Ralph Lauren has always represented a certain type of East Coast luxury. Many of the brand’s looks on display Thursday night would have been right at home in a Connecticut country club, but the event also signified recognition of California’s cultural ancestry.
Los Angeles is where generations of people have gone to pursue their dreams of Hollywood stardom. But now it’s also where people go to succeed on the internet. Internet culture subsumed mainstream culture, and guests at the event represented a mix of the old and new worlds.
“We live in unprecedented times, we don’t know where social media will take us and how it will evolve,” said Amelie Zilber, an actress, model and Gen Z social media star, “but Los Angeles is full of of opportunities and I think that’s why everyone considers LA to be the place to be.
Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Mindy Kaling and John Legend sat on plush benches as more than 100 models showcased pieces from the full World of Ralph Lauren Spring 2023 collection.
The fashion show itself had a distinctly California vibe. Artist Sia’s rendition of “California Dreamin'” rang out on the track before fading to Neil Diamond’s famous bicoastal anthem “I Am…I Said,” with lyrics like, “I was born and Raised in New York, but these days I’m lost between two shores LA is fine, but it’s not New York’s home, but it’s not mine anymore.
Clothing, from Ralph Lauren Collection, Purple Label, Double RL, Polo Ralph Lauren and children’s wear painted a picture of an idealized California life where one could hop from surfing in Malibu, to brunch in Beverly Hills, to a movie premiere in West Hollywood . It was Lauren’s first time showing all the lines together since her 50th anniversary show in New York’s Central Park in 2018.
The brand has a long history of dressing Hollywood heavyweights, many of whom were there to support the designer. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were there dressed in black. Diane Keaton wore her signature suit with a black top hat. Jessica Chastain, Laura Dern, Lily Collins and Chris Pine mingled on the tiled patio of the Huntington Library.
“I have always been inspired by the natural beauty, heritage and glamor of America’s West Coast,” said Ralph Lauren, chief creative officer of The Ralph Lauren Company, in a statement. “California has always been a land of dreams and contradictions – rugged coastlines and red carpets…I’ve always believed in – a mixture of courage and glamour, energy and inspiration.”
After the show, guests were escorted to a lush rose garden for a seated dinner. “It’s pretty surreal,” said Noah Beck, a 21-year-old actor and TikTok star. “If this show represents LA fashion, then LA has a great future. Bringing Ralph Lauren for their first show in California is amazing, and in this place too.
Emily Mariko, a TikTok star famous for her recipe videos, was dressed in a bright pink dress and sat next to Blake Gray, a Gen Z model, actor and social media star. Young celebrities were seduced by the luxury of the experience, which many said felt like a break from the usual LA party. It was clear that Ralph Lauren had also managed to hook the next generation of stars into the clothes.
“I’m a sucker for costumes,” Gray said, “and Ralph makes the best costumes hands down. I was a big fan of cowboy hats and boots too, coming from Texas, I’ll definitely have to buy some stuff.