If people thought going to Bushwick for Alexander Wang's Spring 2018 show Saturday was too much of a trek, they probably weren't looking forward to traveling to Ralph Lauren's show all the way in Bedford, New York Tuesday evening. (It took Vanessa Friedman two hours to get there.) Only 300 guests — including Jessica Chastain, Armie Hammer, Katie Holmes and Diane Keaton — were invited to the event, which took place in Lauren's own garage of classic cars. All were asked to wear formal black-and-white attire for a private, extravagant-looking dinner following the event. Come to think of it, it may have been worth the trip. For those not invited, and in line with the company's new focus on attracting millennials, the brand set up an exhaustive content rollout plan for social media leading up to the event.
Male and female models (Lauren combined the two genders for the first time) including big names like Bella and Anwar Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Taylor Hill, Romme Stijd and Presley Gerber circled a small selection of the rare automobiles on an otherwise minimalist runway sporting a very fall — and very Ralph — "see now, buy now" collection. The show began with classic, neutral Glen plaid and houndstooth suiting (for both sexes) and outerwear, followed by dresses in the same colors and patterns in increasingly fancy and glittery fabrications, leading up to some stunning gunmetal and sparkly silver gowns that are no doubt headed to a red carpet near you.
Lauren broke up the show with some sportier pieces with car-racing references and pops of bright yellow paired with black — colors also seen in his car assortment — sleek black leather pieces and a few, sharp, black-and-white tuexedos (also for both sexes).
Several looks actually seemed to take direct inspiration from the cars on the runway, including the show-stopping finale gowns. "My cars have always been an inspiration to me," Lauren said in a statement. "I see them as moving art. My women's collection for Fall 2017 connects the elements of the speed, style and beauty of these handcrafted vehicles with the very modern, yet timeless spirit of the clothes. There is a sleekness, an innate sexiness and power to shapes sculpted out of hightech patent leathers and high gloss silks." These leather and silks took the form of gowns at the end of the show in bold primary colors used either from head to toe or just on the bodice or on "racing" stripes down the sides.
Bold hues and glimmering fabrics aside, the collection was actually refreshing in its simplicity. And those so inclined can buy it up now on Ralphlauren.com and in global flagship stores, and through retail partners including Saks Fifth Avenue, Moda Operandi, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.
See it all in the gallery below.