This Iconic California Museum Just Hosted Ralph Lauren’s First West Coast Fashion Show
The Spring 2023 collections were inspired by the West.
Growing up in Pasadena, California, I collected stacks and stacks of fashion magazines, pouring over them on weekend afternoons. That world seemed so cool and chic and aspirational. So I think preteen and teenage me would have been totally amazed by the fact that Ralph Lauren just presented his first Southern California fashion show at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, yesterday. The museum is less than a 10-minute drive from my childhood home, and where I spent a lot of my younger years, whether it was on a field trip or a weekend family outing. Needless to say, my phone was blowing up this morning with texts from childhood friends who couldn’t believe that Ralph Lauren hosted a fashion show in our own “backyard.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the locale, The Huntington’s property was previously owned by railroad and real estate businessman Henry Edwards Huntington in the early 1900s. He and his wife, Arabella, had amassed a large collection of books, art, and botanical findings throughout their marriage. In 1919, the couple signed a trust document that turned their private estate into a public institution. And in 1928, The Huntington opened to the public. Today it’s a collection-based research and educational institution—visitors can view its collections of art and books, plus roam its expansive and beautiful gardens.
To put it simply, it’s a beautiful location steeped in history, but doesn’t feel super stuffy. So it’s quite fitting that Ralph Lauren would present his Spring 2023 collections in the iconic institution since his inspiration was the West and its “casual elegance and effortless sophistication.” Lauren said in a press release, “I have always been inspired by the natural beauty, the heritage, and glamour of the West Coast of America. California has always been a land of dreams and contradictions—rugged coasts and red carpets. For the first time ever, I bring my dream of living here, sharing my worlds in an experience that celebrates a way of life I have always believed in—a mix of grit and glamour, energy and inspiration.”
The whole experience featured a runway show and a seated candlelit dinner, and the stars came out to celebrate—guests included Diane Keaton, Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, and John Legend. And while I’m no fashion critic, I can tell you that from the runway photos, the nods to the West are very much there, with some of the looks including cowboy hats, big statement belts, and prairie dresses paired with boots.
Now that leaves me with one last question, which big designer is coming to Pasadena next?