An armada of escalades ferried out scores of stars to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Friday night as Ralph Lauren returned to the runway with a glittering collection inside a giant haute bohemian hanger on the East River.
Jennifer Lopez turned up with two enormous body guards and two bearded buddy stylists. To sit between Julianne Moore and Diane Keaton, wearing a stove pipe hat worthy of Annie Hall. All perched between David and Ricky Lauren.
Close by in a series of ecru, golden and beige looks were Robin Wright, Sheryl Crow, Laura Dern, Gabrielle Union, Li Bingbing, Rachel Brosnahan, Pom Klementieff and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu.
Too many people think that Ralph Lauren creates just classical fashion, but this brilliant show was a reminder that the cornerstone of his DNA is faded gentility. A look that still has the power to create fashionable moments of great beauty, which this show was.
A spring/summer 2024 collection presented inside within the heavily patrolled Navy Yard. A show space decorated in a sublime ensemble of Soho artist’s loft; New England barn; Rocky Mountain ranch. Talk about classily dilapidated.
Giant faded drapes hung from the walls, made in rough planks of wood echoing Ralph’s ranch in Colorado. Clouds of chandeliers lit the show, where guests perched on random upholstered chairs.
The collection was in synch with the setting. Opening with faded dyed denim made into strict pants suits, floral over-printed blazers, corsets worn with posh hippie beaded necklaces and dresses finished with trains. Suggesting an haute bohemian Wild West wedding – John Ford meets Ralph Lauren.
Suddenly changing gears – Ralph went uptown with romantic white silk pantsuits and gold lamé gowns worn with cavalry jackets or an officer’s mess jacket made of glove leather.
A soundtrack blended remixes of The Zombies classic Time of the Season with a dash of Carla Bruni, referencing Ralph’s love of French style. Seen also for evening, where he played with Yves Saint Laurent colors – emerald, persimmon, turquoise and imperial roman purple – though very much on Ralph’s terms. Using them in perfectly cut harem pants, skirts and flowing dresses.
The show rising to a climax as Natalia Vodianova marched by in a golden Comanche princess mess dress and Christy Turlington earned a burst of applause in the most artfully draped one shoulder golden Greek goddess gown.
Ralph took a brief bow, attired in a Da Nang vet style khaki shirt and faded cargo pants, gesturing gently as a barn door opened to reveal an elegant dining room. The entire audience rising to their feet, applauding what will surely be the show and collection of the New York season.
An eclectically glamorous audience that included Amanda Seyfried, Emma Roberts, James Marsden, singer Krystal Jung, The White Lotus’ Leo Woodall, and Burmese hip hop singer Yan Yan Chan. Alongside influencers Leia Sfez, Camila Coelho, Cara Delevingne, Leonie Hanne, Marianna Hewitt, Nicole Warne and Sofia Richie Grainge.
Over cocktails, Keri Russell – who plays the U.S. ambassador to Britain in the Netflix series The Diplomat – even had a pow pow with New York mayor, Eric Adams.
Lauren hosting a surf-and-turf dinner of grilled lobster salad and RRL filet mignon from his own ranch. The setting was a magnificent candlelit display of Lauren’s homeware – RL linen table napkins, gold-rimmed fine China, elegant cut glasses and a classy blue floral tablecloth.
“Tattered elegance,” was Ralph’s succinct summary of the show and soirée.
“You know, if you are doing to do an event like this, you had better to it well. Use all your best elements to say exactly what you think,” commented Ralph.
In a word, Lauren is the Dersu Uzala de la mode, a frail octogenarian walking with care, but brimming with fighting spirit and fully in control of his oeuvre. Quietly smiling as he took in his guests’ evident delight in the evening. The latest expression of modern elegance by America’s most important living designer.
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