To be sure, venues like Spring Studios and Skylight Clarkson Square serve a purpose during New York Fashion Week; they can often be amongst the most affordable spaces for designers and serve as a true blank canvas for set construction.
But really, how many white rooms can you sit in before they all start to blur together? We always appreciate a fashion show that is (literally) outside the box, and choosing the right location can give extra life to an already-great collection. When your home is New York City, it's almost a shame not to use the Big Apple's many iconic spaces as a backdrop to stage your fashion show. Bonus: It comes instantly Instagrammable.
Here were some of our favorite shows that took advantage of our favorite city in the world (not that we're biased).
Kate Spade New York, Grand Central Oyster Bar
Kate Spade New York's Spring 2018 collection might have been inspired by New Orleans, but the location — Grand Central's iconic Oyster Bar — was all NYC. Was it crowded? Yes. Was it lovely to take in some fresh oysters and maybe a cocktail (for those not rushing back to the office) while looking at the upcoming collection? Absolutely.
Lela Rose, Washington Square Park
Putting on a fashion show in one of New York's busiest parks is definitely a daunting task, but Lela Rose's Spring 2018 presentation was worth the trouble. Guests were treated to a garden party Lela Rose-style, complete with hot dog vendors, sketch artists and chess-playing models.
Public School, Chinatown
Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne are some of the coolest kids in fashion, so of course they would get creative with their show venue. For Spring 2018, the duo took over an alley in Chinatown, even sending out "Thank You Come Again" plastic bags as invites.
Alexander Wang, Soho and Bushwick streets
Okay, so #WangFest was a bit of a shitshow. In concept, though, this idea was pretty cool: Alexander Wang put his models on a party bus and took the fashion show to his fans in the streets, first at Kenmare and Astor Place, and then in Bushwick, across the street from where Eckhaus Latta had shown earlier in the day. It was 100 percent pure Wang. (There's gotta be a better way to say that.)
Nomia at Max Fish
Though no longer in its original location due to rent disagreements, Max Fish has been open in one form or another since 1989. And more than being one of NYC's coolest bars, it has a personal connection for Nomia designer Yara Flinn: Not only did the bar inspire her to start her line, she also met her husband there.
Kith, Classic Car Club
When you're one of the most hyped purveyors of sneakers in town, a regular, boring venue just won't do. Why not take over the Classic Car Club of Manhattan, a typically members-only space with the hottest cars in town? Add in some athletic icons for good measure, and you've got yourself a killer fashion show.
Brandon Maxwell, The Doubles Club
The Doubles Club is the type of establishment where the old money of New York goes to have a good time — exactly the kind of place Brandon Maxwell's sophisticated clothes are begging to be worn. When Karlie Kloss's finale gown swished through the crowd, it was perfectly easy picturing her as a patron on her way to the bar for another martini — gin, please.
Tory Burch, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Tory Burch's Spring 2018 collection was inspired by interior designer David Hicks, known for his bold colors and patterns — in other words, the perfect Tory Burch muse. To present the geometrically inclined garments, Burch set up shop in the gardens of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum on the Upper East Side on a perfectly gorgeous September morning (the weather was just a stroke of good luck).
Carolina Herrera, Museum of Modern Art
For the first time, New York's Museum of Modern Art allowed a fashion show to happen on its grounds, which is the kind of accomplishment only an iconic American designer like Carolina Herrera could achieve. The garden served as a masterful backdrop to Herrera's bright and crisp vision for Spring 2018.
Philipp Plein, Hammerstein Ballroom
Say what you will about Philipp Plein (we certainly have), but if the man is going to show in New York City, he's going to do it big. Following last season's outing at the New York Public Library, Plein put on his Spring 2018 show at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Where else would you combine a fashion show, a Dita von Teese striptease and a Future concert?
The Row, The Carlyle
Never ones to put on the standard rushed runway, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen invited guests to a breakfast at The Carlyle uptown. It was the perfect setting for the luxurious, sophisticated clothes for which The Row is known. (And who doesn't love a nice coffee while looking at fashion?)