Monday, October 18, 2010

Ralph Lauren Reimagined…

This is the ad for the new Ralph Lauren store on East 72nd. It captured me right way – from the architecture, to the elegant women, to the vintage car – it’s the perfect representation of bygone elegance. And check out the pair of peacocks. I love peacocks… The only thing missing is at least one, feathers up.

Across the street from the original mansion, now exclusively men’s wear, is the new store for women and home. It looks old, but, don’t let it fool you, it’s ALL new - from the ground up. It’s BEAUTIFUL and there’s no mistaking it fits right in with the “real” old buildings around it – a rarity these days. Nobody builds like this anymore.

The minute I walked in the door I was struck by the prewar inspired details - they knocked-off the Guilded Age to a tee… Very high ceilings, archways, plaster moldings, marble mantles, a curved iron staircase, panel moldings, and mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. The design for me seemed reminiscent of another favorite of mine – the first floor of Bergdorfs, an original mansion turned retail store. It’s stunning.

The first and second floors were my favorite as the ceilings are super high, but one of the best parts for me was the layout which included several small rooms in-between rooms. Foyer-like they make wonderful transitions - something worth recreating somewhere, someday. They also had streaming video coming through the mirror over each fireplace mantle which is the perfect way to integrate a modern TV within a prewar space. I Loved it…

In sharp contrast to the store for men across the street, the whole space was light and bright, super elegant and glam. I felt right at home there. After all this is what I do as well – recreate a bygone era inside an old shell by mixing the "new that appears old" with the "real thing old". My recreations are on a much smaller scale and budget, but imagine what I could do if I had more of both… Until then it’s nice to visit places like this that do.

So take yourself to 72nd and Madison - absolutely Go… I didn’t see any peacocks on my visit, but never mind, I was smitten.

PS: And while you’re in the neighborhood, stop up the street on 78th at Lady M and eat something equally lovely – the best ever cake. Another classic I never ever tire of…

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