During Fashion Week, the normally high energy of the city seems to be thrown into even higher gear. And it's not just the runways at Lincoln Center and the far-flung lofts of Chelsea that get the extra voltage. If you want to see some incredibly stylish people this week, you can pretty much dip into any reasonably trendy hotel, bar, or restaurant and play "spot the model." Here's our guide to the best places to people watch during #NYFW.
Where to Eat
Thirty years in the restaurant world is a milestone, but in the cutthroat food culture of Manhattan it's an outright miracle. Still, Indochine has been dolling out French-Vietnamese dishes and nightlife debauchery since 1984. Newer, hipper restaurants may come and go, but this spot—and its patrons—pays no mind to passing fads. It would be easier to list the celebrities and notable names who haven't passed through Indochine's doors than the ones who have during its three-decade tenure. The most recent trend from the restaurant? A moodily lit selfie set against its signature tropical palm-print wallpaper.
Since opening in early 2012, Acme has become a de facto downtown spot for New York-based editors, media types, literati, and their admirers. The big surprise is that beyond the warm decor and trendy menu buzz words ("locally sourced," "seasonal," blah, blah, blah) the Nordic-inspired food is downright delicious. Oh, and we just happened to name it one of the 10 Sexiest New Restaurants in America the year it opened, so there's that. Expect to see anyone from major celebrities (David Beckham, Katie Holmes) to "it" folks (Mia Moretti, Brendan Fallis, Hannah Bronfman) to designers (Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu) doing a late night stop-off after a day of runway shows.
One of the newer contenders in the downtown restaurant scene, this outpost nestled inside the Standard's East Village operation is simultaneously cozy and corporate. The dining room and outdoor annex (which will surely be packed this week, weather permitting) is sleek by design but accented with folksy details like ceramic vases of humble flowers or petite shrubbery and country-house wallpaper. The menu is similarly rustic but sophisticated and feels unabashedly American in its simplicity. Lots of hearty veggies and rotisserie cooked meats to fill up on, all sourced, of course, from a farm upstate called Locusts on Hudson.
Images via Eater
Certainly the newest hot spot to land on the scene is Dirty French, which opened September 4, in the hip Ludlow hotel. Early looks at the eatery from the team that brought you the upscale West Village Italian joint Carbone show French bistro decor and a menu that looks to Morocco and New Orleans for inspiration. Already a few intimate (read: you weren't invited) parties are set to be taking place there over its maiden week.
Where to Drink
Top of the Standard/Boom Boom Room
Images via Flickr
Located atop the Standard's meatpacking district location, The Boom Boom Room has been a go-to for fashion folks during the New York leg of the collections since it opened. With its floor-to-ceiling views of the city, Instagrammable bar design, and friendly layout complete with plenty of nooks and crannies to settle into, it's a tough spot to elbow your way into year-round. So if you're trying to get in during Fashion Week, where many high-profile brands will be hosting after-parties, it's good to be very confident that your name is on the list.
No one knows why the fashion gods smile upon one place and frown upon another, but the Marlton Hotel has been blessed with the approval of local style cognoscenti. Open just shy of a year, the hotel gained major traction just earlier this year, including a breathless New York Times write-up that ticked off names of A-list editors and designers who call the restaurant/bar, Margeaux, a second home. A far cry from some of the more well-worn boutique hotels that have lost a little of their luster over time, the Marlton's simple and welcoming architecture and friendly yet insider-y vibe might just be the biggest draw this NYFW.
By now, surely, you've heard of this Brooklyn thing that everyone is so enthralled by. The fashion industry, too, knows it all too well, because, well, many of its denizens actually live there. In Williamsburg, a short subway ride from the bustling Manhattan scene, are two gay bars where you'll find magazine market editors, high-ranking PR flacks, and "stylists" of the same-sex orientation stopping off for a night cap, a cigarette, and a chance to swap some of the day's gossip. What these places may lack in glamor they make up for in attitude, and during Fashion Week, that's all that counts.
For Your Down Time
Across the East River and far from the typical big city bustle is the tony Wythe Hotel, near the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While it's likely that all the editors from the European and Asian publications will favor their usual Manhattan haunts, a few—who value an off-the-beaten-track allure and a quieter atmosphere—might find this is the best spot to hit up during the week's festivities. Alexander Wang and Dior have shown in the borough so it's certainly got its cool-kid cache in check. Plus, the large outdoor bar on the sixth floor provides something that no bar in the city can: a dead-on view of the Manhattan skyline.
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