Inspired by the smoky mystery of the Far East, Ralph Lauren gave us a little Shanghai surprise this morning. With a soft version of David Bowie's "China Girl" playing in the background, models emerged in mostly black, often lustrous ensembles accessorized with jade earrings and red lacquered heels. The silhouettes remained classic — halter dresses, tuxedos, shawl coats — but he achieved a dramatic, sexy mood via rich satiny fabrics and sparkling details. There was ornate beading on dresses, including a black dress that shone from being covered entirely in black beads, wrap dresses done in a luxurious garnet-hued panné velvet, and a double-breasted suit in shantung silk that inspired visions of Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express. Ralph had his menswear moment as well, showing pinstripe trousers with a jade green silk top and sharply tailored tuxedos. It may not be a vision of the China that exists today, but it was one fun, romantic trip east on the Ralph train.

* Trends: Asian influence, evening wear, jumpsuits, tuxedos.
* Colors: Black, red, emerald green, purple.
* Key Looks: An emerald green satin gown was made for the red carpet.
* Accessories: Jade jewelry, platform red lacquered heels.
* Who Would Wear It: Women looking for exotic allure; red-carpet celebs.

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