In case you missed the seven-minute “4-D” light show projected onto the façade of Ralph Lauren’s new flagship on Madison Avenue last night, there’s no need to be disappointed! There’s video, and we were also there to see for ourselves what Madison Avenue looks like when giant polo players made of light beams gallop down it. (The answer: not hugely different. It’s Madison Avenue, after all.)
When we first arrived, part of the street had been blocked off, and guests were warming themselves with Champagne inside the Rhinelander mansion. “What’s going on?” a passer-by asked us. We found ourselves somewhat at a loss to explain that four-story-tall models were about to start popping out of the Ralph Lauren store, but the person shrugged and stopped to watch. Meanwhile, the air had been lightly misted with Ralph Lauren fragrance (the scent component was apparently the “4th” dimension of the show), which had sounded a bit worrisome in the press release (were we all going to be spritzed with cologne against our will?) but was actually barely noticeable. “It smells like Christmas!” commented a bystander, sniffing the air.
The show itself felt like something you would see at a planetarium, only with dresses and horses instead of spaceships. It commenced with stars shooting out of the windows and progressed to images of models strutting across the front of the store, as if there was an invisible catwalk stretched across the façade. Then, giant images of various products beamed forth, including an enormous red “Ricky” bag that rotated slowly as the music swelled, as well as bottles of Ralph Lauren’s new Big Pony fragrance collection, which for some reason garnered a whoop from some crowd members. Huge Ralph Lauren ties also appeared to be draped over the store, flapping gently against the walls like big flags, and a belt wrapped itself around the building’s circumference like a big bow. Finally, accompanied by very realistic clip-clopping sound effects, a herd of polo players burst forth from the windows, whirling twenty-foot mallets and whacking balls down the street. For the finale, an image of Ralph himself appeared at one of the windows and waved. The crowd “aww”-ed dutifully. See the video, below.