Ralph Lauren transformed a gallery at the Museum of Modern Art into a sleek replica of his Fifth Avenue apartment on Tuesday night, and hosted guests for cocktails and a show that marked a turning point for the brand in terms of runway cool, along with Gigi and Bella Hadid, Shalom Harlow, Tyson Beckford and a host of other role models of all ages are leading the charge.
After a nearly three-year hiatus from the catwalks, the designer chose an intimate presentation for his Fall 2022 womenswear and Purple Label menswear collection, welcoming just under 100 people, including ‘Euphoria’ star Jessica Chastain. Angus Cloud (the new face of Polo perfume), the descendant of “Succession” Jeremy Strong and singer Janelle Monae.
It was Monae who starred in Lauren’s latest show, held at a rendition of Ralph’s Club in the Financial District in September 2019. Although there was no dancing on the tables Tuesday night had a wonderfully welcoming vibe, window recreations of Lauren’s apartment overlooking Central Park, design books about cars and the big bowl of M&M’s to nibble on her center table.
I wanted to go home.
For all the obsession with the metaverse and NFTs, and Lauren’s recent foray into Roblox, seeing models casually sneak around couches and tables, make eye contact, smile, wink, and engage the IRL guests, was a treat.
Human contact, the new luxury!
“I think the world wants warmth,” Lauren said during a preview. “And for the cleanliness and the sleekness of the clothes, the sensitivity to black and white, MoMA was the perfect place,” he added, joking that his current apartment is “much smaller.”
The collection was also about going home. Rather than tying it to a theme, Lauren used the off-calendar event to reaffirm her role in mapping the American fashion landscape, working in a palette of black and white with flashes of red and focusing on sleek styles and sartorial splendor. that made it an icon for over 50 years, only modernized for today.
He reminded people of his contributions to asexual couture long before the concept inspired a Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition, of actress Lily Collins dressed for the show in a sleek black tuxedo with cigarette pants, heels and a bow tie, with a tight waist. , a slightly cropped men’s tweed jacket over full white trousers on the catwalk, reminiscent of Lauren’s beloved movie stars of the 1940s. (There was also a white tie reminiscent of “Annie Hall” over a black dress , a reference that once again bubbled through the streets.)
Luxe knitwear might be a hot fashion category now, but it’s been part of Lauren’s history for years, as seen in the chunky black, white and red Fair Isle ski jumper on black tulle sparkling, slit-front bubble skirt (how we missed this classic, comfy dressy classic). He updated it for 2022 with black bike shorts underneath. Fair Isle appeared as a design motif everywhere, including in the black and white embroidery on a dress and a power parka for the Aspen jet set.
Sportswear with a sense of place is another part of Lauren Polo’s heritage, seen here in the handful of equestrian looks (red coats and jodhphurs might sound silly, but check out the Gucci “Aria” collection). The designer was also one of the original curators of Western wardrobe runways, and the combination of a black tuxedo, a high-necked sheepskin coat and a peaked cowboy hat was a minimal and elegant touch.
There were several nods to New York, from the Ralph Lauren x Yankees black varsity jacket and baseball cap to a tuxedo that brought street cash to the catwalk (part of a collab with Major League Baseball), to the stunning silver New York skyline. embroidered dress that must be destined for a red carpet.
It was a collection about polishing à la Ralph Lauren. The Oscars are approaching on Sunday and for Hollywood thoroughbreds there were plenty of men’s tailored cuts with velvet slippers and elegant evening wear for women, including a strapless dress with a red bodice and bow train.
Lauren returned to the conventional seasonal fashion calendar; rather than a see-now-buy-now collection hitting stores immediately, it’s back online with the biggest industry showing an upcoming season: Fall 2022.
“Now see, buying now was actually good, but it was bad for the production and bad for the European press, so we decided to do it that way,” Lauren explained. And indeed, the foreign press was there on Tuesday.
We must admire Lauren’s desire at 82 to always regroup and evolve. This flexibility is also paying off on the commercial side, where President and CEO Patrice Louvet helped lead the brand’s reset in the luxury market, which will soon include the opening of four new North American stores. in Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta, with a view to a new phase of growth.
There should be plenty of coveted clothes to fill them.
Lauren recently announced a new collaboration with Morehouse College and Spellman College, acknowledging the long-awaited fashion history of black students with a licensed collection of 100 college-style pieces inspired by images from the school’s archives dating back to the 1920s and photographed on students, graduates and professors. This collection will go on sale next week.
“It was very honest and very important,” he said of creating the licensed collection after a conversation with longtime employee James Jeter, who wondered about his future in the company. business. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the continued racial calculus of the country, he questioned whether the brand’s definition of style was too white, the designer explained, the way Jeter challenged him.
“It’s catching up with the world and seeing what you’ve been missing and what could be done,” Lauren said of the initiative. “If I’m here on earth, I should be doing something worthwhile.”