Ralph Lauren races out of Manhattan into fall fashion
American fashion royalty Ralph Lauren raced into fall 2017 by inviting Diane Keaton, Jessica Chastain and Katie Holmes to his garage to watch a stunning runway show inspired by his passion for rare automobiles. The 77-year-old designer, who will next year celebrate the 50th anniversary of his iconic fashion house, transported fellow designers, celebrities and editors 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Manhattan to Bedford on the penultimate day of New York Fashion Week.
There in his private garage, models sashayed down the runway sweeping past four of his priceless automobiles parked in the center watched by guests lounging on black leather banquettes before a private dinner. Sculpted patent leather and high-gloss silk were signature materials for the Ralph Lauren woman of fall 2017. Colors were black and silver, with pops of bright red, yellow and electric blue. Unusually giving a slew of interviews ahead of the show, it marks the third season running that Ralph Lauren has invested in the see-now, buy-now instant fashion that has scared off certain other houses.
It was the first collection since the appointment of Patrice Louvet as chief executive officer, replacing Stefan Larsson who stepped down after little over a year, following disagreements with Lauren on how to position the clothing line in the fast-changing retail universe. In July, the firm reported a net income of $59.5 million in earnings through July 1, up from a loss of $22.3 million in the yearago period. The corporation announced plans in April to move into a more cost-effective e-commerce platform, closing its flagship Polo store on New York’s Fifth Avenue and saving $140 million in annual expenses.
Tuesday’s fast-paced show opened with the exhilarating roar of a sports car engine, starring supermodels of the moment Kendall Jenner in black and yellow, and Bella Hadid in a Ferrari red tulle gown. Mimicking trends seen elsewhere on the catwalk this season-albeit with most others unveiling collections for spring/summer 2018 — there was delicate grey check, houndstooth and plaid for day wear.
Ralph Lauren waves beside one car from his collection in The Garage at the conclusion of the Ralph Lauren fashion show during Fashion Week, Tuesday in Bedford, NY. — AP/AFP photos