Fall 2019 Rhinelander Mannequins

Last week I visited Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue flagship, known as the Rhinelander, and took some shots of the mannequins. Apologies for photo quality as lighting was exceptionally bright. There were logos galore — the final shot exemplifies the rule that all fashion ends in excess — even in the Purple Label collection. Speaking of which, I included a PL shot or two to show the color combinations. As always, these shots are for inspiration purposes only. Do not try these at home. As Charlie Davidson once said, “Who the hell wants to look like a $%^&*! Polo mannequin?” — CC

37 Comments on "Fall 2019 Rhinelander Mannequins"

  1. CC, thanks for the mannequin pics. I really like them.

    I have to agree with Mr. Davidson’s comment about how no man wants to look like a &@!$ Polo mannequin. There is a famous quote by Flaubert, which to paraphrase says that one should be as conservative and restrained in the way one dresses so that you can be as creative, violent, and original in your work.

  2. “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

  3. not quite as daffy as previous collections. not too many untucked tails or hoodies layered under tweed and over turtleneck. Approve of return of collar pins, muted fair isle that doesn’t look like dancing Norwegian snowflakes, glen plaids.

  4. I would wear much of this. The high top shoes, of course, are preposterous. I’m sure the upside down American flag was not designed with disrespect.

    Good evening,

    Will

  5. I’d never heard that Flaubert quote. I know Thomas Mann thought a writer should dress like a banker as a matter of dignity. No idea when he said that. Could be 1900, could be 1930.

  6. Christian, have you heard of the anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko? He is quoted as saying “If you want to promote something radical, dress conservatively.”

    Years ago, on this blog, I misattributed the quote to Malcolm X. I was wrong. Thank you, Google.

  7. I, too, think most of this is acceptable dress. I especially like the plaid tweed sport coat and the fair isle sweater combo. However whats with the rugby player on the tie? And, yes, the high top shoes are rediculous.

  8. Had a great burgundy shawl collar cotton cardigan like the one in the picture with the suspenders back in the ’80s. Gave it to a girlfriend when she left for college. I must have really been in love.

    Will

  9. There’s also a similar quote out there from FEC…

  10. Tartan jackets are nice, but I’m not sure about patchwork tartan with the sett all thrown out of whack. As others have said, pinned club collars are always a pleasure to see (and wear).

  11. Quite a few nice individual pieces. A number of quite wearable items.

    I am, however, reminded of the saying that “Only a servant wears another man’s crest”.

  12. Memo to CC: Please do a piece on how the hell one gets that collar pin closed without going all Jack the Ripper on the results of your $2352 spree at the Rhinelander Mansion, plus dying.

  13. Willard Straight | October 21, 2019 at 3:47 am | Reply

    The hourglass shape of those jackets is grotesque!

  14. The jackets and coats look but the prices will probably be exorbitant. I can buy bespoke tailoring for the same ridiculous prices that Mr Lifshitz’s company charges for its Asian-made RTW. The faux “Fair Isle” knitwear looks okay but is probably made in China rather Scotland. The ties with fake coats of arms etc are utterly hideous.

    The worst parr PRL’s collections this seasonis the tacky Polo Sport line. Huge Polo Sport branding is spread over every garment. Every piece shouts “idiotic jerk”. Who on earth would want to crazy prices for such rubbish? And whoever designed it should be fired for committing visual pollution.

  15. Old School Tie | October 21, 2019 at 9:36 am | Reply

    As always one has to be very selective if purchasing pieces from RL but it is possible to get some nice stuff. I like the cable knit sweaters, I like some of the fabrics used for sports jackets and trousers. Club ties should be your club ties, of course. Collar pins, great for advertising shoots, not so practical in the real world (tab collars are the useable alternative). On the whole not as outré as the past few years so relatively good effort.

  16. Uncle Ralph is the king of cool! If I ever win the lottery, I’ll walk in to the Polo store and say “I’ll take one of everything.”

    At the Ralph Lauren store on Newbury street in Boston, the RRL collection is displayed on a pool table. Not that any authentic cowboy could afford to shop there as the prices are “ridiculous” and “exorbitant” as Kenny put it.

  17. W. Straight: “grotesque”
    Kenny: “hideous”

    What more can I say?

  18. As usual, I like the basic navy blazer best. I guess it’s a blessing.

  19. Otis Brewster Hogbottom III | October 21, 2019 at 10:01 am | Reply

    “Only a servant wears another man’s crest”

    Great quote, and it can apply to any logo-wear as well.

  20. I have it on good authority (CC has access to overlapping sources) that the PoloRL ads of old, which continue to inform modern-day RL marketing, were inspired, in no small part, by Norman Hilton. I’ve seen lots of those older (Heyday era) NH ads, beyond the ones we can find online. They’re brilliant — at placing the clothing in a particular social/cultural context. Telling a story. A novel approach that borrowed from Ogilvy but went further. Is it possible to make a fella wearing a simple blazer-and-gray bottoms combo look cool while reading a map at a gas station? Sure it is. The copy helps, of course. The gents in the ads are consistently handsome (in good shape) and serious. In other words: adult men who have business to attend to.

    Compare/contrast with the smiley, too-giddy goofballs featured in ads for VV, J. Crew, and Brooks. Still more proof that things have gone to hell.

  21. Charlottesville | October 21, 2019 at 10:14 am | Reply

    I like a lot of the fabrics, and some of the combinations work well. The pants looks low rise and the lapels are a bit narrow, but could be fine for someone in his 20s or early 30s. Although, as others above have said, at those prices, few youngsters can afford it. Other items, however, (big logos, splashy ties, odd juxtapositions, those hightops) seem silly to me. As other commenters have also said, I think the collar pins are quite nice, but I know a lot of men find them a bit fussy. Like Old School Tie, I am also fond of tab collars, but they are not as plentiful as they once were, at least without going the custom route. I am down to a handful, and am pleased to have gotten an old one back from the seamstress on Friday after some minor refurbishing.

