Kendall Jenner backstage at a runway show. Photo: Sam Aldenton.

All of the Best Things to Do During New York Fashion Week

9 February 2017

Lights, camera, aaaaaand Vogue! New York city hums to life with the energy of even more creative and fashionable personalities than usual, crammed into the city from all over the world. They descend upon the twice yearly New Year Fashion Week, which happens in February and September.

The two events showcasing the clothing and trends to come in 6-months time as clothing store buyers, industry press, bloggers and celebrities all converge on the runway shows and presentations happening across the city. The traditionally industry-only event is quickly opening up its doors to the public to get involved.

So if you’re in town during this time (the Autumn/Winter 2017/18 collections run from Feb 9-16) or are looking to come specifically for NYFW, here’s how you can get involved in the city’s buzz not counting the hoards of models you’ll need to dodge on the street during this time.

Reading Materials

First off you’ll want to prep by picking up some of the great recently released fashion books to get you in the right frame of mind. Stop in at the famous Strand Bookstore at 828 Broadway to seek out some sartorially splendid tomes like illustrator Megan Hess’ New York: Through a Fashion Eye or the all-American designer Tommy Hilfiger’s American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business (both released in November 2016).

Dress the Part

Next up you will want to make sure you’ve got the right threads to be looking like a ridgy didge New York fashionista. Now there’s two ways you can go about this, the first is the chic minimal ‘I’m meant to be here because I’m doing my job’ fashion editor look, or there’s the influencer/blogger/peacock ‘I want everyone to look at me’ look.

No judgement either way, just know your part and fully commit to the character, fashionistas can smell a fake at 100 paces. For option number uno you’ll want to head straight for stores like COS, Totokaelo or Maryam Nassir Zadeh in Soho and the LES, and for option number dos, you’ll want to incorporate more trend-driven stores like H&M and Opening Ceremony, with some original one-off item from thrift store Beacon’s Closet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and again Soho.

 

Still can't believe I got to meet this legend yesterday!! #savinggrace #vogue #creativedirector

A photo posted by Nayana Kodesia (@nayanakodesia) on

For a seriously exhaustive rundown on where to shop and for what from a former New Yorker (yes it’s me, I’m talking about myself here), check out this guide here.

Where to See the Action

Now for the runway! Many big name New York designers will actually be forgoing this season’s fashion week -Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Vera Wang and Hugo Boss being the biggest names to do so -in favour of more intimate showings to select industry insiders.

Some of these designers will also be opening up their shows and presentations more for the public’s benefit, aka you. Instead of showing collections 6-months ahead of them arriving in-store which has been the modus operandi of years past, instead designers are now showing collections that can be shopped straight from the runway online in a move to be more inclusive and direct-to-consumer focused.

They’re opening up their runway presentations to the public and loyal customers alike, as has been the case for New York label Rebecca Minkoff for several seasons now. This trend provides the biggest opportunity for anyone looking to get in on the action of New York Fashion Week and experience a real runway show in the heart of the big apple. One of the best places to see what’s going on is at nyfw.com.

But to kick off NYFW this season on February 9, retailer Banana Republic will be hosting a pop-up celebration at three store locations across the US, including its SoHo store in New York, where fans will be able to meet celebrity and fashion influencer Olivia Palermo.

Iconic New York brand Rag & Bone will also have an event tailored to the public in celebration of the brand turning 15-years-old during NYFW. The brand is inviting its fans to an exhibition launching February 10.

“We wanted to create something that would be seen by more than just a handful of guests,” explained founder Marcus Wainwright to Vogue. “At this 15-year milestone, we felt that replacing our runway show with an exhibition that will also be open to the public felt totally natural, as it allows us to celebrate those who have contributed to our story so far, as well as those who are part of our future.”

Where to Eat & Drink... & Dance

Finally after a long day of fashion, head to where all of the industry will be for networking drinks and the even longer nights of letting off steam on the d-floor. The recently opened Beekman Hotel, near City Hall, is the likeliest hot spot according to Vogue where you can expect to see many in the biz on the first-floor lounge. Dinner reservations will be a must at its equally popular Augustine restaurant.

For dancing head straight to Paul Sevigny’s new West Soho club, Casablanca, situated in the former location of the Moroccan-themed Sway club. Just make sure you pack those double gel insoles because the days of New York Fashion Week are jam packed and head straight into the night, no time for a wardrobe change, unless you have a driver of course!

 

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a Flight Centre travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.