. The shorter dresses were paired with tight-fitting, over-the-knee boots.
A series of evening dresses were strikingly simple, focusing on the quality of form and fabric: They came in lavender crepe, pearl gray flannel, silk in pale pink or in a gorgeous gray shade.
Actress Kim Basinger was effusive afterward, even teary.
"I was invited by the Lauren family, and I am just so thrilled, I mean ... I've loved him for so many years... I've loved everything he's done from vintage to, my God, this show. It took my breath away."
While Lauren's runway show didn't include any of the U.S. Olympic team uniforms he designed, he did come out at the end wearing his Team USA boots — very practical for the weather, indeed.
AP writer Gina Abdy contributed to this report.