If you want to understand the enduring pull of Ralph Lauren, one of America’s most iconic fashion names, you need only look at the front row of the designers’ Spring Summer 2023 show. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, John Legend, Diane Keaton, Laura Dern, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Robin Wright, Lily Collins… it was a seemingly endless who’s who of Hollywood and entertainment royalty. They descended upon San Marino California for an immersive ‘World of Ralph Lauren’ fashion event at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
The event represented the first time Ralph Lauren have showed a runway collection on the West Coast, a landmark occasion that speaks to the growing relevance of cities outside of New York City to large fashion houses (Gucci hosted a fashion show in LA late last year, for example). Further breaking with tradition, the brand showed an eclectic runway show featuring their Collection and Purple Label offerings alongside Double RL, Polo Ralph Lauren, and even childrenswear. The end result was a love letter to the history of Californian style, mixed with nods to nonchalant seaside glamour.
Tapping into an aesthetic the brand dubbed “rugged West”, the collection featured aged leather cowboy boots, masterfully layered jewellery, sharp three-piece suits, and romantic print dresses. Western-style embroidery was featured on jackets and shirting, accessorised with wide-brim felt hats, wide neck ties, and silk neck scarves. Elsewhere, Lauren paid homage to the “dramatic coastlines of Souther California during golden hour” with elevated basics in a fresh palette of sands, taupes, and creams. Think: linen suits, Fair Isle knits, brown leather loafers, and equestrian motifs.
“I have always been inspired by the natural beauty, the heritage, and glamour of the West Coast of America,” Lauren explained in the collections’ notes. “California has always been a land of dreams and contradictions—rugged coasts and red carpets. For the first time ever, I bring my dream of living here, sharing my worlds in an experience that celebrates a way of life I have always believed in—a mix of grit and glamour, energy and inspiration.” With Lauren’s deft attention to detail (and ever-growing fan base), Cali-cool never looked so, well, cool.