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An Evening With Ralph Lauren: F/W 2022

The Garnette Report

by Stephanie Rosiles

New York — We haven’t visited Ralph Lauren since September 2019 when Janelle Monáe sang “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” inviting us to a ballroom on Wall Street with a black-and-white evening attire dress code. The show, Ralph’s Club, was cinematic — a jazz band and tuxedo-black jumpsuits inspired by the classic Le Smoking silhouette.

The goal of the Fall/Winter 2022 collection, as described by Business of Fashion, was to “cement in customers’ minds that Ralph Lauren is the purest expression of American luxury.” Lauren succeeded. As the first in-person show back since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the comeback was just that — luxurious and fabulous. It felt inviting — even if the guest list was small. 

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Hosted at the Museum of Modern Art, the set designer took to recreating Lauren’s own Fifth Avenue living room, complete with Central Park views and black-and-white photos on the walls. Shifting away from traditional show seating, guests were seated on white couches with coffee tables topped with vases of red roses and bowls of M&Ms. 

Gigi Hadid opened the show in a preppy, classic Ralph Lauren v-neck sweater emblazoned with a white “RL” and completed with a two-tone shoe. There were single and double-breasted blazers with stripes in rich equestrian inspired designs. Lauren, at 82, understands his customer base. 

We cannot discuss the show without recognizing current discourse regarding a possible LVMH-Ralph Lauren deal. Ralph Lauren is associated with New England preppiness, the English countryside, and French aristocratic style while also varying from the European fashion business which was built on couture — not business. 

The brand celebrates its roots with this show and it looks to the future. Ralph Lauren will be releasing a collegiate-inspired collection that celebrates Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, pledging $2 million to support scholarships for students. The inspiration is rooted in the celebration of preppiness: 

“Ralph Lauren has long used Ivy League schools — a group of predominantly white colleges and universities in the US known for their academic rigor and social prestige — as the inspiration for the brand’s collegiate designs. But as it sought to make good on a 2020 pledge to take action on racial equality and re-examine how it ‘portrays the American dream,’ Jeter (RL Director of Concept Design and Special Projects) convinced Lauren that a collection that demonstrated that Black colleges are just as ‘aspirational and inspirational’ as their Ivy League peers could serve as a powerful step.” 

To close — an ode to Lauren’s New York upbringing; a Yankees cap paired with a baseball jacket and a black tux. 

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