|Ralph Lauren 'The Heiress' home collection. I tore this advertisement out of a magazine years ago and still love it.|
'When I was very young, growing up in the Bronx, I saw the world through a glass window, not the one that looked out on the schoolyard where we played basketball, but the one that looked out on my dreams. Like most young people, I didn’t know if I would ever achieve those dreams, because when you’re not born with money and you have to go out and work to buy a shirt or a pair of pants, you take nothing for granted.
I remember seeing a pair of blue suede shoes in a store window that I passed every day after school. I loved those shoes, and I really wanted them, but I didn’t have the money. I couldn’t wait for my birthday hoping they might be a gift and then I would finally have those blue suede shoes. I think I’m still that boy standing in front of the window filled with the same excitement, yearning for something just out of reach, not blue suede shoes, but something beautiful and timeless that conjures up a world and takes you there.' - From the book Ralph Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Mary Randolph Carter
Reading through this fabulous book, I was struck by Ralph’s self-admission of being a dreamer. Growing up he said he created his own vision of a life well-lived which included an English style residence in the beauty of America, sailing off the Maine coast and being a cowboy on his own ranch.
Say what you will about Ralph, but he really does have the gift of visualising and creating wonderful settings. These settings encompass outfits, retail stores, homes and even his entire life. Armed only with his imagination Ralph has created his dream lifestyle from the ground up.
'I never went to Africa. But if I had, I might never have done the clothes that I did. They were about a romantic Africa, what I thought a safari was like.' - Ralph Lauren
On a rather smaller scale, I feel a bit like that with the French thing. I have been to France once and so have had a brief experience of Paris, but much of my inspiration lives in my head. And I love that!
My French girl living in a tiny apartment in Paris is the stuff of my imagination. And it makes me so happy to think about it. I don’t need to be constrained by real life issues, say, if I decided to actually move to France. I can let it influence how I live my life here and create my dream lifestyle with inspiration plucked from many different sources.
I surround myself with constant inspiration in the way of my beloved books, blogs, magazine articles, music, pared down and simplified surroundings and purposely trying not to pile too much into my life so that I can be relaxed and serene.
Any time I feel like a need a bit of a boost, all I have to do is remember my dreams and set about shaping them into a life that is everything I’ve ever wanted it to be.