A Fashion Lovers Guide To New York

Often described as the city that never sleeps, New York is undoubtedly one of the most iconic fashion capitals of the world. A beacon of all things American, the setting of all our Hollywood dreams and the hub of Trans-Atlantic chic as we know it, we look at the first major location of Fashion Month including the best places to visit and sites to see on the US’ ultimate city break…

 

New York fashion week photo
Photo by szeke

New York Fashion Week is undoubtedly one of the biggest dates in the fashion calendar as it kicks off a four week carousel of designer names, celebrity style and street looks for the upcoming season. New York in particular is hotly anticipated due its’ reputations as the East Coasts’ most stylish and cosmopolitan city; an eclectic mixing pot of cultures and nationalities, home to a unique budding arts community, parent to a raucous music scene and a archive of fashion legends (Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Andy Warhol, Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, to name a few) who have been born or taken up residency in the Big Apple.

For tourists, New York is the ultimate destination; a pièce de résistance and schooling in commercial American culture.  New York was in fact the first gateway point for immigrants entering the New World back in 1892, many were greeted by the sight of the Statue Of Liberty before checking into Ellis Island and beginning their new lives in the States. The rich history and significance of New York is well documented in art, music, film and the media and with many places to stay, eat, shop and visit as well as a strong collection of some of the US’ finest fashion designers, it’s one of our favourite dream destinations on the map.

Where To Eat

New York is famous, and we mean FAMOUS for its’ food. The foodie movement of New York has only grown in recent years from the low-key hot dog street vendors to fine rooftop a’la carte fanfare’s and chrome adorned American style diners begging to be explored. Traditional cultural hot spots offer a culinary education in international street food and New York’s eclectic population which is made up of Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Polish, German, Indian, Irish and Italian immigrants . The City Bakery in Manhattan is renowned as a classic New York attraction and serves up some of the best hot chocolates that money can buy and for a city that gets more than a little frosty in the winter-time, a delicious warm mug of chocolatey goodness is just what you need. However, that’s just the tip of the soul food iceberg; New York’s streets are literally paved with single slice pizza stands, donut shops, bagel stops and quirky eateries.

15 East sushi restaurant in Union Square was recently listed as one of the top Asian restaurants by Timeout magazinr whilst White Bear in Queens and Otafuku in the East Village offer the best (and cheaper alternative) Asian street food that your fistful of  dollars can buy. Forget the health food movement of LA; New York is all about full English breakfasts, barbecued meats, doughy pretzels and big New York sandwiches. The famous chickpea fries at Peacefood Cafe, Katz’ Deli sandwiches (the pastrami on rye in particular), Calexico food carts’ cheap and cheerful taco’s and the lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound are all equally to die for. From Italian eateries to Korean cuisine, Jewish baked goods to French patisserie’s; New York is the continental buffet you always dreamed of.
Source: Travel and Leisure

Things To Do

New York is never short of places to visit and with it’s unique architecture that fuses old with new, there’s always something just around the corner to knock your visual socks off. Those who like a less strenuous trip will love walking down the beautiful and affluent Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side whilst a stroll in Central Park – come summer, spring, winter or fall is a great day out. Rockerfeller Centre still attracts at least 470,000 visitors a day with its’ beautiful Art Deco 70-storey building and Plaza which boasts an outdoor ice rink during the Holiday Season. Visit around Thanksgiving and Christmas and you’ll be greeted by the sight of a 34m high Christmas tree, twinkling fairy lights and the famous festival parade that leaves no New York street untouched.
Times Square is unquestionably one of the most popular contemporary landmarks on Manhattan island with China Town and  Radio City Music Hall nearby; keen shoppers can also pop to Macy’s and Bloomingdales’  enormous department stores for endless floors filled with luxury goods and the latest fashion. If you’re worried to explore the city on your own, there are many guided tours and tour busses you can hop on to get the biggest attractions done in a day. In fact the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building are within a 15 minute walk of each other and the views from both across the city skyline are spectacular. Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty are iconic must-sees for those wishing to explore New York’s history whilst the site of the World Trade Centre is a haunting and poignant experience for all standing as a permanent memorial to the attacks of 9/11.

What To See

Whilst New York is chockfull of landmarks, there are also some great cultural venues for you to unleash your inner cosmopolitan spirit. New York’s stunning botanical garden in the Bronx remarkably supports over one million unique plants and is only a stones’ throw away from the famous Bronx Zoo. Art lovers will relish a visit to the Guggenheim Mueseum, Museum of Metropolitan Art and Mueseum of Modern Art whilst the American Museum of Natural History is known worldwide for its’ unique exhibitions with over 32 million unique specimens.

Head to Broadway in Midtown where you can purchase tickets for the many musical shows and plays including Wicked, Book Of Mormon and Chicago hosted by the countless theatres; all of which have been critically acclaimed and make for the perfect night on the tiles. Fashion lovers can also talk a walk down to Soho, which unlike its’ London counter-part, is New York’s trendy hipster district. Here you’ll find stylish boutiques, flagship stores for chains such as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel as well vintage and thrift shops where you might pick up the odd cheap designer gem and the Soho market which sells a whole host of wardrobe-worth Americana, vintage furniture, hand-crafted jewelry and up-cycled clothing. Whilst CBGB, the infamous bar which gave birth to New York’s genre of punk in the 1970s may have closed down, you can always head to the East Village for a taste of New York’s musical heyday. Frequented by beatniks and artists during the 1960s and ’70s, the East Village and Bowery are now within close proximity to the Ukrainian village (be sure to check out the food!) and Mehanata, the Bulgarian Bar close by which is hosting something of a musical revolution of its’ own and a must-see for old school music fans. Hotel Chelsea is also a popular haunt for music fanatics with former residents including Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Alan Ginberg and Charles Bukowski whilst the notorious Studio 54 (former clientele included Andy Warhol, The Rolling Stones and Bianca Jagger) is now open as a bar and restaurant.

New York is without a doubt the perfect destination for fashion lovers and we can’t wait to see our favourite celebrities and sleeky dressed locals in attendance being snapped on the pages of American Vogue…

Have you ever been to New York?
Show us your favourite snaps from your trip in the comments below…