Following the Fashion Flock
Where does the in crowd gather during Fashion Week? Insiders in New York, London, and Paris open their little black books.
Twice a year, fashion’s most influential players—buyers, critics, designers, models, and the fashionistas who love them—gather in the world’s most stylish cities to see what we’ll all be wearing in six months’ time. We spoke to insiders in three of those destinations—New York, London, and Paris—to find out where the best-dressed will be rubbing elbows this fall.
New York City
Yes, there’s always a so-hot-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-yet spot opening in New York. But the fashion crowd shows as much love to tried-and-true favorites as to trendy newcomers.
Sant Ambroeus’s handful of Manhattan cafés are all exquisite; its SoHo location, on Lafayette Street, is especially popular with the style set. “It’s a chic little hangout that’s perfect for people-watching on the sidewalk,” says manicurist Deborah Lippmann, a backstage mainstay at shows by designers like Jason Wu. Other fashion-world haunts include Frenchette, a bistro recently opened by two alums of Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, and Indochine, a modish mainstay since the 1980s for its French-Vietnamese dishes and palm frond–printed walls.
Fashion insiders have been buzzing for months about the September opening of Milanese tastemaker boutique 10 Corso Como at South Street Seaport. The Webster, the Miami Beach concept store now open in SoHo, is also a top pick. “It’s easy to navigate, manageable, inspiring, and beautiful,” says Brett Heyman, founder of accessories brand Edie Parker. The Webster’s own founder, Laure Hériard Dubreuil, heads to Marlene Wetherwell’s Flatiron outpost for collectible finds. “You have to dig, but she has the most amazing vintage,” she says.
Heavenly Bodies, the Catholicism-themed exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, is a powerful mix of designer gowns (Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Viktor & Rolf) and religious garb from the Vatican archives. “It’s a must-see,” says Dubreuil. (Hurry—it closes October 8.)
For a head-clearing stroll, the High Line is just as beloved in the style world as it is with everyone else who visits New York (Diane von Furstenberg is one of the park’s most generous benefactors). For a different kind of restorative moment, many insiders head to facialist Joanna Vargas’s discreet Midtown atelier.
The English fashion scene is known for its cutting-edge creativity, and the London fashion set leans towards spots that combine innovation with compelling comfort.
Carbs might not seem like the first choice during Fashion Week, but London fashionistas have been beelining it to Lina Stores, the restaurant affiliated with Soho’s most beloved Italian deli, since it opened in May. “You definitely need a big bowl of pasta to keep you going,” says Hannah Weiland, creative director of buzzy fashion brand Shrimps. Another designer hangout, the decidedly more vegetable-forward Rochelle Canteen, recently opened a second location at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, off Trafalgar Square. (The original is in Shoreditch.) The Wolseley, a longtime favorite for power breakfasts, remains as buzzy as ever.
For designer discoveries, Londoners swear by Rei Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market and understated Mouki Mou on upscale Chiltern Street. The city also has a stellar array of vintage dealers. “I love the stores on and around Brick Lane, and Grays Antique Market for vintage jewelry,” says Ida Petersson, womenswear buying director at Browns Fashion.
The Victoria and Albert Museum always puts on runway-worthy blockbusters, and its exhibition of artist Frida Kahlo’s colorful clothing and accessories has been attracting fashion lovers for the last couple months. It’s up through early November.
London’s chicsters are already raving about Glow Bar, a brand-new wellness spot not far from Oxford Street. Inside are four infrared sauna rooms, herbs and elixirs to buy, and a café with matcha and smoothies.
The city that invented fashion still celebrates it like nowhere else on earth. And for its uber-stylish locals, joie de vivre is a daily priority.
While tables at très francais spots like Café de Flore are always in demand, the fashion crowd is currently infatuated with the British-inspired Rose Bakery Tea Room, located at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. Another low-key haunt is Restaurant Le Voltaire, right in front of the Louvre.
You can find almost every contemporary designer in Paris, but style players flock to the Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen for flea market finds. “I have never found such a mix of designers and eras,” says stylist Tamara Taichman, also creative director of the accessories line Tila March.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton’s majestic museum, designed by Frank Gehry, is unveiling two relevant shows during Paris Fashion Week. One spotlights the work of fashion favorite Jean-Michel Basquiat; the other focuses on Egon Schiele, the Austrian Expressionist artist who inspired Francis Bacon and David Bowie.
Fashion editors swear by Biologique Recherche for its ultra-effective skincare products—not to mention the indulgent facials at the brand’s Champs-Élysées headquarters. Other insiders head to Les Bains du Marais, an authentic Turkish hammam. “This is where I disconnect the most,” says hairstylist Christophe Robin, who works with icons like Catherine Deneuve.
New York City
Sant Ambroeus SoHo: 265 Lafayette Street; +1 212-966-2770
Frenchette: 241 West Broadway; +1212-334-3883
Indochine: 430 Lafayette Street; +1 212-505-5111
10 Corso Como: Fulton Market Building, 1 Fulton Street
Marlene Wetherell: 40 West 25th, Gallerie 201; +1 212-691-3923
Heavenly Bodies: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue; +1 212-535-7710; through October 8, 2018
Joanna Vargas: 501 Fifth Avenue; +1 212-949-2350
The High Line: Meatpacking District to 34th Street, between 10th and 11th avenues; +1 212-500-6035
Lina Stores: 18 Brewer Street; +44 20-7437-6482
Rochelle Canteen at The ICA: The Mall, St. James’s; +44 20-7766-1424
The Wolseley: 160 Piccadilly; +44 20-7499-6996
Dover Street Market: 18-22 Haymarket; +44 20-7518-0680
Mouki Mou: 29 Chiltern Street; +44 20-7224-4010
Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road; +44 20-7942-2000
Glow Bar: 70 Mortimer Street
Amanda Lacey: by appointment only; +44 75-9043-6029
Restaurant le Voltaire: 27 Quai Voltaire; +33 42-61-17-49
Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen: 7 impasse Simon
Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi; +33 40-69-96-00
Biologique Recherche: 32 Avenue des Champs-Elysees; +33 42-25-02-92
Les Bains du Marais: 33 rue des Blancs Manteaux; +33 49-29-50-50