Fashion / Fashion News

Dinner and a show (and an office party) with Ralph Lauren

ralph lauren fall 2024 show

Before Ralph Lauren’s Fall/Holiday 2024 Women’s show, there were rumours the room – in the brand’s corporate headquarters on Madison Ave, New York – would only be big enough to fit 100 people. They proved correct — or even slightly exaggerated.

The setting was as intimate as you could get: Lauren’s private design studio cleared of its usual furnishings, with a runway fashioned through the placement of tan leather seats. Guests – mostly publishers, EICs and fashion directors, some of whom were flown from Europe and East Asia – were greeted with glasses of champagne. Everyone mingling amongst themselves, with the presence of Glenn Close, Kerry Washington, Jessica Chastain and Jodie Turner-Smith adding to the buzz in the air. 

The setting was a homecoming of sorts for Lauren, whose first-ever show in 1972 was also staged at the office to a small group of editors and friends. In the 52 years since, the designer has cemented himself as one of – if not the – most important designers in American history. He wanted to strip things back this season, cherish intimacy and refinement and the enduring influences across his life and career, to allow a select few an inside look at his creative process. 

ralph lauren

The show was, as guests discussed afterward, “unequivocally Ralph.” Full of all-American wardrobe staples punctuated by old-school prep and Western influences, including steel-toe cowboy boots and large silver belt buckles. Lauren was clearly saying something through this collection, and the locational homage to his debut: that in today’s ever-accelerated trend cycle, and a fashion climate full of quiet luxury looks, sticking to your authentic self, and style, is the most stylish thing of all.

“The woman I design for has a beauty that comes from an inner confidence,” he said in the brand’s press release. “My collection is inspired by that woman, her sense of timelessness, her individuality—a style that is forever.” 

Speaking of one such woman, supermodel Christy Turlington opened the show in a head-to-toe monochromatic beige look made up of a matching suiting shirt, tie and trousers overlaid with a knee-length cashmere coat in the same hue.

With a slight smile on her face, and the song Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are, playing, Turlington set the tone for the evening: casual and classic, understated elegance with a hint of fun shining through in the metallics seen on shimmering dresses and tulle skirts. 

The heavy embellishment and bright colours seen in recent Ralph Lauren collections were gone, replaced by a uniform of tans, caramels and light browns, with some of the strongest looks featuring a layering of different fabrics and hues.

Suiting was a highlight throughout, with one look made up of a matching brown leather jacket and pants paired with a mini paisley red tie and another, a black tux. 

Following the finale, a pause. People’s phones went into the air, before everyone began standing instead to ensure they’d get a look – and the shot. Shortly after, the designer came out, taking his bow wearing a bright blue western shirt tucked into faded blue jeans and New Balance sneakers. His first stop was to kiss his wife nearby, before greeting some of his oldest editor friends. 

Everyone piled out afterward where they walked – or, in my case, somehow ended up in a Mercedes sprinter van with the Lauren family, including Lauren’s brother and the brand’s executive vice president of men's design Jerry Lauren – to The Polo Bar for a celebratory dinner. With walls covered in equestrian paintings and intimate leather booths spread throughout, the Polo Lounge is Lauren's first restaurant, renowned for (what else?) its classic American cuisine, and home to what is widely considered the city's best burger.

Models including Irina Shayk, Imaan Hammam and Anok Yai took photos in the dimly-lit bathroom, while guests, including Derek Blasberg, Chastain and Turner-Smith, as well as Morgan Spector and Rebecca Hall sipped on dirty vodka martinis and champagne.

When Lauren quietly arrived to the venue and took his seat, everyone looked up from their conversations, raised their glasses and cheered. The designer once again proving you don’t have to be loud, nor cater to changing cycles, to be the most influential in the (very influential) room.


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