When it comes to New York Fashion Week, some say the spectacle has left. But the return of Ralph Lauren on Friday (Sept. 8) proved the master showman was in his element.
After a nearly three-year hiatus on the New York calendar, Lauren was back, taking the bold move of asking invitees to trek to Brooklyn’s Navy Yard to experience what one can only say is pure Ralph.
True to form, who else could get Jennifer Lopez, Diane Keaton, Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Mindy Kaling, supermodels, influencers and industry insiders all in one room for one show?
As if seeing Christy Turlington grace the cat walk and close the show was not enough, immediately after Ralph’s bow to a standing ovation, the room opened up for a magical dinner. The staging felt like the most glamorous barn ever created with crystal chandeliers, wood plank floors, and the most beautiful place settings. Of course, Ralph’s particular taste in simple food done elegantly was served perfectly.
And yes, there were clothes. Fantastic looking clothes to be correct.
With an opening passage of denim done the Ralph way—re-embroidered, beaded and cut up and lined with tulle—the look was a mix of a particular American vibe but elevated to European excellence. He is a global brand after all.
Another section of black and gold made the perfect case for showing restraint. I particularly loved the classic polo done in gold lamé paired with a long beaded tulle skirt. A series of boho fringes with contrasting colors will look at home on the ranch or the streets. A passage paying homage to the elegant men's tie (where Mr. Lauren got his start over 50 years ago) was classic and surprisingly sexy.
Pair any of these looks with the RL logo bag-and the message is clear. Ralph Lauren may have taken a break from New York Fashion Week, but Ralph Lauren is just what the week needs. He is the example to which most young designers aspire. Not seeing his name on the official schedule was like seeing New York without the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. It just doesn’t make sense. This collection made sense and we are all the better for it. Welcome home Ralph!
Photography by: Joe Schildhorn, BFA.com