August 13, 2012 New York
First, Purple Label, the toniest jewel in the RL crown—the chairman of its board, if you will. The highest rollers won't be disappointed by the three-piece tailoring and tailcoated evening options, though they may be surprised to find them newly snug, thanks to a slimmed silhouette. The sportswear offerings have been much expanded, from floral pants to hazard orange, bonded slickers, for the CEO who peacocks when he's off the clock. Or perhaps just in acknowledgment of the fact that today's CEO isn't necessarily hoary. This is the age of the Instagram millionaire.
At Black Label, the story is brown. It's the label's new neutral, and it looks great against the country club pastels like lilac and sea foam that are RL standards. The Black Label denim gets in on the story, too, in weather-beaten sand tones.
Polo is more relaxed, the college boy of the bunch, with natural shoulders and softer materials to match. The RL team has begun to mix it in with the technical-sport RLX collection, a move that's brought a bit of freshness to both. The vibe is Outdoorsman in the Off Hours—which translates pretty directly to Men's Fashion Editor in the On Hours. Leave on those hiking boots, in other words, but put on your blazer, too.