    Sadly, because of the decline in standards of dress generally, there are few examples for younger men to look to for style ideas. Whereas I saw men all around men who dressed well when I was coming along in the 70s and 80s, they are few and far between today. I suspect that many young men actually look to these mannequins as examples of how to dress. One could safely do that at Brooks up into the 80s or early 90s. I think that is still true at J. Press today (haven’t seen the fall windows yet this year but the brochure looks good), and there are a few other places where that is still true, but there is far more bad than good out there for young men to emulate.

  22. My favourite things were the pocket squares… and the belted tweed overcoat.

  23. the collection has a number of the usual foppish offerings. Would anyone prance around the UES in one of those numbers?
    I’m always amazed that the “poseur crests” are still emblazoned on of so many of their items-ghastly.
    Fun to see it all-thank you CC!

  24. All I can say is I miss the Brooks Brothers of old…

  25. @CC: Rest assured that any quote FEC throws out is (a) not is own, and (b) generally mis-attributed.

    There was a time where every suiting description on his website was a near word-for-word ripoff of Sid Mashburn’s.

  26. I agree Chris.
    Salsa has replaced ketchup, wine is replacing beer, spread collars and double vents have replaced tennis collars and hooked single vents, etc, etc,etc.
    It all makes me homesick…

  27. I have to keep telling myself that Polo’s store trims are meant to inspire and not be worn, necessarily. Some of the details shown, such as the collar pin worn through an unbuttoned BD collar are an over-reach. The rigging seems a bit sloppy for this caliber/price merchandise, but I am comparing it to the days when I saw Joe Abboud personally do PRL’s showroom trims.

    Like other’s comments above point out, there are great, unique items for sure, but the silk print piping on the plaid jacket is just runway stuff, kind like the concept cars at the auto show. Personally, if I had the money to do it, I find the stuff I see from Drakes to be much more grounded and gentlemanly. If I saw a bloke decked out in one of those Polo outfits I would likely laugh out loud. At one time, virtually everything in my wordrobe, head-to-toe, was Polo. Now its just an item here and there, none of it new, oweing partly to the fact that Polo stuff is pretty hard to find, except in a few cities.

  28. Otis Brewster Hogbottom III | October 21, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Reply

    Charlottesville: the windows at Paul Stuart are outstanding. The style is perhaps a bit out there for this group, but at least the windows give some great style ideas beyond hoodies and fleece vests.

  29. Charlottesville | October 21, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Reply

    Mr. Brewster. I too am a fan of Paul Stuart, and make it a point to stop in when I am in NYC. Although I tend to stick with the 3/2 sack style for tailored clothing rather than the darted 2 button favored by Paul Stuart, many of their other offerings are terrific. By coincidence, I am wearing a Paul Stuart tie today, with a Press tweed coat and a BB button-down. I would love to see their fall windows displays.

    Mr. Brady – I tend to agree with all you have said. I still have and wear some Polo suits and a blazer from the 1990s and early 2000s (always at the annual sales at the Rhinelander when great deals could be had). But I find the recent tailored less appealing, even aside from the high prices.

  30. Take a look at PRL’s tartan-camo kilts on the PRL European sites. The Wallace and Gordon tartans are culturally appropriated to create the ultimate in sartorial excrement! It’s here -https://www.ralphlauren.co.uk/en/tartan-camo-kilt-492701.html.

    “Crafted in Italy, our take on the traditional kilt retains the iconic Scottish motif, while the addition of camo-print panels and buckled leather straps make it distinctly Polo.”

    Actually, it’s distinctly crap. Ralph Lifshits on Scotland and insults its national dress! He’s scraping the bottom of the barrel to reveal the ultimate in bad taste. As the Scots say – GIRFUY!

  31. Just last week while I was trout fishing in northcentral PA and came across a “sportsman” dressed like this (click on link below). I invited him to meet me at the local bar at days end for a Yuengling.

    https://www.ralphlauren.co.uk/en/polo-sportsman/7055135?ab=EU_MDLP_Slot_4_S1_Image_SHOP

  32. Are some of the ties 6 inches wide?
    WTF ? Weren’t those called Kippers?

  33. Oldschool59

    Almost all of those RL ties are narrow ties, three inches or less. Most men’s mannequins are size 40 or less. The image with the four suits are RL Purple Label ties, the ties are three and a half inches.

    Many times RL ties with large motifs such as a polo scenes are made from scarfs, so the ties tend to get wider. Those old enough will remember what I call lobster bib RL ties of the 1970s. In the 1970s one could find those scarfs in women’s fine clothing shops carrying RL and frame them.

  34. Google “Owen Wilson fringe leather jacket Wes anderson” for a reminder of just how inspired and creative FEC is.

  35. Henry Contestwinner | October 24, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Reply

    Kenny, that “kilt” is awful. It is just a skirt by a different name, and is styled as such on the model.

    I appreciate kilts when worn in the correct manner and on appropriate occasions. However, both this abomination and its cousin the Utilikilt are no more than man skirts, simpliciter. Any man who feels the need to wear a skirt (not a kilt, a skirt) has something wrong with him.

  36. Enough with the pinned unbuttoned OCBD’S!! Club or point collars, fine.

  37. One the that ever did it! don’t ever let me acquire wealth,I will buy up everything I like in his stores.

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