LONG BEFORE SUCCESSION SENT THE TERM tumbling into the fashion lexicon, Ralph Lauren was the original propagator of ‘quiet luxury’.
On Friday, the brand presented its latest Purple Label collection during Milan Men’s Fashion Week, with a central focus on Made-in-Italy and European craftsmanship. Purple Label has long been regarded as the pinnacle of the brand’s offerings. If regular Ralph Lauren is reflective of quiet luxury (or ‘old money’ — whatever you want to call it), it is in a league entirely of its own.
Titled Ralph’s Dolce Vita, the collection was inspired by the romance of a sun-soaked holiday on the Amalfi Coast, offering a welcome sartorial escape for those of us stuck in the Australian winter while our friends, colleagues and seemingly everyone else jet off on their European Summer trips. With that being said, this is not to be compared to the Euro Summer hauls and lad’s trips to Zante populating your social media feeds. Rather, Ralph Lauren spring 2024 was a capsule of timeless glamour, presenting a wardrobe fit for modern globetrotters and Old Hollywood icons alike.
With a centuries-old villa serving as the backdrop for the presentation, the brand debuted a drop ready-made for the next James Bond film (should Bond find himself in a summery location, at least), A-list event or gentleman’s holiday. Of course, there was immaculate tailoring; navy pinstripes, camel colours, black blazers and a smattering of yellow and green trousers. Then there was the more casual wear, in fitted jackets, loosened slightly at the shoulders, lather bombers, cardigans, high-collared coats and a gown stitched with the signature monograph on the breast pocket. There was even a pair of pink, floral boardshorts fit for the flamboyant swimmer. We saw a brief glimpse of linen, too, as well as silks, amid an unusually bright colour palette.
Ralph Lauren may have been paying homage to a summer vacation, but this was a sophisticated gentleman’s take on such.
While inspired by different ideas, destinations and muses, each Ralph Lauren collection is bound by the same strong sense of identity. They possess the signature sense of understated luxury for which the brand has become beloved.
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