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Ever since he was a child, Ralph Lau­ren has been ob­sessed with su­per­cars. And at last he’s com­bined his pas­sion for Fer­raris and Bu­gat­tis with a stylish new fash­ion col­lec­tion. Char­lie Gowans-eglin­ton has a front-row seat

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CONTENT -

Ralph Lau­ren’s Septem­ber Col­lec­tion

‘ FOR ME, IT ’S AL­WAYS about the woman, never the dress,’ Ralph Lau­ren said. ‘It ’s the woman that gives the dress a per­son­al­ity. The way she wears it, the ac­ces­sories she chooses. It’s all about an at­ti­tude.’ For the de­signer’s Septem­ber Col­lec­tion show, he put the woman in the driver’s seat – or near it, any­way – invit­ing the world’s press to view his pri­vate car col­lec­tion in situ at his per­sonal garage in Bed­ford, New York, and send­ing mod­els wend­ing past icons of au­to­mo­tive de­sign.

The sleek, high-shine black, sil­ver, red and yel­low gowns on show took cues from the sur­round­ing su­per­cars, like Lau­ren’s gloss-black 1937 Bu­gatti Type 57SC Drop Head Coupé, a Mercedes-benz 1930 SSK ‘Count Trossi’ road­ster (only one of which was ever pro­duced) and a 1958 Fer­rari 250 Testa Rossa Spy­der.

‘I’ve al­ways loved cars, since I was a lit­tle kid in the Bronx pre­tend­ing to steer an imag­i­nary one, sit­ting on the edge of a sofa in our liv­ing room ,’ Lau­ren re­called at the show .‘ I still re­mem­ber my fa­ther’s navy blue 1949 Pon­tiac with tor­pedo fins. My first car was a Bri­tish­made Mor­gan with a leather strap over the hood. When Ricky [Lau­ren, his wife of over 50 years] and I were get­ting mar­ried, I had to sell it to pay our rent.’

Even­tu­ally he got it back, and then some. His multi bil­lion-dol­lar brand’ s VIP clients sat en­thralled as they sur­veyed the new col­lec­tion, avail­able to shop now. This au­tumn, the men in the crowd may choose to wear the smart black trousers bear­ing go-faster stripes down the side, or a well-cut suit lay­ered un­der the sort of padded jacket a rac­ing driver might shrug into af­ter his vic­tory lap. Women can opt for a full tulle skirt paired with a sculpted patent-leather bodice that echoes the curve of a clas­sic car.

Lau­ren was clear that even his most grandiose run­way looks are de­signed for use – just like the cars around them. ‘Ev­ery one of my cars is in run­ning or­der,’ he added. ‘I don’t just see them as beau­ti­ful pieces of art. I love to drive them. Each one has a dif­fer­ent sound, a dif­fer­ent feel on the road.’

Clock­wise from main im­age The model Shena Moul­ton back­stage in a look from The Septem­ber Col­lec­tion au­tumn/win­ter 2017; Ralph Lau­ren at the fi­nale of the show; Lau­ren’s sil­ver 1957 Jaguar XKSS; wait­ers rock­ing the me­chanic look

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