The snow is finally melting away! You'll actually (hopefully?) be able to move around the shows a little easier--which is why we've come up with this handy little guide to eating, drinking, and yes, shopping, around the epicenters of New York fashion week: Lincoln Center and Milk Studios.
Twice a year, the fashion types descend upon Lincoln Center for New York Fashion Week, which is the de facto home for the shows. This means lots of opportunities to eat/shop/drink while you’re in the neighb. Can’t survive on free Fiber One bars all week! (Although, it’s worthwhile to note that Beck’s Sapphire, the beer brand’s new fashion-appropriate all-black packaged brew is a New York Fashion Week sponsor this season. So does this mean they’re bringing free booze back into the tents? We hope so.) But back to the matter at hand: For those of you who only travel north of 14th Street two times a year or you just want some tips on the ‘hood, here’s your Fashion Week guide to Lincoln Center. Enjoy!
Apple Store, 1981 Broadway at 67th St Even if you’re not looking to buy consumer electronics while you’re at Fashion Week, this conveniently located Apple outpost might save your bacon for a couple reasons. Say, the free wireless in the tents is overloaded (as it’s wont to do) and you need to get online without buying a costly coffee. Hi, Apple Store. Or, you have to file a story ASAP and, oopsies, you left your MacBook Pro at home. Head to the Apple Store, kick one of those neighborhood prep school kids off a laptop and start filing away. Best part: It’s free.
Century 21, 1972 Broadway at 66th St. It’s like two blocks away from the tents. If you have some time to kill between shows, drop in to see what designer goods they have majorly marked down. The last time I was in there, I snagged a Lanvin tote for about 60% off.
The Columbus Avenue Shopping Corridor, Columbus Ave between 66th and 71st Sts Who says that the Upper West Side is fashion-challenged? Yes, you can hoof it up to Barneys Co-op on Broadway between 75th and 76th streets, but time is of the essence (and you know you’re holding out for the warehouse sale). So take a quick stroll on over to Columbus instead for a plethora of shopping options:
Kiehl’s, 154 Columbus Ave between 66th and 67th Hands down the best customer service experience ever, plus you never know if you’re going to need an emergency sample of Creme with Silk Groom to tame those winter flyaways.
Burberry Brit, 160 Columbus Ave at 70th St Made it all the way to Fashion Week and realized you need a trench coat? Head on over to the British label’s mid-range collection.
Rag & Bone, 182 Columbus Ave between 68th and 69th Sts If you need your fix before (or after) the February 8 runway show, drop into the UWS outpost for your dose of exposed brick, hipster-chic dark wood interiors, and Brit-inflected Americana-cool. Sorry, guys, this location only stocks womenswear though.
Comptoirs des Cottoniers, 184 Columbus Ave between 68th and 69th Sts One of the brands that started the French invasion of Manhattan, Comptoirs is worth a browse for chic minimalist Parisian pieces.
Wink, 188 Columbus Ave between 68th and 69th Part of the New York mini-chain of boutiques, this locale is a one-stop-shop for Clare Vivier bags, shoes by Jean Michel Cazabat and Ash, and cute dresses by Madison Marcus.
Helmut Lang, 230 Columbus Ave between 70th and 71st Did you somehow manage to stain your minimalist fashion black while you’re at the tents? If they don’t have what you’re looking for, try sister store Theory between 69th and 70th.
Tani, 2020 Broadway at 69th and 131 W. 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam This shoe store with two locations is kind of a neighborhood institution and it’s, well, cool. The Broadway outpost is closer to the tents and has a good range of affordable contemporary brands like Matt Bernson, Seychelles, and Dolce Vita, while the 72nd St locale is the go-to for downtown designer labels like Coclico and Rachel Comey. Be sure to check out the sale section at back for good deals.
