• Ralph Lauren

    Top Drawer | Music & Books  

    This eponymous 40th anniversary book sits as the crown jewel in my makeshift coffee table. At an impressive 11 1/2” x 15”, this profound volume shares intimate reflections of Ralph Lauren’s life and work, featuring more than 700 hand picked photographs. The man is a dreamer—a storyteller. When he began designing menswear his inspiration came from old yearbooks and images of students from Princeton, Harvard and Yale. What he designed in 1967 isn’t old, and yet what he’s creating in 2010 isn’t new. And therein lies the beauty of the prep aesthetic. The clothes are as timeless as the vision behind them.

    “When I was a young man going to college I always loved the Ivy League look, its ease and tradition. It was the age of the gentleman athlete—the tennis player, the polo player, the rowers and scullers. I started with the origins of tradition, but I was not bound by it.”

    —Ralph Lauren

    Images via Bruce Weber, Perry Ogden, Martyn Thompson, Mary Randolph Carter and Francois Halard

    Jun 9, 2010 | Permalink (28) Total Comments

    Ash left a comment on 9/6/2013 at 1:22 PM:

    RL claims his clothes are timeless yet as a 21st century man I would not wear his baggy pleated 1980’s trousers paired with a baggy button-down topped off with a too long jacket ...

    holly left a comment on 9/8/2010 at 7:58 AM:

    I would love for someone to send me the pic on page 410 in the jeep being chauffered.  I know the man driving the jeep!

    maria left a comment on 6/24/2010 at 9:53 PM:

    love love love it!

    robdarko left a comment on 6/14/2010 at 11:10 AM:

    At the risk of sounding like a total sycophant;  I am always fascinated by people who can pull off something like your “makeshift coffee table”.  Any attempt to repurpose objects in such a manner would be met by severe disdain from friends/family.  There are no bohemians in my crew…LOL.  Ironically, the same pile off books sitting on top or under a proper coffee table would be acceptable.

    Eric left a comment on 6/13/2010 at 10:38 PM:

    I need this book. I’ve been scanning amazon used section and eBay daily, but haven’t seen prices to my liking yet. Someday, this will be mine.

    TRAVIS left a comment on 6/13/2010 at 1:26 AM:

    More pictures sir!


    caroline left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 10:49 PM:

    This reminds me why I love RL, I had forgotten…

    memphis88 left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 5:37 PM:

    Because I can’t afford to spend $100 on a book, I have spent hours pouring over this thing at a local bookstore.

    Anthony left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 1:23 PM:

    @Fred—Haha unfortunately not. I love the current Bastian collections and I’m almost more impressed with the photos you displayed on the Gant Rugger post (where both the store and collection look incredible). while I’m often tempted to delve into other designers, I’ve been an employee of RL off and on for quite some time now while in college and law school (so obviously I’m completely unbiased).

    For me, RL represents a number of different lifestyles and allows for flexibility within the various labels and brands.  At this point, I wear nothing but RL on principle, but I do believe the world he has created within fashion is truly remarkable.

    robdarko left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 12:32 PM:

    Ralph Lauren is degree zero of Prep/Trad.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 10:05 AM:

    @RWF—All the images are from the book. It’s brilliant.

    RWF left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 12:44 AM:

    From the pictures featured in this post my favourite is actually the one that features no clothes but the gorgeous preppy with its different pillow shams and the duck motif silently present in the back :) now that’s something to model my dorm room by. wish there were more pictures like that around. Is it from the book?


    Jen left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 7:18 PM:

    Buzzy Kerbox…absolute heaven.

    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 4:48 PM:

    Fabulous photographs!

    gld left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 3:43 PM:

    Beautiful photos. I adore those women’s tweed jackets. RL= effortless American style.

    S.N. Carpeaux left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 3:06 PM:

    It’s a fantastic book with an inspiring tale; required reading/browsing if not owning.

    bunny left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 2:40 PM:

    i need to get this book. i love the little girls berets. and the little boys fancy shoes in the gentleman athlete photo.

    Hannah left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 12:52 PM:

    This is my favorite post by far.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 12:41 PM:

    @Anthony—No Bastian mixed in yet?

    Fsp left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 11:53 AM:

    He’s still the man who define the classic american Look

    The Boss left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 10:55 AM:

    The photo with the girls dressed in tweed is heavenly.

    anthony left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 10:43 AM:

    ralph lauren is indisputably the best men’s clothing designer of all time, as highlighted by this book. hence, my wardrobe is solely comprised (with the lone exception of a gray selvedge j.crew scarf) of polo, purple label, rugby and RRL.

    Max left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 9:02 AM:

    I have this book too. My favorite pic is on pg 410 of the guy being chauffered in a an old Jeep, wearing a bond-like tuxedo, and smoking.

    Carlos left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 8:08 AM:

    I’ve had this book for a while and it really is amazing, it is essential to any RL or Ivy League-Preppy-Style fan!

    Fredrik left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 7:53 AM:

    The picture with three ladies in tweed jackets is great!

    M.D. Cooley left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 7:48 AM:

    Definitly have to pick this up!

    Yanes Alicante left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 7:36 AM:

    J’Adore RL.


    JMH left a comment on 6/10/2010 at 7:01 AM:

    Awe-inspiring. RL has definately played a huge role in my development of my own personal sense of style. Thanks for post, Fred.