Ralph Lauren: Black, White & Bright

The designer presented a collection on Thursday morning punctuated by retro-shapes, black and white prints, and bright dresses for evening.

For the final day of New York Fashion Week, show-goers were faced with the "Big Three:" collections from Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs. What a lineup.

Lauren's show, held early Thursday at St. John's Center Studio in SoHo, gave audiences a morning jolt: strong, black and white prints and color-blocks opened the show, coming in mod silhouettes, on tennis sweaters, on mini-skirts, and on striped jackets. Models wore black knee-socks with patent leather Mary Janes and thick neckties. It all felt a little Sixites-British-school girl meets Harry Potter.

Then, more than 20 looks into the collection came the color -- and lots of it. There were bright greens, yellows, oranges, and reds -- all marching down the runway. Summer suddenly felt very bright. Ever lady-like, though, the shocking neon mini-dresses perfectly matched tiny handbags and sandals, and a few wrap-around black sunglasses.

For evening, there were fragile silk evening dresses, in acid-green, deep blue, and orange -- for the girl who, undoubtedly, wants to stand out at the party.

Then came the final third of the show: back to black and whites for evening, with a few vibrant reds thrown in. Lauren even introduced a white jumpsuit with a plunging neckline, and a formal black suit and coordinating necktie for women. The two show-stoppers, however, were a red dress with a deep-v neck and one with a long, dramatic cape which flew behind the model as she glided down the runway.

When the designer came out to take his final bow -- himself in black and white -- his family, including wife Ricky, daughter Dylan, son David, and daughter-in-law Lauren Bush, all immediately gave him a standing ovation.