Vogue: Hillary, Kanye, Oprah—Inside Ralph Lauren’s Epic 50th Anniversary Show
It would be easier to draw up a list of who was not at Ralph Lauren’s epic 50th anniversary show and bash last night in Central Park. Figures ranged from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to film icon Steven Spielberg to music impresario Kanye West, which reinforced the idea that Lauren’s reach spans across cultures and industries to resonate with everyone. That sentiment was on display yesterday evening, where the designer’s runway show was matched by famous-faced friends clad in his attire, who took their seats for an inimitable evening. And for some of Lauren’s most buzzy clients, the memories of wearing him go back to the designer’s start as a tie designer.
“I like that he started making ties,” said Jessica Chastain, beaming in a cheery, sunflower-yellow pleated dress. “It’s a testament that if we have this passion, this fire inside us, to just do it.” Chastain was quickly joined by Anne Hathaway, who opted for a slick suit by Lauren, and added, “My father-in-law was the one selling those ties at Bloomingdale’s. He remembers Ralph coming in and taking the ties out of the trunk of his car and selling them.” But did the duo have any favorite pieces in their vast wardrobes? “I do like a Ralph Lauren tux, like the one I’m wearing in the [Woman fragrance] campaign,” said Chastain. Hathaway paused and thought before Chastain interjected, “The Met dress,” referring to the actress’s 2015 gilded Met Gala dress. “This is a good girlfriend,” laughed Hathaway. “She thinks for me.” And what do both like about his designs? “American glamour is Ralph Lauren,” said Hathaway succinctly.
That sentiment was echoed by supermodel and fashion icon Iman, who shared, “He is the American dream, literally. From the collections he odes on the Wild, Wild West to African safaris, it’s the American dream. He dreams it and it becomes true.”
And last night, as guests including Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Chance the Rapper and Kirsten Corley, and a slew of Lauren’s design peers—Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, and Vera Wang, to name a few—glided down the steps into the show space, everyone’s eyes lit up with fondness for the imaginative designer. “He combines the history of our country and the classic elegance of ease and sportswear into wearable clothes,” shared Tracee Ellis Ross, who composed an elegant melange of a tuxedo jacket, vintage belt, and fishtail beaded skirt punctuated by turquoise jewelry and cowboy boots.
After the show, it was time for the soiree to begin—a full orchestra played as guests wandered to the Bethesda Fountain where filet mignon, flown in from Lauren’s ranch, was served. “He’s an amazing storyteller,” said Andrew Bolton, curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “He plays in all the American mythologies.” That thinking was also shared by Kelly Ripa, joined by husband Mark Consuelos. “I love his thumbprint on American culture,” said Ripa, adding, “he lends an elegance and glamour to the American culture.” But perhaps it was tennis ace Maria Sharapova who summed up the evening best. “It was incredibly uplifting,” said Sharapova, in a Western-inspired minidress. “Under the evening mist, the timeless romanticism of Ralph has spoiled the world for 50 years.”