Jessica Chastain Hits London to Promote Ralph Lauren Fragrance

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Jessica Chastain

The Oscar-winner said a fragrance that is all about empowering women seems right for the times

Jessica Chastain did double duty for Ralph Lauren this week.

The face of the designer’s Woman fragrance was a guest at his starry 50th anniversary celebration in Central Park during New York Fashion Week, then she traveled to London to host the scent's European launch at a cocktail party at Mayfair's Dragon Room on Friday night.

“I was one of the last people there because I didn’t want to leave," Chastain said of the Central Park gala, which attracted a who's who, including Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Kanye West and Chance the Rapper. "As an adult, I grew up in New York, and that’s my favorite part of the park,” she said of the Bethesda Fountain locale, where guests dined on Colorado beef flown in from Lauren's ranch.

At the London soiree, held on the first night of fashion week, she sipped champagne alongside guests including Rose McGowan and Joanne Froggatt.

Only in London for a couple of days, Chastain still managed to squeeze in some fun, including lunch at vegetarian hotspot Mildred’s, shopping on Portobello Road and at Gray’s Antiques. (“I can’t say what I bought because I bought gifts for other people.”)

She talked up the fragrance, saying she was swayed to sign on as an ambassador by the brand's commitment to launching the #LeadLikeAWoman initiative. Designed to promote discussion about closing the leadership gap between women and men, the social media campaign launched in May with a series of short films featuring all-female casts and crews, and a call for women to share their positive experiences with female role models.

Chastain said a fragrance that is all about empowering women seems right for the times. "About a year or so ago, when things started happening, I said, 'It's done, things will never be the same.' Women have really rallied up, we're just not taking it any more."

The scent itself, a mix of white floral and sandalwood, suggests something delicate and strong as well, she points out. "There used to be this fairy tale image of meadows, flowers and princesses. I love how strong the image is, that it's black-and-white, that I'm in a suit but it's feminine. The whole message of the campaign is that the idea of femininity is evolving."