EATS AND BOOZE
American Table Cafe & Bar, 1941 Broadway between 65th and 66th Sts Celeb chef (and Target collaborator) Marcus Samuelson runs this chic cafe in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Conveniently, they’re offering a Fashion Week menu that’s tasty, yet appropriately spartan — one entree (there’s a salad, but go with the tacos, they’re delish), spiced peanuts and a fancy fruity beverage for $20. Added bonus: Free wifi. So you can sip your Lingonberry Green Tea slowly while checking your email.
Indie Food & Wine, 144 65th St between Broadway and Amsterdam Jason Denton, who also runs the downtown eateries, ‘ino, ‘inoteca, and Corsino, is in charge of this cafe located in Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Stop in for sustenance (or a beverage) any time of the day. Because it’s never too early for a wine and cheese plate pairing.
Lincoln, 142 W. 65th St between Broadway and Amsterdam Lincoln Center is like it’s own little culinary epicenter and if you’re looking for a chic restaurant for some power lunching (or drinking), Lincoln is a must. Executive chef Jonathan Benno serves up swanky Italian cuisine—and you can trust him since he comes from French Laundry and Per Se. If their two-course Fashion Week prix-fixe lunch for $35 is too rich for your blood, at least pop in for an offering from the prosecco bar for $14. Yum.
The Smith, 1900 Broadway between 64th and 63rd Sts The lively East Village eatery opened up a massive Lincoln Center outpost recently. It's also one of the few restaurants open late in the area. Its weekend brunch is delicious, too, and we’re always supportive of a restaurant that offers two sizes of wine carafes.
Epicerie Boulud/Bar Boulud/Boulud Sud, 1900 Broadway between 63rd and 64th We love a chef/restaurateur who provides us with appetizing options for all budgets and dining situations. If you want to grab a gourmet sandwich while on the run, Epicerie Boulud is it. Although, the most casual locale is also a fantastic option for half a dozen oysters and a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc if you can spare the time. The more upscale Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud are both extending their delicious $25 (plus tax and tip) Restaurant Week three-course lunch deal for Fashion Week, too. Bon appetit!
La Traviata, 101 W. 68th between Columbus and Broadway And sometimes you just need a slice of pizza. Go here.
Pedal NYC, 33 W. End between 60th and 61th Sts Devotees of SoulCycle won’t mind the trek up to W. 77th street, but if you want to save your energy for the actual ride, try this specialty fitness center. They have the boutiquey spin sessions, plus yoga, TRX+ and other slightly intimidating sounding classes. To redeem your free introductory class, just fill out your info online and shoot the gym an email to confirm.
Yogaworks, 37 W. 65th St between Broadway and Central Park West After elbowing your way through frenzied fashion people in the tents, a vinyasa class just might be the remedy. You can work off the angst in a pilates session or find your zen during a quiet hatha meditation, too. The two-week unlimited pass for $30 just might pay for itself.
While the shows at Lincoln Center are decidedly uptown, for a downtown mix of cool kid designers (Cushnie et Ochs, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Public School, etc.) we head to Milk Studios in Far West Chelsea. The venue is right smack in the Meatpacking District and honestly, it’s nice to see this area in pure daylight. We sometimes forget that it’s actually a really pleasant neighborhood to shop when it’s not teeming with drunk out-of-towners stumbling about on the cobblestones. So if you have some time to spare, check out these spots:
Jeffrey New York, 449 W. 14th St between 9th and 10th Aves This Meatpacking District luxury shopping institution is the neighborhood’s version of Bergdorfs or Barneys and the pricing is similarly so. But browsing through the shoe department stocked with designs by Charlotte Olympia, Pierre Hardy, Lanvin, and Manolo Blahnik always brings us to our happy place. And, refreshingly, the sales staff is the complete opposite of snooty.
Nicholas Kirkwood, 807 Washington St between Gansevoort and Horatio Sts You may have heard that the young British shoe designer was just awarded the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (the U.K. version of our CFDA Fashion Fund Award), so it’s a good time to check out his first U.S outpost. While we know his designs aren’t for the credit limit-challenged, it’s nice to just look, right? His spring and summer styles just hit the shelves and we’re still holding out for a diffusion line--fingers crossed.
