It’s that time again. Seasons have shifted and with it shapes, colours and layers. Fall 2017 Ready To Wear is upon us and Ralph Lauren is covering every track. The theme is timeless. He’s got classic day patterns, edgy feminine cuts for the working woman and flashy pieces for nights in the fast lane.
Picture a bright, barren garage an hour north of New York, with Ferraris and Porsches lining the middle of the runway. Now, add in soft plaids, broad shouldered coats and bold leather looks in candy apple red. This is the lifestyle that Lauren’s collections continue to create: powerful, classic, fast paced.
The looks, in any other cut or shade would be tame and repetitive. But Lauren’s intention has always been to elevate and recreate existing trends, rather than following new ones. This is especially evident in the first 15 looks, which emphasize plaid exclusively: glen, gingham, windowpane etc. The co-gendered stage shares similar looks. The men wear dress shirts, straight legged pants and overcoats – the pieces either matching in material or layered with different patterns of plaid in a strategic way. The women’s tops cut shorter, at the hip, to show off long cargo flared pants. Their jackets are bold and mirror the mens – long with dramatic, straight-edged cuts. Undeniably, it’s a uniform look with a 1960’s British inspiration; the only difference being that it votes for both men and women in power.
Lauren’s next segment is all about evening. It has a lot to say about the bold risks that upscale, everyday wearers can and should make. Tuscany yellow makes an appearance in the form of racing stripes on leather jackets and in statement, a-line overcoats for women. The men’s look sports a leather racer jacket decked out in illustrious blazer badges. These ensembles are playful but bold, and reflect the cultured, haut lifestyle that one experiences when they own a luxury vehicle such as the ones lining the runway.
Powerful, androgynous women’s wear resurfaces in black tie to remind the viewer that Ralph Lauren is about embracing cultural movements — even though he’s been behind them all along. A classic white dress shirt with a deep v, a pleated front and a strong collar is paired with flashy suspenders and gaping trousers. It’s another example of Lauren turning an expected look on it’s head in a way that demands attention and respect. Bright, complimentary coloured ballgown skirts are paired with zipped up leather jackets, and pants are lined with the same hues, coordinating again with the stage of speedy cars.
While the collection has ‘powerful woman’ threaded into every piece, it doesn’t forget to embrace the indefinite femininity that drives the affluent wearer — male or female — to feel glamorous and untouchable. Once again, Ralph Lauren’s vision and designs achieve much more than a successful collection. He puts men and women in line, together, highlighting the parallels that exist in their fashion as a reflection of the ones present in their everyday lives.