Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Considering today's cover picture, I find myself further convinced that Ralph is his own very best salesman! He and his wife were born to live in and enjoy those casual styles...they look content/perfectly natural. When I buy Ralph's stuff, I'm in fact buying Ralph and the way he looks wearing his own designs. Although, I think he might have sacrificed just a bit too much cowhide in the crafting of that belt! ;)
In this thread, we've talked about Ralph's models scowling instead of smiling: it's nice that Ralph usually looks happy in his pics. Maybe I'm simple (okay, I'm simple), but, in general, I like to see people happy and, in ads for clothing, I like to see people who seem happy in the clothes. The last thing I need in life is an angst-inducing pair of chinos.

I would probably have told you for years - and sincerely believed it - that I bought Ralph's clothes simply because I like the clothes, but I've probably "absorbed" the entire Ralph Lauren mystique. We all know he's a Jewish kid from Brooklyn and not a to-the-manor-born WASP, so for this American mutt, "born to" a slapdash 900-square-foot ranch house, on a nondescript street, in a pedestrian town, in New Jersey (for God's sakes), maybe I like the American-Dream gestalt of Ralph's world too.

Heck, I love just walking around his flagship Rhinelander mansion because it's all so beautiful and old worldly. Am I buying a small piece of that when I buy a Ralph tie - yes, no, maybe, I don't know, probably, sure.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
This is from a Paul Stuart email I received today, but it didn't seem to make sense to start a separate Paul Stuart thread, so I thought I'd tuck it in here as a one-off.

Overall, it's pretty darn nice with a lot of classic elements done with a Paul-Stuart touch.
unnamed-23.jpg
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Ralph Lauren often wears torn clothes in these adverts. I wonder if anyone knows how and when torn and ripped clothing became a badge of the well-heeled, and became fashionable. What could be the reason for this practice?

I have lived in many countries and cultures, but did not observe this feature of people's dressing styles and habits in any of them, especially not in developing nations. In those places, and in those times I must say, wearing torn clothes was a mark of the poor folk, and so those who were not poor avoided such clothing at all costs. Even the poor generally had their "Sunday best" and would try to dress in their best clothes for special occasions.

It's possible that even in those countries, though, they have taken to wearing torn clothing now, in imitation of people in wealthier nations. It is quite some time since I travelled abroad, so I don't really know.

At best, this practice might seem to suggest a welcome solidarity with the poor and unfortunate. Or it might indicate a propensity for extreme thrift, as in the older New England traditions in our country. Or it might display an exaggerated appreciation of vintage and long-worn clothes. But, at worst, it might imply an inverted snobbery, where the well-heeled mimic the clothes of the poor, and in doing so make a mockery of their misfortunes. I don't understand this practice, so perhaps members here might set me straight.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Ralph Lauren often wears torn clothes in these adverts. I wonder if anyone knows how and when torn and ripped clothing became a badge of the well-heeled, and became fashionable. What could be the reason for this practice?

I have lived in many countries and cultures, but did not observe this feature of people's dressing styles and habits in any of them, especially not in developing nations. In those places, and in those times I must say, wearing torn clothes was a mark of the poor folk, and so those who were not poor avoided such clothing at all costs. Even the poor generally had their "Sunday best" and would try to dress in their best clothes for special occasions.

It's possible that even in those countries, though, they have taken to wearing torn clothing now, in imitation of people in wealthier nations. It is quite some time since I travelled abroad, so I don't really know.

At best, this practice might seem to suggest a welcome solidarity with the poor and unfortunate. Or it might indicate a propensity for extreme thrift, as in the older New England traditions in our country. Or it might display an exaggerated appreciation of vintage and long-worn clothes. But, at worst, it might imply an inverted snobbery, where the well-heeled mimic the clothes of the poor, and in doing so make a mockery of their misfortunes. I don't understand this practice, so perhaps members here might set me straight.
Up until the late 1960s, attitudes toward clothing in the US were pretty much like other countries, no-one wanted to wear ripped or tattered clothes as it meant you were too poor to buy better new clothes when needed. I'm sure there are some earlier examples of ripped clothing as style or statement (there always are), but for the large majority of the US population, from rich to poor, everyone tried to dress "nicely" until the late '60s.

Initially, dressing sloppily was part of the '60s anti-establishment vibe. But since then, it has morphed into all the reasons you note and, also, it became a way for some rich people to arrogantly signal "I'm so rich I can dress sloppily and you still have to admit me / listen to me / etc."
 
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