Famous people who work, the fashion clueless, and top designers were among the A-listers at Ralph Lauren’s My Fair Lady–themed 40th-anniversary show and dinner last night in Central Park. The occasion seemed to put guests in a mood for reminiscing. Diane Sawyer recalled her first interview with Lauren: “All of a sudden I’m thinking, Why did I wear these shoes? How could I inflict this outfit on him?” she said. Vera Wang remembered her job interview with the designer: “He asked me what I thought about a jacket and I said, ‘Well I don’t know if I really like it,’ and then he hired me.”
At the end of the show, Lauren walked out to “The Best Is Yet to Come.” With a flick of his wrist, the painted horse-race scene and runway backdrop flung open and the crowd poured into cocktail hour in the Conservatory Garden. Standing by an unruly, high-spurting fountain (it was spraying guests), Lauren was the picture of nonchalance. He dismissed the idea that he picks special models as openers: His entire shows, he told us, are filled with “the most beautiful models in the world.” Would he be seeing any other shows this week? “No. No one invited me.” (Good thing he threw a party for himself.)
But Barbara Walters, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick were even more casual. Before the show, Walters said she hates the red carpet and confessed to wearing a Lauren dress she’d — horrors! — bought on sale at the end of the summer. And over post-show cocktails, Parker said that, since she’s working sixteen-hour days to produce the Sex and the City movie, which begins filming in ten days, this was her only show this Fashion Week. “There’s so much scrutiny now,” Parker noted. “People are so cruel, so I go to as few things as possible.” Broderick, meanwhile, claimed that “I don’t know anything about this stuff.” Even so, he did manage to catch the Valentino show in Italy during his summer vacation. How did it compare to Mr. Lauren’s event? Valentino “was by the Coliseum, which is pretty exciting. This is Central Park.” Touché. —Amy Odell
For more pictures and quotes from the Ralph Lauren party, including Martha Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more, read Party Lines.