LOVE OF CARS TRANS­LATES INTO FASH­ION

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By WANG LINYAN in New York wan­glinyan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ralph Lau­ren loves cars. And this year for the first time he pre­sented his Fall 2017 Run­way Col­lec­tion in his garage in Bed­ford, on the out­skirts of New York City, which houses some of the world’s rarest cars. As mod­els walked around his auto col­lec­tion on Tues­day night be­fore an au­di­ence of about 300 in­vited guests, the cars’ de­sign de­tails came to life in sculpted leather and high-gloss silk clothes, two sig­na­ture ma­te­ri­als of his new Run­way Col­lec­tion.

Tra­di­tional hound­stooth and Glen plaid were reimag­ined in fem­i­nine pro­por­tions. From the ar­chi­tec­tural lines of his Fall 2017 Col­lec­tion to his iconic Pur­ple La­bel de­signs, the per­fectly tai­lored sil­hou­ette is a Ralph Lau­ren sig­na­ture.

Lau­ren said in an in­ter­view with China Daily that the theme of the show is “my car show”, a mix of art and cars. “Artsy cars are not only art, but tech­nol­ogy, speed, sexy.” Ralph Lau­ren, fash­ion de­signer

Lau­ren said he be­lieves fash­ion has no age fash­ion, whether it’s cars, clothes or food.

Born in the Bronx, New York, the 77-year-old Lau­ren (who changed his last name from Lif­shitz) said he al­ways had his own style as a young boy.

“When I was grow­ing up, most of my friends were wear­ing mo­tor­cy­cle jack­ets, rock and roll was very pop­u­lar, but I was al­ways very clas­sic, preppy and that was un­usual for the time,” he re­called.

In his youth, he was good at bas­ket­ball and base­ball and was in­spired by sports. “And I think I was al­ways watch­ing movies. You know, when you are a young per­son, you don’t have the money to travel and go out. When you are grow­ing up, movies, books and magazines are very in­spir­ing and a very im­por­tant time for that,” he said.

“So you’ve got a pic­ture of the world, a pic­ture of things that you never saw. I never saw th­ese cars. I never saw some of the clothes. I was in­spired by what I saw, in­spired by John F. Kennedy, some of the Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, but he (Kennedy) was al­ways very im­por­tant to us in many ways.”

Lau­ren’s first car was a Mor­gan, an English sportscar. It’s a 1960s car, but looks like a 1930s car, and “has no age”. It’s a rus­tic, rugged car. And he still drives it with his fam­ily.

He said he drives his cars made in the 1930s as well as now and en­joys both.

As a de­signer who has had many firsts — among them, the first Amer­i­can de­signer to won Coty Awards for both menswear and wom­enswear in the same year and the first de­signer to have an in-store bou­tique in Bloom­ing­dale’s depart­ment store — Lau­ren knows what he wants.

“I have a pub­lic com­pany. I have a com­pany that I think 50 years in fash­ion in­dus­try in America is a ma­jor thing, and I think it’s con­stantly re­new­ing my­self, con­stantly be­ing tuned, but know­ing who we are, know­ing what the di­rec­tion is, know­ing what our coun­try is about, what the world is about,” he said.

“And the world is very small, so whether it’s China, America or Eng­land, very strong sim­i­lar­ity in taste and ideas.” He’s also look­ing East. “I think China will be a won­der­ful mar­ket for us. And I’d like to be more known in China,” he said. “I know the Chi­nese like the story be­hind the de­signer and want to know where he came from what his fam­ily likes, so I think I have a story there, true and hon­est, and how I started. And I think it’s in­ter­est­ing. I think the Chi­nese mar­ket is very con­tem­po­rary and very right for Ralph Lau­ren.”

The day after his fall col­lec­tion was pre­sented in the garage, at his 888 Madison Av­enue flag­ship store an­other of Lau­ren’s cars — a 1960 250GT Ferrari Spi­der — was on dis­play in the cen­ter of the ground floor area for a lim­ited time.

“Beau­ti­ful” and “gor­geous” were the buzz­words from guests, not for the bril­liant red car, but for Lau­ren’s “auto in­spi­ra­tions’’ — sweaters, dresses, jack­ets and ball gowns from the pre­vi­ous night’s run­way show. if it’s good

“Time­less­ness doesn’t mean it’s old... Time­less means it al­ways looks bet­ter with age. It keeps look­ing good.”

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