When it comes to seasons, I know it is autumn/winter I look forward to the most. But when asked to name designers closest to my heart, I always forget to mention Ralph Lauren, even though he never fails to present one of the best collections of my favourite fashion season.
Whether it’s the understated luxe I tend to overlook, or the lack of pieces that make it into the glossies as a regular reminder, I’m not sure. Note to self: value Ralph Lauren a/w collections more, much more.
This coming season - surprise, surprise - we will be finding excuses to get out and dust down old ‘n’ trusty velvet jackets, trousers, suede coats, a few staples in tweed, in all those deep earthy colours of the night.
First, I’m happy to announce jodhpurs are back in vogue before they were even out – used wisely, they can be more than flattering (remember Balenciaga a/w 2007).
Second, all key outfits included velvet, suede or tweed as mentioned, in forest green, berry, earth brown, navy or black.
Based on the cuts, this collection is Victorian countryside (puff sleeves, high button-ups, structured coats and jackets) meets the 1970s (slouchy tops, maxi dresses, cape-like shapes and suede boots) somewhere deep in the woods, firmly held together by timeless, vintage-look leather accessories.
This could be just any season, you’d think, but the answer to that are this year’s floral prints on tunics and dresses, a combination of floaty and heavy fabrics, the leopard print, the knits, the sheepskin gilet, the biker trousers, the luxe coats, the list goes on.
Those who know me will have an idea of the deep connection between me and the sort of clothes Ralph Lauren sends down the catwalk for any cold season.
The soft, dark side of both feminine (all things gothic have been with us for years) and masculine looks (a winter’s take on the so-now subtle utility, with a historic twist) will draw you in, and will present, as ever, an alternative to city wear.
Go now, with the blessings of all free folk wandering the dark, damp forest, and find what you need at Ralph Lauren, on the high street or in your vintage shop. But before you do that, make sure you look in the back of your own - or someone else' - closet.