If you aren’t familiar with Greg Lauren, his name alone might lead you to believe he designs in the same vein as his uncle Ralph—classic, polished, all-American. On the contrary, the painter-turned-designer’s aesthetic could be better described as postapocalyptic urban. “It’s part artist, part nomad, part soldier,” he explained backstage. “I told the models they are all beautiful, unique, interesting creatures. The show is about individuality and the global village.”

He made good on that promise: His clothes didn’t feel particularly connected to any region in the world, and they weren’t quite like anything else presented at New York fashion week this season. They were, however, right in line with Lauren’s signatures: think billowing parkas made of pieced-together scraps of tents, sexy hip-slung cargo pants, and blanket scarves wrapped haphazardly around models’ shoulders. Those pieces have gotten him into coveted doors like Barneys and Dover Street Market. Considering the number of contemporary labels that often look the same and the fact that fashion of late can feel like one big dose of déjà vu, it’s nice to see something different on the sales floor.

That being said, Lauren has been careful not to take it too far. Common themes run through his collections, the military being one of them. This season, his sources went as far back as the Revolutionary War: “To me, that’s the past, but could also be the future.” He loosened up traditional navy military jackets—the girls’ version was extra-long and lean—but kept the gold buttons and lapels. Elsewhere, Lauren got creative with classic silhouettes and fabrics, like the well-cut blazer made from pinstripe wool and rugged vintage leather. “A huge part of every collection is mixing iconic references, but in an unusual way,” he said. That jacket worked well with matching pinstripe trousers, but would look just as cool with a pair of old jeans.

Come fall, will shoppers actually buy head-to-toe Lauren looks? Probably not. But there were lots of individual pieces that could be plucked from the runway and integrated into one’s wardrobe for a dishabille, decidedly not trendy update.

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