It was September 2019 when Ralph Lauren invited us all to “Ralph’s Club” and Janelle Monáe charmed absolutely everyone with a bubbly rendition of “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” Two and a half years later, the world is a different place; for starters, New York has a new mayor, Eric Adams. But you know what hasn’t changed? Lauren’s vision of the good life. For her return exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Lauren recreated her Fifth Avenue living room, down to the steel-armed lounge chairs, coffee table books and black-and-white photos on the walls depicting her views. real Central Park. . Adams and Monáe were in the audience, joined by Jessica Chastain and Lily Collins.
You don’t get to your sixth decade in business dithering, and at 82, Lauren’s signatures are well established. “I wasn’t serving a lady somewhere, or a guy,” he said vogue in 2019. “I was serving myself.” Her new collection for fall touched on many of her famous signatures, starting with Gigi Hadid’s opening look: a monogram sweater tucked into trimmed pleated pants accessorized with spectator heels and an oversized Ricky bag.
From this beginning, there was a passage devoted to classic black and white couture; an après-ski section that saw a jeweled Fair Isle sweater paired with a floor-length skirt; a few looks devoted to the very Ralph hobby of horseback riding, to lift the name of the 2019 HBO documentary of his life; and a series of high evenings that read like a love letter to New York, including a black column dress with the skyline highlighted in crystals.
Lauren’s multi-generational cast brought home the timelessness and elegance of it all: Shalom Harlow and Laetitia Casta mingled with newcomers, and Tyson Beckford, the face of many 1990s Ralph Lauren campaigns, brought home the takes a tour on his own, stopping to shake hands with the designer’s brother Jerry along the way. Kudos to the young model who wore her Gilded Age outfit with such aplomb.
In fact, Lauren’s vision is broader than it was before the pandemic and the racial justice reckoning of 2020. Last week, the brand unveiled a new collection, Polo Ralph Lauren Exclusively for Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, which reimagines the college prep look that’s been so much part of its repertoire in a more inclusive way. It follows the $2 million pledge the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation made last year to support scholarships for students at 12 historically black colleges and universities across the country.
For the show’s finale, Vittoria Cerreti stepped out in a black tuxedo with a Yankees cap on her head and a baseball jacket over her shoulders. It was a nod to Lauren’s childhood haunts in the Bronx, but the lineup didn’t fail to telegraph another detail. The Yankees and Ralph Lauren are both American institutions.