Jeremi Suliga for RALPH LAUREN fw18
The presentation of the Ralph Lauren Purple Collection played out as five tableaux vivants arranged according to different dress groupings, although each model’s attire was no less aspirational than the last. There was tone-on-tone tailoring that juxtaposed black and ivory houndstooth with Glen plaid; a similar monochromatic story in shades of gray conceived for weekends; activewear looks in khaki green and orange boasting RLX performance elements; an evening contingent well represented by Black Watch tartan and velvet; and finally, a military theme inspired by vintage garments and insignias that made novel of naval. Within each carefully composed ensemble were details that would do the legendary founder proud, but just as important, will also be appreciated by anyone who still values a sartorial approach—whether a dinner jacket with frog closures, or a gray flannel pant shown a half-dozen ways. Of course, in order that these standbys uphold an authentic Ralph Lauren attitude, they needed to suggest polish without pretension. In a few cases, the statement edged towards overdress—not in terms of formality so much as too much look (a Spencer jacket or captain’s jacket with gold cord, for instance). But then someone from the team happened to mention that the pronounced pieces usually prove the most popular, and perhaps this makes sense. Who would happily settle for another regular sweater when the ones from Purple Label span from regiment to ranch? The Norwegian construction of hand-polished boots must surely feel different. Back to sweaters: The second-to-last one in the lookbook features Lauren’s face as an illustration from a famous photograph. Apparently, it was created as a gift among the internal team before everyone realized it deserved to be put out into the world. As specific as the subject is, the appeal seems universal.