Owen, 809 Washington St between Gansevoort and Horatio Sts Run by a former fashion media-vet, this boutique stocks apparel and accessories from very downtown Euro-cool designers like Suno, Vena Cava, Lover, and Roksanda Ilincic for girls and Carven, Maison Kitsune, and Surface to Air for guys. The artsy interior design is a sight on its own and the sales staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful. Plus, from 6pm to 9pm on Saturday, February 9, Milk refugees can enjoy music, free vino, and the chance to shop the Spring 2013 goods from architecturally-chic handbag upstart M2MALLETIER.
EATS AND BOOZE
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave between 15th and 16th Sts You already frequent (or avoid, it’s a toss up really) the bars and eateries in the Meatpacking District, so no need to mention them here. We’re suggesting Chelsea Market, instead. You might have to fight through throngs of European tourists (they LOVE this place), but it’s down the street from Milk and filled with eating and daytime drinking options. Plus, it’s all indoors (the weather is going to be tricky this week), there’s free wifi and there are public restrooms. Here are some of our favorite stops:
--One Lucky Duck From the same people who brought you fancy pants vegan food at Pure Food & Wine, this healthy joint is a fashion kid’s fave takeaway shop for fresh juices and tasty salads.
--The Green Table Stop in and dine at one of the communal tables at this rustic farm-to-table eatery. As an added bonus, it has a happy hour serving sustainable and biodynamic wines and beers from 4pm to 7pm every weekday.
--Friedman’s Eat in or take out at this American comfort food eatery that serves brunch, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. (Oh and they have gluten-free options, too. A lot of fashion people avoid gluten, right?) Also worthy of note: Friedman’s happy hour runs from 5pm to 8pm Monday through Saturday — two draft beers for $4.35 and a house wine for $7. (Fashion people don’t avoid booze.)
--Manhattan Fruit Exchange You health-conscious Fashion Week goers, skip those of-the-moment juice cleanses and eat some real fruit instead. They have the most delectable selection of fresh fruit (plus other grocery supplies) and really reasonably-priced exotic selections. The $.99 apple pears are a delicious bargain.
--The Tippler, 425 W. 15th St at 9th Ave (under Chelsea Market) Unwind after a crazed day at this basement speakeasy boasting vintage architectural details and a cool kid crowd. The menu offers cleverly-named specialty cocktails (“Apple of my Islay”), interesting wines, and a hipster-Americana snacky menu with soft pretzels, mashed deviled egg toasts, and cheese plates.
Walgreens Cafe: MADE to Eat, Milk Studios The trusty drugstore chain is running the cafes at Milk Studios to offer its in-house “Nice!” and “Good & Delish” snacks (you’ve seen them at checkout when you drop into your local Walgreens-owned Duane Reade). Look for its “pop-up counter” filled with snacky items—especially convenient if there’s a repeat of the anarchy that reigned in February 2011 and the venue turns into some sort of Hunger Games-esque scenario.
Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar, 342 W 14th St between 14 St and 8th Ave During Fashion Week, we barely have enough time to wash our hair, much less actually style it. Luckily, this hair salon is located a couple blocks away and they open at 8am, Monday through Friday. For Fashion Week, Blow has a couple special treats. First, an efficient dry-styling sesh is $25 and you can also pick up your New York Fashion Week survival kit (a trio of the blowpro Faux Dry dry shampoo, the Perfect Shower Cap—you will at least shower, right?—and a Mini-Blow-Out hairspray) for $15. Call the salon to book your appointment early.
Yoga 216, 511 W. 20th between 10th and 11th Aves In a city full of yoga studios, this one stands out because each class holds no more than six practitioners. And, hallelujah--because there’s nothing less zen than having to dodge some Lululemon-clad yogi’s foot for an hour and a half, plus it’s nice to have the personalized attention. The introductory $35 for a week of unlimited classes is very tempting, plus they’ll be holding a candlelit yoga class at 7:15pm on Thursday, February 14— a decidedly less debaucherous way to close out Fashion Week.