Recently I was invited to discover the newest collections for Ralph Lauren Home. Three distinct styles but still within Ralph Lauren’s signature classic Americana vibes. If these vignettes inspire you for a little home makeover, check out the RalphLaurenHome Instagram for more home decor inspiration!
Inspired by East London’s Shoreditch area, this eclectic and bohemian home collection is perfect for a layered, loft-like space with a modern industrial feel. These home pieces were created to evoke a feeling of history, warmth and being collected over time.
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The close of New York Fashion Week always ends on a high note for me with the Ralph Lauren collection. Usually I come for the gowns, which are the most beautiful classic American study in simplicity and elegance.
However, for the Ralph Lauren Fall 2016 presentation I was more enamored with the first 14 or so looks that came quiet and confidently down the runway. Beige on beige on beige was the story in smart men’s tailoring that looked both chic and comfortable. It’s a certain kind of woman who can pull these off, someone with personality and brains, like a Diane Keaton character in some bygone rom-com. She dresses for herself and doesn’t need the fleeting attention of the flashy spotlight to for validation, she already has it sewn into the fabric of her being…
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I feel so fortunate to get to experience such wonderful luxuries in life and a day with Ralph Lauren is always such a pleasure. To launch their new Automotive Eyewear Collection they opened up the doors to the Classic Car Club of Manhattan to send us on a road trip out of the city, up the Hudson River to test drive some seriously cool sunnies in Ralph Lauren style.
Since I own a little vintage convertible I decided to go modern lux… I found out the Bentley drives a little smoother than my 1982 Mercedes and you can actually hear the music on the stereo! We flew across the George Washington Bridge to my favorite local drive along the Palisades. I love that feeling when you turn off the bridge waving goodbye to Manhattan and becoming instantly enveloped in trees ans nature. We stopped for lunch a the Red Hat on the River, a converted factory building restaurant with water views and killer lobster rolls. It was a perfect way to spend a summer Friday- fast cars, fun friends and fashion.
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How lucky are we that we get to work with our best friends? My friendship with Kelly began 3 years ago on a shoot in Malibu where we shot all day, and dreamed all night. Fast forward to now, another year in our friendship. We shared a house in Amagansett, she threw me the best birthday party of all, we collaborated on shoots from CHANEL to golden goddesses, cool kids to Victoria Secret models. Before we each go home to our real families Kelly and I had a Holiday Party here at the studio for our little New York family, the ones that buy you a drink after a hard day or make you laugh when work is stressful or keep you inspired though all forms of collaboration… and the occasional selfie.
Of course we had to go big and by go big we mean we decked the entire party out in Ralph Lauren from the table tops to the shoes! …so it was basically my dream party. Zach, Kelly’s boyfriend (who just opened a new restaurant in Manhattan!) made the most beautiful dinner of Coq au Vin (recipe HERE!) while Kevin welcomed our guests with a Suburban cocktail (see his story & recipe below!).
Kelly took care of the table with a focus on personal touches, my favorite being the way she did the place settings by using a small silver frame and having me print photos that I have taken of us through the years (which was super easy using THIS), as a way to mark each person’s seat at the table. I loved this touch. I thought it really represented our friendship and collaboration and was an amazing way for everyone to re-tell the story behind the image.
While she sat the table I thought it would be fun to put the photo studio in use even for a dinner party! I threw up a gray seamless and put some warm gels over a couple of kino flo lights and had the camera ready to go to take portraits of each other, to remember this time in our lives together, and this holiday season. As the night progressed the portrait studio turned into a candid riot of laughter and dancing and all out friendship silliness. I cherish this night, these real moments of laugher and wine, photography and art- all the passions that brought us together in the first place.
So here’s to the holiday season. I hope you find some inspiration in our intimate Ralph Lauren inspired dinner party for your own this December and remember to be with the ones that you love….
Kelly has a method to her table-setting-madness! See here entertaining tips here!
Above~ keeping it classic in a Ralph Lauren Collection Cashmere Chunky Knit Turtleneck (I order a size up to make it extra cozy), Collection Pencil Skirt and Suede Blamina Sandal
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Ralph Lauren always takes us on a journey, be it the rolling green estate of an English manor, the perfectly fitted and delicately embellished world of Jay Gatsby or lost on the shining streets of Paris at night. This season we find ourselves embarking on the greatest journey of all- Safari. With a slight military embellishment and topped off with colorful crystals that take my mind deep into wilds of India, Ralph Lauren takes on trekking in the chicest way possible. The closing dress to the show gave me goosebumps and a rush of a thousands visions of photographic moments: running through the tall grass on a vast savannah, riding on the back of an elephant enveloped in clouds of red dust or climbing on to a prop plane under a setting sun in the most ‘Out of Africa‘ romantic way possible…
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After we wrapped our Hamptons Magazine shoot, we decided to play around on digital and on film with our model muse Vita Sidorkina. There are whispers in the industry that she is the next “it” girl, and it says a lot that she just signed a contact with Victoria Secret PINK. I’ve shot a lot of people through the years from models to artists to friends and business folk so I’ve felt the differences in front of the lens. I do my best to make the sitter feel comfortable, beautiful (or handsome), and safe, even if that means helping them pose down to their pinky toe to get a balanced and aesthetically pleasing shot for both yourself and them. However, sometimes you have someone who truly knows how to move in front of the camera. You start a dance and dialogue together both giving to create. Vita does that and as a photographer, it’s my favorite way to photograph someone. It feels like watching a flower bloom in high speed through your camera box.
