City and country are the Ralph Lauren poles. The enormous breadth of his complete Fall 2013 menswear—comprising a series of lines, sublines, and offshoots that seems to grow every season—pogoes between. The story at Purple Label, Lauren's most extravagant offering, had a country tilt, thanks to plentiful Harris Tweed. Full three-piece suits in the stuff, with their swanning peak lapels, said "country weekend," though the abundance of British racing green and the quilted details on some leathers said "moto"—biking around the country estate, perhaps?
But before you could dig too deep—though not before you stopped to admire the delicate hand-distressing of a shearling-lined jacket—you had entered the world of Black Label, Lauren's more urbane collection. Building on the slenderer silhouettes of last season, Black Label was again fitted in the young-gun mode, this time with narrower lapels to boot. (There's a sentence not often heard here.) The color of the season is city-sidewalk gray, layered monochromatically.
But then, off to Polo—mixed, as with last season, with the sportier RLX and the Olympics-themed line—which sent us, once again, to tweedy country togs and plenty of that beautiful green. But Polo, always the peacemaker of RL, manages to resolve the city-country divide. Here, heritage fabrics layered on tech ones, or combined both in one: the tweed down jacket over hither, the hiking boots with repp tie yon.