Gather up your heels, ladies. Fashion week is back. The bi-annual, four-week long extravaganza of models, ready-to-wear, makeup, and a whole lot of Anna Wintour has arrived. The clacker of heels echoes in the tents of Lincoln Center in New York for the 90-plus shows that commenced Feb. 9 and will continue onto the next week, until the shows are carried out in London, Milan, and finally — Paris.
Now, while I’m sure you’re dying to know what brilliance Jenny Packham, Alexander Wang, and Marchesa are showing this time around, we’re interested in what’s going on pre, post, and in between the shows — the hot spots. Yes, yes — the times where the glamourati will be wining, dining, and partying during the upcoming weeks.
In search of some answers, we asked a handful of editors, publicists, and stylists for some suggestions. While many a response to the question, "Where do you eat during fashion week?" came with a giggle and an eye roll for the obvious fashion week diet reasons, we did get some solid responses. Good luck getting past the front door at most of these restaurants. However, you can always just hang out outside, paparazzi style. Then again, behavior like that isn’t really en vogue now, is it?
NEW YORK CITY:
The fashion capital of the world is obviously where it’s at — and that’s also true when it comes to food. With the shows now at Lincoln Center, there are many prime options when grabbing a bite between shows and some are even offering specials. Haute eats include Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud, Nick and Toni’s, Telepan, and Picholine around the tents.
Head downtown to Red Egg, Catch, newly resurrected Acme, and Abe and Arthur’s for fashion-forward eats as well. Places like The Empire Hotel, The Standard, and Le Baron are perfect for after-dinner partying.
Here are a few NYC suggestions from the front row: Alison Brod (ABPR) recommends some of Midtown’s best: Sushi Shop, STK, Casa Lever, and eat-then-party place, Lavo. Steven Brown (COSMOPOLITAN) says that
Acme is the number one this year and, of course, to not forget about The Lion. Alex Eagle (London’s Avenue 32) likes the classic New York scenes that are best to be seen at: Monkey Bar, Waverly Inn, The Spotted Pig, Balthazar, and Indochine. The last word is from Lisa Holladay, a Mercedes-Benz Marketing Manager who practically runs the show during fashion week, "If you want to go right around the tests, Lincoln is my go-to staple. The fashion crowd always craves sushi and for that, I love Sushi Gari on Columbus. If you want to go upscale in your finest fashion ensemble, Dovetail is the spot to go."
London, the week of individuality. Coveted designers like Giles, Alexander McQueen, and new favorite Mary Katrantzou will be taking the stage. Look for out-of-the-box ideas from these artists and others who beat to their own drum. While current greats include Wolfgang Puck’s Cut at 45 Park Lane, casual eats at Burger and Lobster, the eclectic and innovative Hedone, and the most authentic noodle joint around, Koya, our fashion elite had other opinions.
Alex Eagle is into Soho’s small plates spot, Polpo, the best seafood fare at Scott's, the uber popular Hix, and Joe’s Café, where anyone who’s anyone ventures for good eats and a good time. Isaac Lock (LOVE Magazine) favors Spuntino, a beloved Italian spot in Soho where there are no phones and no reservations, understand?Elliot's, another end-all-be-all in the London dining scene, is a tapas place where you’re lucky if you snag a table. Eunice Jera Lee (Wonderland) fancies Exmouth Market’s most legitimate Moorish cuisine at Moro, Laxeiro on Columbia Road for tapas, and on-the-run Thai at Busaba.
During the penultimate week, things start dragging as jet lag sets in, but Milan houses huge names like Missoni, Prada, Bottega Veneta, and Ferragamo for moda bella (beautiful fashion). After the shows, sip on the must-have Bulgari cocktail at, you guessed it, the exclusive Bulgari Hotel. Try authentic eats at La Rondine, a top trattoria on Via Spartaco. Isola watering hole NordEst Caffè and The Gray, an art deco-style gem serve as neighborhood musts.
Federica Paruccini (publicist) votes for "lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel because they always change their menu, it keeps it interesting, the food is always fresh, and the service is superb!" What is also on her it-list? “I love drinks at Gerry’s Bar in the Grand Hotel, its low key scene and the snacks are amazing! My favorite restaurant [in Milan] is Giallo, it’s a very upbeat/ fun scene… for dessert they bring jars of cookies and candies to your table! My Italian friends from Fendi brought me to a new place, I like to think of it as a hidden gem as I have yet to see Americans there… I can’t remember the name but it’s in Piazza Vettra. They have the best burrata!" We think it’s this place.
Ah, Paree—the city of lights, the city of couture, and the city of Hermès, Chanel, Vuitton, Lanvin — all the goodies that make fashion die-hards, well, die-hards. In between shows at drool-worthy spots like The Grand Palais and Hotel de Crillon, stroll down the Champs-Elysée or the Ninth Arrondissement and indulge in the divine eats that this city has to offer. Attempt a seat at the hottest table in town at L'Agapé Substance or at Septime on Rue de Charonne. Personally, I still like Café de Flore for the pre-glitter Eiffel Tower days, but who am I? Take a cue from these guys, they know better.
She has also frequented downstairs at Colette, a hangout in Paris’ most popular shopping destination. Hotel du Nord, Le Spring, and Saint Germain’s Bistro de Paris round out her list as well. Alex Eagle heads to Le Derrière for a home-away-from-home-style dinner, sophisticated and chic La Societe in Saint Germain, Le Mini Palais in the Grand Palais,
a fabulous restaurant with an even more phenomenal view — just minutes away from the shows. Eunice Jera Lee gives fine-dining-at-its-best Laurent, homey café Vins Des Pyrénées,and the always fashionable and sometimes romantic, L'Avenue her nod.