I was browsing through the Style section of the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, and I was STARSTRUCK by a full page ad for Ralph Lauren’s new Spring 2011 Collection looks (which I am describing as Urbane Cowboy).
I have loved Ralph Lauren’s Western fashions from the very first time I set eyes on them years ago. Ralph loves “Western” too and uses elements of cowboy style often in his collections.
Along with many other antique collectors, I have found that you can create the “look” by using the original elements of his designs. For instance, buying a concho belt seems to be a must whether worn with denim or gold lame’. Years ago, I bought an antique concho belt from a southwestern dealer at the Palmer/Wirfs Antique Show. I paid the earth for it, but have worn it for many years and could sell it now and get back my money’s worth. A reproduction belt would work just fine too.
Another item, Ralph is using this year is lace–either scarves, blouses, dresses or skirts. I have acquired all sorts of laces in my collecting journey–much from a wonderful shop in Salem called… and Old Lace, owned by Elizabeth Southwell. The shop is no longer there but Elizabeth converted many of us to wearing beautiful laces. I have bought laces also at Stars, estate sales, flea markets, and antique shops.
Ralph also uses lace as an embellishment on clothing as seen on the jacket below….
All this got me thinking about all the vintage accessories I have accumulated over the years….so I rummaged through my closets and put together the following outfits:
A lace skirt I had sewn from either curtain or tablecloth fabric bought years ago at an antique show.
An embellished linen jacket that I had trimmed with antique lace. This was done for me years ago by my friend and expert seamstress, Celia Mason.
A straw hat trimmed with velvet, old silk roses, lace scarves, belt, and 1990′s Victorian cotton dress…
I have worn all these garments over the years at different antique shows and parties. I have discovered that antique collectors, in general, have a good time using vintage items to create their own style–it goes hand in hand after all, and of course it is fun!!!!
Here are my choices for elements of Ralph Lauren’s Urbane Cowboy look:
Leather–belts, boots, shoes, purse, jackets
Denim–shirts, pants, skirts, jackets,
Silver jewelry–beads, turquoise
Lace (no polyester please!!!)–cotton or silk–handdone would be wonderful
White cotton shirts, skirts, blouses, dress (%100 per cent please).
(*Note: Ralph says no cowboy hats–too gimmicky)
It’s nice to know these things are in fashion again, but of course, that really doesn’t matter to me–because I think personal style is timeless.
Signing off with no cowboy hat off to Ralph!!!