Ralph Lauren Spring 2017 Menswear
Ralph Lauren is a reed that bends in the wind but he is forever Ralph Lauren. America’s pre-eminent designer has streamlined his brand architecture and is now going through a process of more profound corporate restructure: Yet in his Milano palazzo today the 2017 archetype of Purple Label masculinity was serenely assured. This presentation, which demanded its models loiter on three steps like a huge collection of eclectically outfitted groomsmen, was notable for its lack of Wall Street formal suiting.
We started our pan from right to left with a cluster of all-blue looks; gorgeous garment-dyed silk linen suits, all silk suits, silk gabardine separates. Then a switch to gray via air-spun cashmere sweaters in herringbone or served plain worn under a lovely technically-lined tropical weight wool parka with bonded seams which, team Lauren assured, offered total wickability. A pair of fine gauge wool Bermuda shorts were injected with elastene, skinny jean style, to offer a bit of give. One sweater was teamed with a pair of wide-legged, proudly pressed white linen pants that, had the look not come shod by espadrilles, would have demanded a reprise of Channing Tatum’s On The Town tribute tap in Hail, Caesar!
Then an eddy uptown, to tuxedo jackets and complementary knits in art deco jacquards; a cardigan and sweater both bore monochrome imprints of the great soaring contours of turn-of-the-last-century New York architecture. Then, acceleration; a sports-driven section was fronted by a white mesh jacket—“suspension mesh”, apparently. Also “yes, please” was a blue, breathable neoprene hybrid of donkey jacket and duffel coat. Cut left again to the Evelyn Waugh sub-section; scarves in poppy paisley–accented sweaters in Aran-esque stripes of interestingly out-of-time pulsating color. At the last it was liftoff in an olive, military touched section headlined by an embroidered RL flight suit. This was commanding stuff.