Ralph Lauren's approach to car collecting elevates the automobile to high art. Lauren's private garage in Westchester County, New York, is a minimalist temple to motoring. The collection extends to around 60 cars, kept inside a deliberately non-descript structure that keeps its secrets closely guarded. Inside, thanks to design input from the Polo Ralph Lauren interiors team, the collection is displayed in a truly reverent fashion, part Zen garden, part Rothko Room, with every car placed on a carefully lit pedestal, yet kept maintained and primed for instant use.
Invitations to this automotive nirvana are somewhat limited, but a new exhibition, which opens today in Paris, successfully takes Lauren's garage aesthetic into the public realm. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs plays host to 17 cars from the collection - curated by Rodolphe Rapetti, and put on display by Jean-Michel Wilmotte - including a brace of Bugattis, Mercedes and Ferraris, a couple of Alfas, and rarely seen machines from Bentley, McLaren, Jaguar and Porsche. Although these are series production cars, they mostly come from an era of intense customisation, of elaborate coachwork, adventurous owners and rich racing histories. The cars on display date back seven decades and represent a rich life of carefully collecting and deep enthusiasm. With several of the classics making their public display debut, this is a rare chance to savour one of the world's best-kept and most carefully curated car collections.
Can't make it to Paris? Check back next week to learn much more and take wallpaper.com's interactive tour of the exhibition.