Ralph Lauren, 1984

Josie Borain for Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 1984

Not since the days of Courr eges and the miniskirt has an idea taken such a firm hold on the fashion world. The idea – for fall and winter – is men’s clothes for women, and it looks like one whose time has come. It emerged full blown in the collection of Calvin Klein early in the week, and subsequent showings have proved how suitable it is for sportswear today.

The only problem is that perhaps there should be more than one concept going. Nothing has yet appeared that is nearly as forceful. Designers have adapted the men’s concept in different ways, with varying success. But it is quite clear that the essential fashion for the cool-weather months is a big coat with broad shoulders, one that resembles a man’s overcoat.

Ralph Lauren has his share of these coats, some of them more slender and graceful than most of the genre. There is a gentle quality to Mr. Lauren’s styles, signaled by the antique diamante pins and the lace edges on the sweaters, another ubiquitous contemporary fashion. Still, his jackets are oversize, his trousers cuffed, like anyone else’s.

– By BERNADINE MORRIS in THE MANNISH LOOK TAKES OVER for the NYT, May 4, 1984

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