Ralph Lauren: Purple and Black Collection

One stands in awe of the Ralph Lauren offering, even as it expands to devour the fashion universe. For a business that is so huge, there is a reassuring amount of personality in the three men's collections and they're growing more distinctive by the season.

This time around, the same sort of alchemy also applied to the more conservative Purple and Black collections. With Purple, color was the key; paisleys and bright hues were played against tailored pieces. And with the suits, there was a new emphasis on lightness. Ralph's own predilections were evident in trousers tied at the waist with a spotted tie, à la Gary Cooper. True, it was a stylist's touch, but so what, if that inspires you to play with the clothes. Lauren certainly provided plenty to work with.

The Black collection adopted menswear's narrower silhouette some time ago the high armhole, the skinny, flat front pant. The silhouette was emphasized even more when it was shown as a monochrome combination of double breasted suit, shirt, and tie in the same optical blue tone. But for Spring, the tailoring was complemented by an energetic toughness in the accompanying sportswear.


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