LOVE OF CARS TRANSLATES INTO FASHION
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.”