The revival of New York Fashion Week wouldn’t have been complete without the return of Ralph Lauren, an emblematic figure whose name is synonymous with American fashion. After a four-year hiatus, the fashion mogul made a triumphant comeback with the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, held in an empty warehouse on the edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This wasn’t the glamorous ‘’Ralph’s Club’’ of 2019, but rather an artist’s loft inspired by Lauren’s Colorado Ranch. The setting marked a new chapter for the brand, as well as for the New York fashion scene, which has seen a generational shift towards scrappy upstarts and small brands.
Ralph Lauren has remained an inspirational figure for young designers, despite his famous peers Calvin Klein and Donna Karan having long exited the scene. The Spring/Summer 2024 collection reaffirmed his status as a pioneer, featuring recognizably Ralph elements while breaking new ground with innovative treatments of quintessentially American fabrics like denim. Lined with chiffon and tulle, burnt out into devorés, and over-embroidered with sequins and beads, the denim pieces in the collection elevated the fabric to a level that could almost be likened to couture.
The collection journeyed from denim to a series of black and gold looks, playing with house codes like the RL logo and the military jacket. A standout piece was Christy Turlington’s show-closing gold lamé one-shoulder gown. Oversized belt buckles bearing the Ralph Lauren logo featured prominently throughout the collection, as did silk foulards, which were creatively transformed into halter tops, sarongs, and pajama pants. Also notable were the bias-cut silk dresses with deep fringes and a madras print criss-cross bodice gown, showcasing Lauren’s ability to masterfully combine unlikely elements.
A rustic yet glamorous dinner followed the show, held in a room with wide wood plank floors and crystal chandeliers. The contrast between the rustic and the glamorous echoed the collection’s balance of innovation and tradition, a duality that has been a hallmark of Lauren’s work since he launched his business in 1967.
This juxtaposition of tradition and innovation is at the heart of Ralph Lauren’s enduring appeal. His ability to reinvent American classics while staying true to his roots is what keeps his designs relevant, even as the fashion landscape evolves. With the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, Ralph Lauren proved once again that he is a master of this delicate balance.
Celebrities like Julianne Moore, Diane Keaton, Jennifer Lopez, and Amanda Seyfried were in attendance, attesting to Lauren’s enduring star power. The presence of such high-profile guests, along with the innovative designs on display, served as a reminder of Lauren’s position at the top of the American fashion business.
©Photo: Ralph Lauren