Supermodels and supercars. Not a hetero man’s fantasy, but Ralph Lauren’s September 2017 show held out of the city in the designer’s garage. As you do. Ralph loves cars. Hence why he has a garage large enough to accommodate his collection of supercars and the world’s fashion press. But we don’t know much (anything) about cars, so on to the clothes. I want to say that it was a bit of a Ralph greatest hits. Not in the sense that he’s looking backwards – no no – rather it’s a mix of all those things that make Ralph great, here, those elements re-made with a razor sharp precision, just like those cars. So there was sportswear. Sportswear in the American sense, rather than clothes for physical exertion (we don’t do that) – houndstooth tailoring – boxy jackets worn over waistcoat-style strapless bustiers – boiler suits, clean yellow trench coats, tailored trousers that nipped the waist and flared towards the ankle. The boys were even sportier – puffa jackets and racing anoraks were worn over tuxes. There were tuxes for women, too – mannish, but cut so that they emphasised the model’s shapes. But the best thing here was the gowns, shiny, fluid organza, strapless, falling away into wide A-line skirts. They were shot through with colour – go-faster yellow, electric blue, Ferrari-red. Some were the shape of a trench coat, panelled with layers of sheer. It was a sleeker, sharper offering than Ralph of late, and all the better for it. Those Hollywood starlets front row will be scratching the eyes out of each other to get their hands on one of those gowns.
by Jack Moss