Sacha Baron Cohen in Ralph Lauren Is *Chef's Kiss* Ralph Lauren

Murray Clark
·3-min read
Photo credit: Pool
Photo credit: Pool

Ralph Lauren's USA is much more united than the actual USA. Which isn't difficult seeing as free cancer treatment is routinely lampooned as a communist evil. But consider that the designer's mural of Americanness careens across all fifty states, and it is embraced by all fifty in kind as one multi-faceted, and yet singular, star-spangled eidolon. It sprawls out from the northeastern elite enclaves of New England boat houses, to fourth homes in the Hamptons, right across to heavily blanketed Montana ranches, down to Aspen chalets and, finally, bouncing down on Beverly Hills tennis courts filled with bored, not-very-real housewives.

Regardless of subjective opinion on the aesthetics of this empire, it cannot be argued that few designers have created a brand as comprehensive or as colossal as that of Mr Lauren's. But despite all the swatches to a patchwork blanket of Wild Western geometrics and whistle-clean cotton pique polo shirts, Ralph Lauren is, at its core, a smoking, polished Thirties suit; slightly boxy, reclining at a Côte d'Azurian hotel bar, and comfortable in A Brooding Silence as it orders its fourth martini of the evening. That vision waltzed into life once again at last night's Oscars.

Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

Sacha Baron Cohen, who was nominated for best supporting actor on the back of Aaron Sorkin's just fine historical legal drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, in addition to best adapted screenplay for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, was the conduit for Mr Lauren's most Ralph Lauren cast member. Dressed in the brand's blue chip Purple Label, Cohen went for a handmade gabardine dinner jacket, ivory trousers in a silk shantung fabric (which, trust, feels as 'oooooh' as it sounds), linen slippers and a pleated tuxedo shirt. Which sounds very staid and Acadddddemy, but in reality, it's one of the few examples of a outfit that does something a little differently (the palette of creams and browns), remains classic, and makes a light nod to Jay Gatsby without half-arsed Secret Cinema costume undertones. Baron Cohen wasn't even there. The actor beamed in from Sydney with wife Isla Fisher, and still managed to embody Hollywood's golden era better than most who'd managed to get through LAX TSA.

This high dandy, low energy set piece is what Ralph Lauren is all about, above all else – and one lionised in the designer's S/S '21 collection in which bygone Euroluxe was mixed into speakeasy glam (Janelle Monáe sang Frank Sinatra in a tux over an old silver microphone, which is about as "darling, I haven't seen you since the Vanderbilt wedding" as it gets). If preppy rugby shirts and archival teddy bear knits are Mr Lauren's bread and butter, then this form of red carpet splendour is arguably the designer at his crème de la crème.

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