Everything I Saw, Felt, and Heard at Ralph Lauren’s First-Ever West Coast Show

Ralph Lauren is as American as apple pie. The legendary designer helped put U.S. fashion on the map in the ’60s and ’70s and has ensured that local design remains part of the global fashion conversation for the past five decades. Born in the Bronx, New York City, it’s no wonder why he quickly became a staple at NYFW. But for one special night, Lauren decided to shed his East Coast roots and decamp to California, where he presented his spring/summer 2023 collection to much fanfare. 

The show featured a whopping 103 looks that spanned the entire Ralph Lauren universe, including Collection, Purple Label, Double RL, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Childrenswear. The runway opened with aged cowboy boots and Western-style embroidery and ended with vividly colored water-repellent silk taffeta skirts. Talk about range. Scroll down for my firsthand review of the dazzling evening. 

The show was held outdoors at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. The models exited the stately 1911 home, which was first transformed into an art museum back in 1952. After the show, all guests were led to the Rose Garden, where impeccably appointed dinner tables beckoned. Lest you forget that Ralph Lauren designs much more than just clothing and accessories, the brand showed off its stylish homewares on the tablescape and delicious burgers from The Polo Bar on the menu. 

As for the music, the show opened with the quintessential L.A. song “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas and the Papas. “Midnight Rider’s Prayer” by Brothers Osborne fittingly blasted while the cowboy-inspired looks paraded down the runway. I also heard plenty of California and L.A. references in other songs, including in Neil Diamond’s “I am… I Said.” 

“A-line ballgowns in vibrant colors are paired with striped rugby shirts, sweatshirts, knit caps, and the new top-handle RL Collection Handbag for a look that romances Venice Beach into something akin to surfer couture,” the press release explained. Bedecked with Ralph Lauren’s chic monogram, the new bags are sure to become instant classics. 

As you might expect, Ralph Lauren attracted an A-list front row. Notable attendees included Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, who recently got married wearing custom Ralph Lauren looks, as well as Mindy Kaling, Diane Keaton, Laura Dern, John Legend, Lily Collins, and many others, all outfitted in the brand. 

WHO: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck

WHO: Diane Keaton 

WHO: Chris Pine

WHO: Laura Dern and Mindy Kaling

WHO: John Legend

WHO: Lily Collins

WHO: Cole Sprouse and Ari Fournier

The runway models were just as high caliber as the front row. Veterans Shalom Harlow, Irina Shayk, and Natasha Poly all strutted down the marble stairs wearing Ralph Lauren Collection, while newcomer Roberto Rossellini (yes, Isabella Rossellini’s son) wore the colorful Polo brand. Not to be overlooked, the show also included adorable childrenswear modeled by the cutest youngsters I’ve ever seen. 

WHO: Irina Shayk 

WHO: Roberto Rossellini 

WHO: Shalom Harlow 

WHO: Natasha Poly 

WHO: Daisaku Hidaka and Brian 

Next: These are the 11 Biggest Spring 2023 Trends, Period

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