Contributor: Avery Sefcik (Richmond Studio Concierge)
In my closet at home, I have roughly twenty-five button-up shirts, all neighbored next to one another in color order. I should preface this with the fact that this closet is quite large, and like everything else in my life, quite obsessively structured: all shirts are hung on wooden hangers, and all rather well-pressed. Tees are followed by polo shirts, dress shirts, slacks and suits. No less than sixteen boxes of shoes are neatly displayed beneath said hangers, labels out as to make choices less time consuming. Should someone dare to rummage through this pristinely-packed hodgepodge of purchases, they would have to conclude that – judging by the rest of the home – the man not only lives beyond his means, but has a simple, classic taste; no choices are too flashy, but all could still be relevant or attractive 10, even 20 years down the road. Like a classic grey suit worn by Cary Grant, some fashions simply never go out of style.
One designer whose style and aesthetic I epitomize is Ralph Lauren. From his homes, to his cars, to this clothing, Ralph Lauren has an impeccable, archetypal sense of taste: His clothing is vibrant and well-fitted, his homes are richly detailed and his cars (a collection of over 30, classic and exotic) are pristine, vintage and unbelievably rare. However, what I found interesting while reading my massive RALPH LAUREN biography the other night, was how he compares trends in clothing, interior design and automobile design.
Like his clothing, his cars are works of art, with their sheet metal pulled taught across some of the most gorgeous bodies ever sculpted: the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic, the 1956 Mercedes 300 SL (affectionately known as the “Gullwing” because of its glorious wing-like doors), and the dazzling red Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.
Lauren’s home interior design is similarly glamorous. His furniture is richly crafted, with polished gleaming metals starkly contrasting with aged leather and beautiful woods. Lauren has a way of styling his interiors to look like glamorous movie sets, and yet they always have an air of supreme comfort as well. Creating such harmony between fashion and comfort is a daunting task to any interior designer.
And as far as his clothing, we are all quite familiar with his famous ‘Polo’ shirt, available in infinite colors and styles. But Ralph Lauren’s style goes much further than casual luxuries like $75 Polo shirts and $100 weathered khakis. His stellar gowns and magnificently detailed evening wear for men have been worn by nearly every A-lister in Hollywood, and immediately upon viewing have an air of old Hollywood glamour and refinement.
His creations are never crude or vulgar. Instead his work is exquisitely detailed, impeccably crafted and elegantly styled. Think back with me to what our parents wore in the 60’s and 70’s: wild colors, unkempt hair and absurdly large cuffs at the hem of their pants. Now think back to a suit worn by Sean Connery as 007, or a cocktail dress Audrey Hepburn donned in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. There is something to be said of classic design because it is enduring, it is comforting and it is, in any century, timeless. In such a time of tumult and uncertainty, timelessness certainly is worth its weight in gold. And Lauren, indeed, is a gleaming beacon of such shimmering rarity.