Monday, March 18, 2013
Edward Green for Ralph Lauren's Purple Label: The Braylon
One of my favorite outfits this winter has been my Ralph Lauren Purple Label three-piece suit. It has peak lapels, two buttons and double-vents with a subtle charcoal glen plaid check. I've been wearing it ever since I saw George Raft wearing something similar in Night After Night with Mae West.
Well, to be honest, its really been my favorite suit since at least 2007, which I hope will persuade you that I didn't just jump on the recent single-breasted peak lapel band-wagon (see Suit Supply, etc.). I try to give the suit a more casual air by pairing it with a jaunty blue check shirt from Ede & Ravenscroft or Kiton, and a bright seven-fold from Borrelli or some type of print from Drake's. Other times, I'll try a solid blue shirt with a solid cashmere tie from Holland and Holland or an unlined version, also from Ralph Lauren's Purple Label.
To finish off the look, I've been pairing the outfit with a pair of bluchers from Edward Green for Ralph Lauren's Purple Label. Named the Braylon, the shoes appear to be modeled after Edward Green's own Cardiff, with the main difference being the lack of a medallion on the Ralph Lauren model. The dark oak calf leather allows the shoes to blend seamlessly into the entire ensemble. As always, the burnishing along the toe box and back quarters is second to none and really gives the shoes some pop.
Of course, sartorial sticklers will curse me for a fool for even suggesting that a pair of open laced shoes be worn in broad daylight with a three-piece suit. And I don't mind (really, I don't). And I do occasionally pair the suit with my Edward Green Falkirks in antique chestnut, so I'm not an entirely unapologetic heathen. . .
I actually purchased the shoes some time ago at the Rhinelander Mansion on 72nd and Madison Avenue here in New York City. I usually post pictures before I take my recent additions out into the wild, but in this case I completely forgot to photograph the Braylons. Having had the opportunity to actually wear the shoes in advance of my post, I am happy to report that the 888 last fits true to size and has a very comfortable toe box. I believe the blucher style, with its open laced look, is also less restricting on the top of my foot and seems to be just a touch more forgiving than my Falkirks with their closed laced configuration on the 82 last. In addition, the Braylons also fit snugly around the heel.
Sadly, my last few forays to the Mansion have led me to believe that Ralph Lauren has either severely reduced their Edward Green stock or simply discontinued the relationship altogether. Initially, I thought the relatively recent move away from the 89 last to the 888 pointed to a healthy collaboration and (somewhat logical) evolution in Ralph Lauren's approach to the company's relationship with Edward Green. But perhaps I spoke too soon - or perhaps I'm speaking too soon now . . . In any event, if anyone has seen Edward Green shoes on display recently at a Ralph Lauren near you, please be kind enough to share the news and allay my fears.