Ralph Lauren stretched the boundaries of New York Fashion Week by hosting his fall 2017 runway show in the plush garage of his estate in the tony suburb of Bedford, about an hour-and-a-half drive from New York City. But it was worth the ride.
Such celebrities as Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, and Jessica Chastain, the "face" of the new Ralph Lauren fragrance Woman, made the trek to "Ralph's Garage" to view the show, set on a runway that wound around several of the designer's classic cars. They stayed around afterwards for a seated dinner that featured such offerings as lobster salad and three burger options (beef, tuna, or veggie) from the menu of The Polo Bar, Lauren's chic Manhattan restaurant.
Lauren, an avid classic car enthusiast who made his runway bow at the end of the show in his version of a mechanic's jumpsuit, said the collection is inspired by his extensive (and expensive) auto collection. "I see them as moving art," he said in a statement.
Many of the styles matched the colors and shine of the surrounding cars, with glossy patent leather bustiers in Ferrari red, racing yellow, blue, or gunmetal metallic silver, paired with tulle skirts as evening wear, and a shiny red trench coat of lacquered leather.
A beaded black-and-silver mini-dress embellished with the number "8" inspired by a 1920s Bugatti from Lauren's personal collection evokes an art-deco grille motif while a black leather motorcycle jacket is paired with a bright yellow tulle evening skirt for an edgier look.
Lauren also showed menwear from his Purple Label collection, and some of them, too, had a race car theme, with leather biker jackets emblazoned with the words "Monte Carlo" or marked with racing stripes in silver, red and yellow. Formal wear looks for men ranged from traditional tuxedos to an intriguing one-piece black jumpsuit tuxedo worn with a white tux shirt underneath and a bow tie.
As he has done for the past two seasons, Lauren offered the "runway-to-retail" collection immediately online and at selected Ralph Lauren shops and such retail stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Some accessories, including a houndstooth-fabric pump and the new RL Bucket Bag, were offered for sale even before they were unveiled on the runway. A number of daytime looks in the collection incorporate houndstooth and Glen plaid fabrics in a variety of styles.
In this video, Ralph Lauren talks about his collection and his love for vintage cars: