Friday, February 22, 2008

The Aesthetic Narrative of Ralph Lauren for Women

That ain't no woman, it's a man, baby!
-Austin Powers

There is a cliche moment in many films, a morning after moment between couples, the woman is dressed in the button up shirt the man had on the night before. There are many ways to read this: symbolic submission, a symbol of their coming together as one. She on some level has crossed over INTO his world

The aesthetic narrative behind Ralph Lauren is that moment on a larger cultural scale. Ralph Lauren leverages iconography and symbolic imagery more effectively than any other fashion brand. It is a storybook narrative of a classic, eastern-seaboard America. A folklore or industrious and wealthy men who's patriarchy is so powerful that even the women's clothes seem fashioned from "his" world from things pulled from "his" drawers.

Even the poses have a masculine air. The two here on the right could be two boys, 50s greasers with cigarettes rolled up in their t-shirt sleeves standing on a street corner.


Nixta said...

If you focus on that lowest undone button on the first photo, it's a 70s advert for men's perfume. The whole visual draws you in then as a male. Frightening.

Thomas Sherman said...

Ive always found something unsettling about Ralph Lauren for women, from a gender and sexuality standpoint, but it took me the longest time to put my finger in it.

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Ralph Lauren is one of the most important American fashion designer and business executive!!my mother wears only the clothes of this design! the model looks so cute in the first photo!22dd

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