It was a breezy and clear summer day — what better way to spend the afternoon than in Sagaponack, N.Y., at Wölffer Estates Stables, where Jessica Alba and other luminaries gathered for a Ralph Lauren girls’ fashion show.
That is, unless you’re deadly allergic to horses and, to a lesser degree, hay. Shindigger, qualified in both categories, with multiple anaphylactic episodes and ambulance rides under our belt, had taken great precaution before boarding a motor coach to the Hamptons for the merriment. A double dose of Benadryl and a few Epi-Pens clutched to our side served as armament.
When we arrived at the stables, there was only one question on our mind: How would a glass of Wölffer rosé interact with our antihistamines? We happily accepted a glass from the hunky cater waiter and adopted a wait-and-see attitude.
Around 3 p.m., with our heady cocktail kicking in, the little urchins finally arrived, and in no time, the area was crawling with affluently mannered, modelish young girls who sparkled in Madison Avenue finery. Following close behind came their mothers in a sea of white linen, floral prints and swirling Hermès totes.
While dosing up at the bar, we kept our distance from the hay benches and thoroughbred stallions as the runway show progressed in an equestrian direction with the occasional tartan twist. The casting of the girls was impressive, with plenty of commendable as well as gorgeous diversity too, a note some adult shows could take a few pointers from.
“She loved it!” exclaimed actress Tiffani Thiessen, who looked fabulous in a cream Ralph Lauren ensemble, posing with her 3-year-old daughter, Harper Renn Smith, and a St. Bernard that was carried by a youngster in the show. (Before anyone rings child services, we’ll note it was a St. Bernard puppy.)
“What do you think is best advice for the parents of the kids attending today?” Shindigger asked Ms. Thiessen.
“As many diversions as possible and promises of sugar afterwards,” she suggested with a laugh. After the show, her young daughter happily raided Dylan Lauren’s candy bar booth.
Edie Falco and her daughter were also enjoying the sugary bounty.
“What did you think of the stables?” Shindigger asked, suppressing a sneeze with the sleeve of our Ralph Lauren paisley.
“I don’t do a lot of fashion shows,” Ms. Falco said, smiling. “For all I know, every fashion show is held in a stable.”
By then, as the candy bar began to magically change colors like a ’60s LSD trip, Shindigger came to the conclusion that Benadryl and rosé made great afternoon bedfellows, so we shooed our empty away for a new glass of l’eau de vie.
David Lauren, who is responsible for the marketing of the luxury brand, voiced his pleasure over how the afternoon unfolded.
“This all falls under me,” he told Shindigger. “This was a chance to bring the Ralph Lauren lifestyle to life … to make it accessible for a young girl.”
Many of the girls who walked were not models, he noted. “For all the girls to see young girls carry themselves so well and learn what fashion is—it makes them feel more comfortable with fashion.”
Mr. Lauren elaborated about how much the equestrian lifestyle had inspired his clothes. “There’s nothing like actually being in a barn, literally, with the horses walking around that kids can pet,” he said.
Before the designer had a chance to notice our eyes watering at the thought of petting a pony, we bid him a gracious farewell, as he had joined his wife Lauren Bush Lauren for the Madison Beer performance.
“It was adorable!” gushed model Christie Brinkley, tiptoeing into the shade. “They are just turning out these gorgeous kids right? It’s unbelievable and then the clothes that they were in were just the cutest.”
She told us that this was her daughter Sailor Brinkley Cook’s first fashion show. “She loved it. She just started modeling. She has a spread out in Teen Vogue,” the proud mother boasted.
“What would be your biggest advice to her as a model?” Shindigger was curious to know.
“If you’re looking at articles that you’re in on the Internet, do not scroll past the end of the article,” Ms. Brinkley advised. “Never look at the comments. You don’t want to get into that world of haters.”
Just then, the 15-year-old joined the conversation, giving her co-catwalkers high marks in the looks department. “The models were so pretty,” she said. “I was a little jealous.”
“You have nothing to worry about. Have you investigated Dylan’s Candy Bar?” we asked. Mom and daughter cast nervous glances at each other and then smiled. “We’re staying away from that,” the duo chorused, and we said our goodbyes, stumbing away from the party wondering whether the candy looked blurry to everyone else.
Follow Benjamin-Emile Le Hay via RSS.