The designer invited just 300 guests to his New York fashion week show which was a celebration of affluence and exclusivity

The late 19th-century arbiter of Manhattan society Samuel Ward McAllister coined the phrase “The Four Hundred” to describe the number of people who really matter in New York at any given time. Ralph Lauren, who has built a personal fortune of $5.8bn (£4.4bn) by distilling the top notes of affluent east coast society into blazers, polo shirts and perfumes, revived this concept on Tuesday evening with an ultra-exclusive runway show, bucking the inclusive, consumer-facing direction that has defined most of New York fashion week.

In contrast to Alexander Wang’s Saturday night event, staged guerilla-style on downtown streets, Ralph Lauren selected just 300 guests to be chauffeur-driven out of the city for one glamorous evening, staging a runway show and black-tie dinner upstate among a personal collection of valuable vintage sports cars.

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