After New York Fashion Week was relocated from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center to Spring Studios last fall, attendees have had to adopt a new strategy for schlepping between shows.
Though the bulk of the shows are in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, others are further downtown, which makes running around from back-to-back events particularly challenging. While Skylight at Moynihan Station houses the majority of the shows in its venue spaces in the former James A. Farley Post Office on 33rd Street, other designers are getting a bit more adventurous with venues, in large part because it’s not easy to lock in a spot.
While designers like Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and Alice + Olivia will all be at The Gallery at Skylight, others like Milly and Christian Siriano are posting up at ArtBeam Studios while Lacoste and Zac Posen will be showing at Spring Studios. Then there’s Tommy Hilfiger, who in lieu of a traditional runway show is opting for a carnival on Manhattan’s South Street Seaport.
All the harried transitioning makes strategic reprieves — in the form of a relaxed uptown dinner or a quick tea break — all the more appealing, according to fashion editors.
If there’s time between shows, Sara Radin, associate editor at WGSN, recommended stopping by the “Instagrammable pink and green interior” of Cha Cha Matcha in Soho to cool down with a drink and quick bite. For bigger appetites, she suggested stopping by Grand Central Terminal for Agern, an eatery that opened to much fanfare this April by the co-founder of Copenhagen’s famous restaurant, Noma.
Among the most anticipated fashion week hotspots, Radin said, is Mimi NYC in Greenwich Village, which features French cuisine with a Japanese twist. Pete Wells, The New York Times food critic, referred to chef Liz Johnson as a restaurateur with “a clear and personal vision of French food as a celebration of appetite, an occasion to eat with joy and lust.”
For some editors and designers, taking a break elsewhere in the city provides time to recharge. Kyle Anderson, market and accessories director at Marie Claire, said he likes to balance a quick bite near the shows with a longer, more restful dining experience uptown for a moment of peace.
“When we are in Chelsea we always stop by Hotel Americano for fish tacos when we need to grab a quick bite in the area,” he said. “When we are on the Upper East Side, we stop in sometimes at Kappo Masa located under the Gagosian gallery. They have a great lunch menu and it’s nice to get a few minutes away from the crowds and lines of fashion week.”
Rebecca Ramsey, style director of The Cut, New York Magazine’s fashion vertical, said she likes to go eastward to find peace away from the crowds, and often frequents Rose Bakery at Dover Street or Saint Ambroeus in Soho for a full sit-down lunch if time permits.
“So many of the shows are downtown on the west side now, so it’s actually kind of nice to move to the east side for a quieter lunch, especially on the weekend,” she said. “The people watching is definitely amazing during fashion week when international buyers and editors come to town ready to shop.”
For entertainment way off the beaten path, Ramsey suggested a photo exhibition by artist Willy Vanderperre in Brooklyn’s farflung Red Hook neighborhood on September 14th, which she said will be a popular destination for attendees following the Ralph Lauren show, slated for the same evening. For those looking to let loose and rub elbows with celebrities, WGSN menswear editor Jian DeLeon noted Up & Down and Gilded Lily, which have been favorites of performers like Rihanna and off-duty models alike.
See the full map below for more recommendations on restaurants and bars this fashion week, as well as the easiest ways to get there via subway to avoid gridlocked Manhattan traffic.
Design by Matt Fraher