In today’s post I’ll share my thoughts on the book Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion. If you’ve been curious about this one, read on!
I usually find myself looking up book reviews several times per week and, all too often, I find that I’m frustrated by them and their uselessness at providing the information that I’m actually looking for. I love to add design books to my collection so of course I’m always interested in their actual content as well as how they’ll look from the outside and how they’ll fit into my bookshelf and, sometimes, my styling plans for Art & Spaces. That’s a lot to ask of a book, but it’s so satisfying when you find one that fits the bill for all three uses. I almost never find a book review that gives me all the information I need in one concise review, so I’m putting that info out there. Hopefully there will be other book lovers out there who will find my particular style of book review helpful as well. 🙂
Judging a Book By Its Cover
I always feel like book reviews fail to give me the information that I need when it comes to the cover and the spine of a book so here’s me rectifying that situation for anyone else looking for the same things I do. 🙂 First of all, the cover situation with Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion is absolutely brilliant. The jacket of the book is a really handsome black watch plaid with big gold lettering and it really makes a statement.
This same scheme is repeated on the spine and it just looks so beautiful on a shelf.
But wait, there’s more!
If you remove the cover jacket, you get a completely different look. This is pretty common among books, of course, but what you find underneath in this case is just as stunning. I’m always looking for great neutral books that I can use in styling for shoots and in this case what you get is a beautiful matte black cover with the lettering done in glossy black, with the same thing again repeated on the spine. It makes for a really elegant statement and finding that under the jacket was such a pleasant surprise.
Is Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion for Reading, Viewing, or Both?
Obviously almost all books are for “reading” and have some text, but what I mean is that I want to help you understand whether this book is one to curl up with and read as a story, or whether it’s one full of photos that you’ll flip through at a quicker pace, like you do with a lot of design books. The short answer is that this book falls into both categories. You get the in-depth story of Ralph’s life, starting from childhood and how his business slowly, but surely, came to be, but you’ll also find yourself pouring over beautiful photos on every page. A lot of the photos aren’t actually Ralph Lauren photos, but rather they’re historical photos to help you understand a little bit of fashion history and what made the Ralph Lauren brand so appealing at different points in time. I have to admit that sometimes that historical backstory seemed a bit too lengthy for me, but it was interesting never-the-less.
- The photos, obviously. Everyone kind of immediately has a picture painted in their mind when they hear “Ralph Lauren” but it’s so neat to see visual evidence of how that came together in different ways over the years, all compiled together. The way the brand and the world of Ralph Lauren is expressed is all at once consistent and yet always different.
- The part in the chapter on women’s fashion where they showed the different advertising campaigns and themes for the different collections over the years, in chronological order. I was so impressed at how each collection is conceptualized around a theme or a place, or a certain lifestyle and then the whole story is just elaborated on through the marketing campaign, with the actual clothes playing a part of the story, but not being the whole story.
- Of course, I was interested to see what the sections about Ralph Lauren Home would look like. While I found the actual chapter about the home good lines to be really interesting and inspiring, I was definitely a little disappointed to see that that section was quite small compared to the sections on men’s and women’s fashion. It makes sense of course, because there’s just so much more history to cover when it comes to the men’s and women’s lines because those have been around much longer, but I’m just saying that if someone wants to dedicate a whole book to Ralph Lauren Home at some point, I’ll definitely read it. 🙂 What I did find to be delightful were the sections dedicated to the Lauren family’s own homes around the U.S. and the world, and how they’ve made each one into a totally unique experience compared to the others. There’s a penthouse in New York, a compound in Montauk, a ranch in Colorado, and even more. I’m not sure how they manage to use all those homes, but I loved reading about them.
Overall, I give this book a 4/5. There were so many times where I was absolutely inspired by either Ralph Lauren’s story, his vision for his brands, the images in the book, and even the particular quotes that the author chose to highlight. The book itself is obviously beautiful and a great addition to any collection, but the format was honestly a bit confusing. The book itself is large and feels like a coffee table picture book, but it’s full of text and the experience of reading it is more like reading a full biography with a few extra photos. It felt strange to spend so much time holding such a giant book to read so much text and I just felt like I should be flipping through it more quickly the way you would with a normal coffee table book full of photos. The value for the reader is definitely there though and you feel like you really know everything there is to know about the world of Ralph Lauren when you’re done with the book. If you’re a fan of Ralph Lauren, definitely don’t hesitate to add this one to your collection.
You can find Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion on Amazon here.
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- Serena and Lily Sunwashed Riviera Chair Review
- Etu Home Colorblock Vase Review
- The Formula for the Perfect Painted Gold Frame
- DIY Living Room Built-In Shelves and Fireplace
- Ten Home Decor Book Essentials for Classic Style
- The Creek Line House Decorating Archives
This post contains affiliate links.