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Ralph Lauren Hardcover – October 16, 2007
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Ralph Lauren isnt easy to define. Unlike many designers, he is not known for a single signature look, but rather for his sweeping dreams of American living. Over the course of his career, the images of luxury, adventure, and beauty that he created have come to define American style. In this visually stunning book, Lauren speaks candidly for the first time ever about himself and his art. In part one, we get to know the designer through never-before-seen pictures of him in private life and with his family, living the lives he designs for. In his own words, we hear about his life, work, and inspiration. In the second part, Lauren displays and writes about his most important, most iconic, and most beloved work, hand-picked from hundreds of runway shows, collections, and his signature cinematic advertising campaigns. Laurens aesthetic influence and unique design sensibility are captured here by fashions finest photographers, including Bruce Weber, Deborah Turbeville, and Patrick Demarchelier. Featuring an introduction by Audrey Hepburn (from her 1992 presentation speech at the CFDA awards), this is truly a unique fashion monograph, a personal expression of the artist, and a rare peek into the mind of one of Americas most accomplished fashion designers of all times.
Sample images from Ralph Lauren:
From Publishers Weekly
Larger than life, luxuriantly priced, and filled with simple, elegant work, this volume mirrors the universal style and global reputation of its subject, American fashion icon Ralph Lauren. At first heft, this 14-and-a-half pound retrospective might seem excessive and ostentatious; once one starts turning the pages, however, it's hard to imagine the work any smaller. Following a warm introduction by Audrey Hepburn (presenting Lauren with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992), Lauren takes readers on a pictorial history of his life, family and work. Every photograph is rich with texture and depth, rendered in a style immediately familiar to anyone who's flipped through a fashion mag over the past several decades, but far more striking and sumptuous in this large format (each easily worth two or three times the standard thousand words). The variety of gifted photographers included (Bruce Weber, Claus Wickrath and Sheila Metzner among them) capture well Lauren's talent for anyman elegance, even on the imposing frames of such models as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford. Those with a fever for fashion (and a strong back) will find this largely text-free tome a real page-turner.
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Working class or privileged, it shows a world where everyone can be proud. I rejected the naysayers who chafe at this working class guy from Long Island reminding us of Wasp and Cowboy Chic. This is Americana in all it permutations and if he becomes a billionaire in the process, isn't that American as well.
What this book is not: A catalog of everything Ralph has designed....nor is it a catalog of select pieces....nor is it a catalog on the best pieces....nor is it a large catalog of the ads. This book is not a catalog of anything other than pictures and stories of Ralph Lauren, the man.
What this book really is: A celebration of Ralph Lauren, the man, his family and the company he created. It's a coffee table book. And sure, there are pictures of past ads and past collections but that plays a secondary role in the book.
If you are a Die Hard RL fan and have money to spare, there are autographed copies of this book (that cost substantially more).