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The lights of Christmas make this a magical time of year. While some opt for extravanganza’s of kitsch and schmaltz, there are those of discerning taste who bring a measure of refined sensibility in all they do. The arbiter of all things impeccable, Ralph Lauren, has strung seasonal ornaments across his New York City flagship store at Madison Avenue, the flamboyant French Renaissance Revival mansion built in 1898 for socialite Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo.
Thick garlands of greenery frame the arched windows and main entrance where cascading swags adorn steps and banisters. How very swell it all looks. But God being in the details is what sets this display in a class of its own. Nestled in the greenery at the top of each window is a rack of resin antlers that have been exquisitely silver-leafed. Unexpected, but authentic Lauren. Alfredo Paredes, the company’s executive vice president of global creative services, wryly describes it as “Art Deco meets the Adirondacks.”
Crowning touches offer a profusion of seasonal pomp: wood tassels; silvery sprays of artificial leaves, feathers, and pine cones; brilliant large white lights offset with cylindrical spheres in metallic shades of foggy gray, ruby-red, and whisper-pink. Adhering to the elements of scale, festive ornaments are tied to evergreen boughs in voluptuous groupings that perfectly match the proportions of the late-19th-century mansion’s palatial carved-stone window frames and pilasters. And it’s well worth mentioning, if you took a serious liking to those resin antlers, they can be yours for the price of an internet search.
Now close your eyes and listen for the footfalls of a small corps of drummer boys marching by in perfect unison.