Polo Ralph Lauren‘s show promised to be a “very special” event, and while we guess all designers might consider their events special, Polo truly offered a unique experience at the pond at Central Park’s Cherry Hill. Upon instruction, we entered the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West, where golf carts were waiting to transport us down into the pond.
When we got to Cherry Hill, the area was teeming with models, all clad in Polo pique tops with their names embroidered on the back. As they mingled amongst the guests, chatting over cocktails and lobster rolls, celebrities arrived on the red — or rather green — carpet, as it was set up on the grass. After the short mixer, we were directed to an area close to the pond, unaware of the experience we were about to have.
A screen of water sprouted up from the pond, spraying a gentle mist onto onlookers and then — action. Ralph Lauren projected his Polo show on the water. We watched models walk down the “runway,” which was actually renderings of New York City landmarks, from the cobblestone streets of SoHo to the Brooklyn Bridge and even Central Park. The crowd cheered. To see it in action was truly an arresting experience, although it was probably not the best way to showcase the clothes, which were a little difficult to see clearly in the mist. But no matter, the show was so cool, it didn’t even feel like we missed out on anything.
After the display, we reunited with the models and assorted fashion folk for another cocktail hour (fashion types love Prosecco and nibbles), where everyone mingled for the remainder of the night. Ciara, Karlie Kloss, Kendall Jenner and Korean pop group Girls’ Generation didn’t stick around for too long, but the models provided excellent company. Chanel Iman wandered through the crowd as did Karolina Kurkova. Buzzy model Malaika Firth was on hand as well as Jasmine Tookes, Hilary Rhoda and legendary male model Tyson Beckford, who we had the pleasure of chatting with as we sipped whiskey Cokes.
Tyson was supremely friendly after making small talk — he gave us a little tease about an upcoming movie he started filming during Fashion Week, which is about the struggles of a young black model in the industry. He gave us a recap of a scene in the flick. A black model enters a Parisian casting call, outside of which is a sign indicating that black women are not welcome. The model, who will be played by Sessilee Lopez, goes in anyway to the shock and chagrin of other white models and casting directors. He says the film will debut at Sundance, so folks, keep your eyes peeled for that.