Jennifer Lopez has revealed the three dresses she wore at her second wedding to Ben Affleck on her official newsletter, On The JLo. The first dress, worn during the 45-minute ceremony, features a high neck and voluminous hand-sewn ruffled skirt. The singer then changed into a dress with a plunging, pearl-lined neckline. And to end the night, she wore a third dress with mermaid silhouette, adorned with Swarovski crystals on the back and neckline. All of them were designed by the same person: Ralph Lauren.
The designer and the singer both come from humble origins. The two grew up in the New York borough of the Bronx, and both embody the American dream: rising up from their humble backgrounds to achieve global success in their respective careers. Ralph Lauren is the son of Jewish immigrants, and as a child only wanted to have his own closet where he could arrange his shoes, as he says in the 2019 HBO documentary Very Ralph. But his talent for design – inspired by the style of movie stars such as Marlon Brandon and Paul Newman – saw him go from selling ties to heading a fashion empire.
Jennifer Lopez, or JLO as she is also known professionally, has worn Ralph Lauren designs on more than one occasion, notably at the 2019 CFDA Awards, where she picked up the Fashion Icon award in an orange two-piece created by the designer, and at the 2021 Met Gala, which paid tribute to American fashion.
But Lopez’s decision to wear Ralph Lauren on her wedding day has raised some eyebrows, considering the scandals the brand has faced, and its association with wealthy white Americans. While the singer and actress is proud of her journey from the hood to the red carpet, Ralph Lauren has been embraced by the WASP – White Anglo-Saxon Protestant – community.
The designer changed his Jewish surname Lifshitz to Lauren to make it more American sounding. The designer was again the center of controversy when former first lady Melania Trump wore one of his designs at the investiture ceremony of Donald Trump.
When asked about why Ralph Lauren changed his surname in Very Ralph, Jerry Lauren, his brother and executive vice-president of menswear, said: “A lot of people thought that Ralph had changed his name because he wanted to be more WASPy. Absolutely not true. I am the person who created the name change. Throughout life, having a namelike Lifshitz, was a tough thing to live with. [...] There was never a moment when I want to escape my origins, but I said: ‘Lenny and Ralph, I want to tell you something.’I’d like for us to change our names.’”
In regard to the Ralph Lauren jumpsuit that Melanie Trump worse to celebrate the 2016 election results, the designer said she had bought the garment without informing him. The former first lady, however, wore a Ralph Lauren blue suit, custom-made by the company, for Trump’s inauguration. Twitter users lashed out against the designer for dressing the Republican leader’s wife, with the hashtag #BoycottRalphLauren quickly becoming viral.
Despite these controversies, JLO opted to wear Ralph Lauren on her second wedding day on August 21. The singer’s support is a sign that the designer has been able to distant himself from the accusations of classism and move closer to the notion of the American dream, embodied by them both.