Fashion / Fashion News

Ralph Lauren returns to the New York Fashion Week runway and to his denim roots

Ralph Lauren returns to the New York Fashion Week runway and to his denim roots

A lot has changed in the nearly four years since Ralph Lauren last presented a runway collection at the 2019 New York Fashion Week. But not, it would seem, for the designer.

One of NYFW's most anticipated shows, the brand's Spring 2024 Ready-to-Wear collection felt quintessentially Ralph; at once an homage and an evolution. Settling into an unassuming empty warehouse on the edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the evening hosted many a friend and alumnus of the brand – like Laura Dern, Julianne Moore, Diane Keaton and Gabrielle Union – a testament to the star power still wielded by Lauren even now, 56 years after the inception of his eponymous fashion label.

Lauren said the collection would centre on a 'new kind of romance', one that was both timeless and modern, bold and sophisticated. "It’s about the freedom of creating a personal style through the artistry of faded denims and painterly florals, the modern sophistication of iconic shapes in black and gold or the eclectic mix of bold colours, shine and luxurious handcrafted details," said Lauren, "These are the stories of the woman I design for whose individuality and artistic spirit are a canvas for her own self-expression."

Kicking things off by staying true to their roots, the first set of looks to make their way down the runway spotlighted the House's expert treatment of denim – distressed jeans, denim blazers featuring floral reverse appliqué, denim bodices and a flowing ombre denim maxi skirt. Also included was Ralph Lauren's newest bag – the RL 888 – down the runway, a navy version of which was sported by show opener Anna Ewers, who is new face of the RL 888 campaign.

The show then moved into a series of elevated and striking black-and-gold evening looks, each playing with shape, drape and shine through gold lamé and glittering black sequins. Lauren's understated approach to elegance shone through – his atelier's expert tailoring and House motifs like the RL logo and polo shirt silhouette punctuating otherwise refined looks.

From there, the runway transformed with colour through a succession of bias-cut jewel-toned silk gowns, shredded at the hem to create fringing that tied beautifully into the distinctly Western undertones of the collection. Elsewhere, the occasional cowboy hat and oversized silver-plated rodeo belt buckle rounded out the theme. The show was closed by yet another icon of American fashion, supermodel Christy Turlington, who donned a knockout gold lamé one-shoulder gown.

While it might feel like the world has been irrevocably changed by the last few years, it's comforting to know that some things never do. Lauren's presentation was at once a timely and tender homage to the brand's near-50 year history, and a nod to its next beautifully written next chapter.


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