Ralph Lauren goes minimal for latest fashion show, with muted tones and a more intimate setting

Apr 29, 2024, 10:14 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Ralph Lauren has been known for many a grand fashion show over the years: taking over Central Park for a sumptuous anniversary celebration, for example, or staging a runway show amid his eye-popping classic car collection.

But for his Fall/Holiday 2024 collection, he decided to go minimal — at least, minimal in Ralph Lauren terms. That meant an intimate show Monday night in a (relatively) small design studio at his New York City offices, inspired by his first women’s fashion show in 1972, where he displayed his wares to editors and friends in his own office.

In front of a typically starry front row that included actors Glenn Close, Jessica Chastain, Kerry Washington, Rebecca Hall and Jodie Turner-Smith, Lauren opened his show on a note of timelessness — his longtime ethos — with the appearance of muse and supermodel Christy Turlington, now 55, in a sleek beige wool coat.

What followed were a series of designs in soothing neutral tones: tans, browns, grays, black and metallics. The soft palette characterized both daytime garments like tailored jackets and sweaters with trousers, and evening wear like slinky, sequined gowns. There were roomy sweaters, lots of boots and wide leather belts with “RL” buckles.

There were Lauren’s familiar Western accents, like long fringes on coats and jacket sleeves. And especially the occasional cowboy hat, which accompanied not only casual ensembles but, to close out the show with a memorable look, a backless gown dress in sparkly gold.

Lauren, 84, appeared briefly at the end, in well-worn jeans, to cheers from the crowd, which also included Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Close wore a white Lauren pantsuit. “This is a very, very special suit,” the actor said. “It was made especially for me. Custom. Five years ago. I won a SAG award in it. So here I am. It looks just as beautiful. It’s a shame to wear something like this only once.”

Close added that growing up in New England, “the mentality was, you buy something that has great quality and then you wear it until it wears out. That’s how I was brought up.”

After the show, guests walked the few blocks down to Lauren’s Polo Bar restaurant, where the designer was again cheered when he made his entrance — before tucking into one of his restaurant’s signature burgers.

Lauren’s son, David, an executive at the label, discussed the task of creating new designs each season. “You know, everything changes,” he said. “You’re always looking at new fabrics and you’re looking at new silhouettes, and you’re looking at new ways to bring the brand to life. But there is a philosophy. There is a style.”

With Wintour’s Met Gala coming up in exactly a week, David Lauren was asked if the label would be dressing any stars. “Not this year,” he said. “We’ve been so involved over the years, but this year we have a fashion show and we’re about to outfit team USA (for the Olympics in Paris) and do a men’s presentation in Milan. So our our plate is full.”

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Ralph Lauren goes minimal for latest fashion show, with muted tones and a more intimate setting