Sunday, August 15, 2010

An American in Paris

I am often asked what designers I get my inspiration from. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know my answer is usually Ralph Lauren. I love the many styles his empire can deliver from Black Label to Polo to Blue Label. I love the perfectionism of all he and his team touch from products to advertising to store design, and I am certainly a fan of his broad range of entrepreneurship from artist to retailer to style maker as well as his endless philanthropy.

In the mail this week came my new five pound September issue of Harper's Bazaar. On page 492 I see an article on Ralph and discover he has a new 13,000 SF shop in Paris and a restaurant connected that has a ten week waiting list for reservations! Where have I been? It opened in May so I guess it took three months for the news to cross the pond.

I tossed the magazine aside and hurried to Google and Ralph's website and found many links to share with you here. Once again, I sat there shaking my head at the master doing only what the master does. The video links below show you the new St. Germain store with a four year renovation, a behind the scenes look at the process, the opening night affair, an interview with Ralph and the new 2010 fashion line. Enjoy.

Smart retail display: Perfect mannequins throughout the new store are actually placed liked guests at a party. I love the height added on top of these armoires with flowers, pictures and dress forms and the curvy chaise center stage.

The exterior of the restaurant has the look of casual (blue grain sack pillows) mixed with glam (gold painted capitals). I hope you notice from the video how impeccably the waiters are dressed... of course!

The interior of the restaurant. A total shift from outside.

From the Brook Street Collection. Hollywood meets Haberdashery.
Notice the glossy chestnut tables breaking up the sea of black and white.

I couldn't help but stop at this picture with the unusual doorway opening. And notice the fat chrome sconces juxtaposed with the skinny 30" tall tapered candles!

Always close to my heart, Ralph uses dogs in a lot of his advertising.
Notice the perfectly crossed paws.

Aptly named The Heiress Collection; new luxe meets inherited.

Something I have always wanted to try; sheer fabric covered chandeliers!

Of course I'm lovin' this vignette.

The Fall 2010 Blue Label Collection showcases updated vintage.
This is color I'd buy, dusty and muted.

This makes me want to cut up my old patchwork quilt and make a jacket!

I also want to cut up some old men's suit pants and construct this hat!

Vintage florals made new again.