Instead of training their smartphones on Jacob Elordi or one of the K-pop stars converging on the European men’s shows, guests at the Ralph Lauren Purple Label presentation on Friday shooed people away from the modified 1952 Jaguar XK120 parked in the entrance foyer of Lauren’s Milan showroom. They all wanted a clear shot of its gleaming, aerodynamic curves and the futuristic Perspex bubble sheltering the pilot seat.
It turns out this arresting-looking vehicle is not part of Lauren’s fabled car collection. “He’s got the convertible version. He doesn’t drive it with the bubble,” David Lauren clarified inside, where models wearing the spring collection lined the walls of the sumptuous salons.
Gazing at these handsome men in their pinstriped linen pants, shawl-collared jackets, crested robes, taut hand-knit sweaters and monogrammed velvet loafers, one imagined them boarding a yacht in Positano, strolling into a wedding in Ravello — or stepping off the screen of some Old Hollywood classic.
Bedraggled fashion editors who had perspired through their black T-shirts and burnt their foreheads at the outdoor Valentino show earlier got a little taste of the good life — perfectly chilled summer wines proffered on silver trays, flower arrangements the size of Fiat 500s, and oil paintings stacked up all the way to the ceiling.
In this context, the tropical-print espadrilles, colorful linen trousers and crisp tuxedo jackets made perfect sense — an oasis of elegance and idealized glamor.
Lauren remains a master of aspirational lifestyle marketing, and his luxurious spring 2024 collection, dubbed “Dolce Vita,” perfectly evoked what the designer described in an earlier preview with WWD — the “romance of a sun-soaked holiday spent along the Amalfi coast.”
And then it was off to some stuffy, far-flung industrial warehouse and the hectic, sweat-soaked business of Milan fashion week.