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New York Fashion Week: Ralph Lauren brings 4-D razzle-dazzle to runway

New York Fashion Week: Ralph Lauren brings 4-D razzle-dazzle to runway
(Ralph Lauren)

Between Opening Ceremony's collection play-sentation written by Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill, and Ralph Lauren's 4-D takeover of the waters along Central Park's Cherry Hill lawn, this season's New York Fashion Week has really amped up the fashion-tainment quotient.

On Monday night, Lauren hosted a high-tech runway event to showcase his contemporary Polo collection, using the glittering New York skyline as a backdrop. A wall of water shot into the sky 60 feet tall and 150 feet wide, serving as a screen for a projection of the new collection using holographic effects and featuring models walking among familiar New York City sights, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line.

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What was the spring Polo look? Wash 'n' wear? Wet and wild? Well, it was hard to tell. The clothes weren't as crystal clear in the misty projection as the architecture of the famous Dakota and other buildings in the background. But it didn't matter. The crowd was entertained (gimlets, lobster rolls and Ralph burgers, yum!), and the setting was magical.

The verdict: A smart move for Lauren, who may not otherwise have persuaded the jaded fashion crowd to come out and see -- much less write about -- his lower-priced Polo collection, which launched last season to introduce a younger generation to classic RL heritage styles, Southwest, Adirondack hunting lodge and English manor-inspired among them.

Lauren has been a pioneer in fashion and technology. Just last week, the brand introduced the Polo Tech bio-sensing shirt at the U.S. Open, and in 2010, Lauren presented a 4-D light show over Madison Avenue.

In the end, clothes are here one season and gone the next. But on Monday night, Lauren gave us an experience we won't soon forget. And he's sharing it with the public too, in an encore showing Tuesday at 9 p.m.

The runway event also heralded the opening of the first Polo flagship store for the new brand, a three-story space at 711 Fifth Avenue that also introduces Ralph Lauren's first-ever coffee shop, Ralph's Coffee.

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