NY Runway Report

Ralph Lauren blows away Central Park crowd with new kind of runway show

Ralph Lauren blows away Central Park crowd with high-tech runway show

Ralph Lauren virtual bow at Polo event
Ralph Lauren made a virtual bow at the end of his unusual runway show. Photo by Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
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Models from current and previous Ralph Lauren ad campaigns each got their own polo shirt to wear. Photo by Paul Porter/BFAnyc.com
Kendall Jenner and Ciara at Ralph Lauren Polo event
Kendall Jenner, Ciara Photo by Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
Ralph Lauren male models
Current and former Ralph Lauren models provided lots of eye candy. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Image from Polo Ralph Lauren runway show video
The Polo Ralph Lauren for Women collection mixed live action movement and CD for a 4D effect. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren
Waiters-at-Ralph-Lauren-Polo-event
Waiters in white Ralph Lauren polo shirts offered champagne Photo by Paul Porter/BFAnyc.com
Ralph Lauren family at Polo event
Lauren Bush Lauren, David Lauren, Andrew Lauren, Ralph Lauren, Ricky Lauren, Dylan Lauren Photo by Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
Ralph Lauren Polo Hologram 4D
The virtual runway show was shown in a screen of water in New York's Central Park. Photo by Paul Porter/BFAnyc.com
Ralph Lauren male models
Ralph Lauren models were everywhere. Photo by Clifford Pugh
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Karlie Kloss, Ralph Lauren Photo by Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
Image from Polo Ralph Lauren runway show video
Images of New York streets and landmarks were incorporated into the 10-minute, 4D film. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren virtual bow at Polo event
Models-at-Ralph-Lauren-Polo-event-in-New-York
Kendall Jenner and Ciara at Ralph Lauren Polo event
Ralph Lauren male models
Image from Polo Ralph Lauren runway show video
Waiters-at-Ralph-Lauren-Polo-event
Ralph Lauren family at Polo event
Ralph Lauren Polo Hologram 4D
Ralph Lauren male models
Karlie-Kloss-and-Ralph-Lauren-at-Polo-even
Image from Polo Ralph Lauren runway show video

The beautiful people took over New York's Central Park Monday night as young, athletic and drop-dead gorgeous Ralph Lauren models from recent years — sporting colorful polo shirts with their names emblazoned on the back — overran the large lake near the west edge of the grand park like ants at a picnic.

Members of the fashion media and New York notables who came out for the debut of the Polo Ralph Lauren for Women spring 2015 collection felt downright schlubby by comparison.

With a new clothing line (the Polo for Women collection is more colorful and casual — and less expensive — than the top-of-the line Ralph Lauren Collection) and the Polo brand's first flagship store on Fifth Avenue, Lauren and his son David decided to launch it in a high-tech, holographic way mixed with the classic touches for which the designer is known.

 Lauren launched Polo for Women in a high-tech, holographic way mixed with the classic touches for which the designer is known.

Before the new kind of runway show began, the crowd wound its way through the park as hunky guys in white Polo shirts stood every few feet on the path with flashlights so no one would stumble. Once near the lake, more young men in white Polos stood with silver trays laden with champagne; others served bowls of late-summer tomato salad, New England lobster rolls and Ralph burgers from behind white wooden carts, while a four-piece orchestra played classical music.

Guests headed to the edge of the lake around 9:30 pm, where suddenly a four-story-high fountain of water erupted, and holographic images of New York landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line appeared out of thin air under the nighttime sky. Holographic models showcased the new collection on the water screen as it constantly changed locations, colors and patterns.

With all the razzle dazzle of the new technology using live action and CG to generate 4D effects, the clothes got a bit lost in the display, although there were more than 45 looks that range from casual sateen varsity jackets, lace dresses and striped sweaters to boldly colored evening wear. 

At the end of the presentation, a holographic Ralph Lauren made his runway bow to the Frank Sinatra tune, "Fly Me To The Moon," just like at a regular show, and then disappeared as the Polo logo vanished into a sea of stars in the nighttime sky.

The real Ralph Lauren was there too, with his family, and friends including Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, Anna Wintour, Kendall Jenner, Ciara and Karlie Kloss.

The film was about 10 minutes — about the time of a regular runway show— but the crowd didn't disperse quickly. Many stayed around to watch the runway show again, ogle the models and drink more champagne.

As I left, David Lauren, who his wife Lauren Bush Lauren told me was fascinated with the technology, was eagerly looking at images on a photographer's camera as the few traces of clouds disappeared and a full moon broke through on a chilly, near picture-perfect night.