Polo Ralph Lauren’s designer men’s collections for spring are as vast and comprehensive as ever, showcasing Ralph Lauren’s unwavering sense of the good life.
All three collections, revealed to editors Wednesday, articulate the designer’s sense of elegance, privilege and vitality. Tailored clothing across all three labels boast sharp silhouettes and polish, projecting power and security, while the sportswear complements it with a consistent sense of utility and adventure.
Purple Label, the most luxurious of the collections, heralds spring with navy blue. Classic tailoring was shown in navy and a mix of pinstripes. But a man of classic tastes could show plenty of flair with a mix of furnishings and sweaters in tropical colors, and retro-modern geometric patterns.
“Purple Label is for a glamorous guy, not a trendy guy who changes silhouettes when a magazine tells him to,” said Ralph Lauren. “It’s about confidence and individuality. It’s a chic, custom-tailored guy who has money and style and a sense of individuality.” Case in point: ritzy formalwear shown with pale pink shirts.
Color has always been the key to advancing the minimalist, cosmopolitan tailored look of Black Label. This season, Westernwear details — including yokes, snaps and leather piping — make a surprising addition to the range, although Western style is a familiar cornerstone of the Ralph Lauren brand heritage. Black Label sportswear, meanwhile, has grown increasingly technical.
“The Black Label sportswear concept has always been functionality. It’s utility made sexy,” said Lauren. Modernity comes via high-tech fabrics, sheeny leathers and functional details that hint at high speeds and expensive machines.
The Polo by Ralph Lauren collection, in contrast, has a decidedly low-tech, heritage sensibility. In tailored clothing, tweedy fabrics are rendered light for spring and fashioned into professorial suits with wide-notch lapels. Houndstooth plaids are intertwined with pastel windowpane checks for a subtly playful effect.
Polo sportswear is comprised of three groups. The first features a mix of vintagey athleticwear (evocative of Ralph Lauren’s Olympic uniforms for Team USA), washed white linens and cricket-player motifs. Rounded club collars make a comeback on the shirts. Next up, a country-club group in muted colors includes a remarkable three-piece, chambray short suit. Finally, in a richly textured safari group, aged fatigues meet folkloric sweaters and dark tapestry florals.