Ralph Lauren white denim wide leg pant, printed plastic coat, royal blue jersey swimsuit, white and royal blue canvas pump. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani and bobsleder Aja Evans model Ralph Lauren Team USA heated jackets and fringe gloves. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren navy crepe pant, white knit silk turtleneck, yellow and red canvas pump. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren nautical crepe jumpsuit, royal blue and navy calf sandal. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren canary yellow crepe evening dress, yellow and red canvas pump. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Team USA in Ralph Lauren outfits at opening of Winter Olympics in Korea. Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images.
Ralph Lauren navy cashmere sportcoat, royal blue and navy cotton crewneck shirt, yellow cotton denim pant, blue multi silk scarf. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren canary yellow performance outerwear short, navy American flag cashmere crewneck sweater, yellow and red canvas pump. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren multicolor crepe evening dress, royal blue and navy calf sandal. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren red sailboat cotton sweater, navy and white wool pinstripe pant, navy and white silk scarf, navy canvas espadrille. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren stretch beaded dress,white and royal blue canvas pump. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren navy cotton and nylon vest, yellow cashmere cable sweater, navy and white linen pinstripe pant, red, yellow, blue and white silk scarf, navy canvas espadrille. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.
Instead of unveiling his fall collection, the legendary designer showcased his spring styles on the catwalk and made them available in stores and online as soon as the show ended. The advantage: Shoppers don’t have to wait six months to buy what they see on the runway. The down side: Lauren plays it safe since all those looks are already produced and he doesn’t have room to experiment as designers often do with styles they adapt from the runway for stores that are available several months later.
Of course, Lauren, has never been much of an experimenter. Instead, he has made a fortune by creating a world of comfortable upscale preppy styles for the affluent and the aspirational.
For this collection, he created a Jamaican holiday getaway on the runway (he has a vacation home in Montego Bay), with a setting featuring a replica of a wooden beach house with white shutters, cane furniture, hurricane lamps and porthole mirrors.
“Everyone wishes for a magical place where they can step out of time into a bounty of nature,” Lauren said in his program notes. “For spring 2018, I want to share the mood, the light, the blue and white freshness of my retreat in Jamaica. My collections for women and men conjure up the carefree, sophisticated spirit of this special experience — exuberant, luxurious, timeless.”
The colorful collection includes multi-hued gowns and sequin minidresses, faded denim sundresses, glossy parkas, and flowing gowns with an Art Deco ocean liner print. Sweaters are emblazoned with sailboats or the American flag and worn with tailored shorts; men are outfitted in crisp blazers and colorful jeans or creme-colored slacks.
While the looks are casual, each model is highly stylized, which takes away from the carefree atmosphere that Lauren aims to project.
While Lauren is sticking with spring, the brand is getting a lot of buzz over the outfits created for Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The opening ceremony parka and closing ceremony bomber jacket include a sewn-in heating component designed to keep the athletes warm in the cold climate. The heating system is printed in the shape of an American flag on the interior of the jacket and linked to a battery pack that provides warmth for up to 11 hours.
The jackets have sold out, as have a number of other Team USA clothing items on the Ralph Lauren website. Still available: the distinctive tan suede fringe gloves that have drawn comparisons to gloves worn by Jim Carrey in the 1994 comedy, Dumb and Dumber. They retail for $995 a pair.