This was my favorite shoot from summer: I love the simplicity, I love the styling Kelly did on Vita that she picked up from how some of the “cool” guys in the Hamptons had been wearing their sweaters in the chilly night air, and of course, I LOVE Ralph Lauren which is all she needs to wear out East…
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Shooting backstage is quite the interesting experience. I mostly try to stay out of the way of the photographers with their large flashes, cords and assistants who are always reaching for the models, calling them by name, fighting other photographers over space. Instead I look for quiet moments, beautiful moments, something in-between. I try to see what is intimate… a thought, a glance, a gaze. I always hope to see the beauty not only in the clothing, especially when you are talking about Ralph Lauren, but also the beauty in the person I’m photographing. This collection in its simplicity and understated color palette was a true look at luxury textiles and in confidence, which made it wonderfully amazing to study the collection up close and with more ease than in the brief shining moment we get on the runway.
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It was only a year ago Kevin and I headed out in a tux and Valentino gown to LeBal in Paris. One of those nights, the ones you’re aware you’ll never forget. It was his birthday – we rode Veleb’s at 2am after the ball to drink champagne and split a French burger. It was one of the best nights of our life, riding home past an empty courtyard of the Louvre and in the shadow of night – silhouettes of iconic buildings guiding our way.
So here we are again. Another beautiful crisp fall evening in Paris, another view of a sparkling Eiffel Tower reflecting off our champagne glasses and catching the crystal droplets of this evening’s earrings. This time was different though…this time, we were celebrating the arts. Celebrating the luxury we have as Americans at the height of our success to use our fortune for good. Models, artists, celebrities, and royalty came out on this autumn night to support Ralph Lauren, congratulate him on the beautiful world which he has created for us all in a spectacular showcase of his fall collection on the runway, and say thank you for his latest commitment to restore the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, one of the most influential art schools in France, Amphitheatre d’honneur in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Pres. The renovation will help bring the institution’s teaching capabilities into the 21st century while also preserving the classical Beaux-Arts style for future generations. We raised our glasses and toasted: to the new future that comes from saving the past.
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For the first time in history, Ralph Lauren‘s iconic, glamorous, and classic fashions graced the runways of Paris at the L’École des Beaux-Arts. The venue chosen has a special meaning to the Ralph Lauren family…with a commitment to philanthropy and a love of Paris, the Ralph Lauren Corporation was devoted to the restoration of France’s national school of fine arts, the L’Ecole de Beaux-Arts’s historic Amphitheatre d’honneur. We were so fortunate to see the renovations in progress and take a tour of this breathtaking complex of historic and artist buildings. Renovating and preserving Parisian landmarks is not new to Mr. Lauren…as you may recall, the spectacular 17th century former hotel where we danced, dined, and fulfilled so many of my French-American fantasies has a similar story.
It was such an honor to see one of my favorite designers, a man who has sculpted the world in which I live to dream and dream to live, have this moment in Paris. Afterwards when he was asked, “Why Paris? Why the arts?”, he said, “My father was an artist. He worked hard in New York, most people didn’t know that but he was. He didn’t have a steady job but he worked hard. So that’s why I decided to work with the Beaux Arts, so I can hopefully get a diploma.”
The Ralph Lauren Fall 2013 collection, from Paris for the good of art ~
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There are those really special moments in life where you find yourself in a place that you have only dreamed of. If you have been following along on Instagram you know we are in Paris, and Paris in the fall is one of the greatest experiences in life…the beauty, the light, the smells, how the leaves crackle under your feet on the old cobblestones. I am always looking for new Paris recommendations to keep discovering this beautiful city each time we return.
I had heard about Ralph’s, Ralph Lauren’s restaurant on the famous Boulevard Saint German in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and when I walked through the archway I knew this was the place I had been dreaming of…an old Parisian mansion built in 1683, saved and renovated to the highest detail and quality by Mr. Lauren. We arrived to dine in the courtyard, surrounded by beautiful landscaping, massive windows slightly ajar allowing you to hear the clinking of champagne glasses from inside. Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, and other old jazz standards echoed off the stone walls and dissipated up into the night sky. I laid back on a sea of Ralph Lauren linen pillows with a glass of Chateau de Tracy with its mesmerizing floral bouquet and said to Kevin, I feel like I’m living in Jay Gatsby’s world, if he were in Paris to visit Hemingway.
Surrounding the restaurant is the complete world of Ralph Lauren. Room by room, positioned around gilded mirrors and enchanting fireplaces are the collections of this iconic American designer, but the view of Boulevard Saint Germain from the old mansion’s windows leaves no question in your mind, you are in Paris and what a city she is…
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“I am forever inspired by far away exotic places. I may never have been there, but in my imagination it is real.” – Ralph Lauren
There is something so rich and alive about Spanish culture, it’s no wonder that it inspired a designer like Ralph Lauren. Piece after piece appeared on the runway with bright colors, flirtatious flares, and elegant embellishments, most of them accompanied by a hat sexily pulled over one eye.
We may not always be able to travel to far off lands, but it’s good to know we can dress like we have!
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