Having stuck to his sartorial guns for so many years, even when many abandoned the traditional suit, the tie, and the tone-on-tone look in favor of laid-back fare, Ralph Lauren has come out blazing for fall, marking the 25th anniversary of Purple Label with a look back at his traditionally tailored designs over the years.
Purple Label was, from its inception, a battle cry: Twenty-five years ago men were still wearing suits, yes, but they’d gone big and baggy, with pleat fronts and fabric pooling over shoes. Purple Label was a great act of nostalgia for a time when suits made the man, and were tailored to fit, or at least fit the way Ralph wanted, with broad shoulders, wide lapels, a contoured waist and shorter length.
To mark the moment, the designer has created a capsule of some of his tailored looks from the Nineties done in British weaves: There’s a glen plaid suit with peak lapels paired with houndstooth check socks, a double-breasted chalk stripe one and a lineup of evening looks — tuxedo jackets and tailcoats — in wool and velvet, some inspired by Scottish military uniforms.
Pieces in the collection will carry a special, 25th-anniversary label, and will be produced in a relatively limited edition.
The rest of the fall collection is just as slick, with lots of tailoring, tone-on-tone, a few more casual and offbeat pieces tossed in: Chocolate velvet or navy jackets for day or night; weathered-looking flight jackets and coats, plaid shirt jackets, cocoa suede tops and cashmere sweater coats.
In a season brimming with British weaves and woolens, and more checks than a chess tournament, this anniversary could not have fallen at a better time.