For Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary show, the brand returned to the same location as his 40th in 2008, this time round at the famous Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. The show attendees included celebrities like Kanye West, Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Jessica Chastain, Robert Di Niro, designer icons Tommy Hilfiger and Diane Von Furstenberg, to name a few.
“MY 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION IS INSPIRED BY THE TIMELESS HEROINE WHO THRIVES ON ORIGINALITY, CREATING HER OWN PERSONAL STYLE THROUGH AN ECLECTIC COMBINATION OF INFLUENCES, FROM A ROMANTIC KIND OF VINTAGE TO A BOLD, MODERN SOPHISTICATION. IN CELEBRATION OF 50 YEARS, I CELEBRATE A WOMAN’S FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, HER STRENGTH AND INDIVIDUALITY.” Ralph Lauren
The western influences dominated the first half of the show, while the All-American cool was seen in the high-low mix of sequinned skirts and heavily embellished everyday wear paired with a cable-knit jumper for women and tailored tweed jackets worn with dungarees for men. The Polo brand was well represented, as was Ralph Lauren sport, ski and scholar chic.
The patchwork was one of the central motifs of the season. One of the standout looks was worn by model Gigi Hadid, a handmade patchwork gown of 132 separate patches united by zigzag stitching and embroidery. Requiring the skilled work of three master artisans, the gown showcases a patchworked American Flag—a symbol synonymous with RL style since the debut of the American Flag Sweater on his Fall 1989 runway, as well as Mr. Lauren’s personal commitment to the restoration of the Star-Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History beginning in 1998.
But this show – which featured more than 150 models – wasn’t so much about the clothes as the Ralph Lauren concept. The second part summed it up best when models arrived with children, showing that Ralph Lauren is a brand that has mass market, cross-generational appeal.
“To design without fashion in mind, to design something that is legendary and timeless, is what I aspire to.” Ralph Lauren