What’s Haute: Best of Fashion Week

Didn’t nab that front row seat the biggest runway show? Take solace in cozying up to the models and designers at these fashionable haunts.

Chicest Shopping Strip

Elizabeth Street

Edgier than upper Madison Avenue and less crowded than Bleecker Street or any stretch of nearby Soho, still-sorta- quaint Elizabeth in Nolita is lined with manageable shops selling fledgling and big name designers like ADAM, Cynthia Vincent, Erica Tanov and Tory Burch.

Hippest Boutique

Oak , 208 N. 8th St., Williamsburg, 718.782.0521

The store du jour of the downtown and North Brooklyn demimonde. The Williamsburg location is spacious and bright, which is good news for the bleeding edge designers whose goods end up on the industrial racks. Acne, Rick Owens and Alexander Wang lead the charge, while Oak’s own line also acquits itself nicely. The Noho outpost will appeal to Brooklyn-phobes.

Best Department Store

Bergdorf Goodman, 754 5th Ave., 212.753.7300

Virtually synonymous with an upper class of New York woman accustomed to breathing rarefied air (see: the novel Bergdorf Blondes and a host of cultural references), Bergdorf was founded in 1899 and has called its imposing 5th Avenue store home since 1928. Inside, past the famous windows, ogle the stunning duds of a host of elite designers, from Armani Collezioni to Lanvin to Zac Posen.

Most Sought After Newcomer

The NoMad, 1170 Broadway, 347.472.5660

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, the young, risktasking partners behind Eleven Madison Park, opened a slightly dressed down EMP alternative to great fanfare in March. The critical plaudits followed, with the suckling pig and Milk & Honey dessert drawing especially strong notices. The self-service cocktail system, with bottles hidden between dusty hardcovers, drew a rowdy, stylish crowd to the Library Bar. And the rooftop, now closed,became one of the toughest seasonal tickets in town.

Surest After Party Go-To

Top of the Standard, 848 Washington St., 212.645.4646

Nightspots typically have short shelf lives. Nightspots that cater to fickle fashion fiends are lucky if they shine for six months before hitting the consignment bin. So hand it to Andre Balaz’s glimmering warhorse (aka The Boom Boom Room) on The Standard’s 18th-floor for continuing to be the obligatory after party spot for fashion royalty like Marc Jacobs and the models and movie stars who, forgive us, “wear him.”

Best D.J. Booth

Provocateur, 18 Ninth Ave., 212.929.9036

Getting into Mike Satsky’s essentially private Meatpacking District haunt is a blood sport for some. But the ruthless bouncers are protecting an inner sanctum of the club-clogged neighborhood that gets D.J. superstars like Deadmau5, John Digweed and Loco Dice to play in much smaller digs than they normally command.

Most Serene Escape

Great Jones Spa, 29 Great Jones St., 212.505.3185

It’s all about liquid Zen at this Noho pamper palace, a favorite of the WWD set since 2004. The three-story indoor waterfall rightfully hogs much of the attention. But its forward-thinking treatments (including a “skin food” facial regimen), organic juice bar and “water cure” complex complete with hot tub, cold plunge and river-rock sauna compete for center stage.

Modern Classic Restaurant

The Dutch
131 Sullivan St., 212.677.6200

Newer spots have stolen some of its buzz, but The Dutch is still the preferred Soho destination of fashion editors and photographers willing to battle the neighborhood’s tourist hordes. Co-owner and chef Andrew Carmellini’s steaks are phenomenal, as are pastry chef Kierin Baldwin’s retro Americana pies. But the enviable corner location, sleek dining rooms and stiff cocktails should satiate Fashion Week crowds minding their waistlines.

Most Convenient Hotel

Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, 212.805.8800

Quirky boutique hotels are still the rage, but most are downtown. And sometimes non-ironic luxury and pampering is what you want in a hotel. Happily submit to the Mandarin. The 202-guestroom hotel, 46-suite hotel that soars over Columbus Circle and Central Park became an instant landmark when it opened in 2003. It also houses a world-class spa and a warren of esteemed restaurants. Plus, it’s a few well-heeled steps away from the big Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center.

Sexiest Nightcap

Le Baron, 32 Mulberry St., No Phone

After countless false starts, the New York iteration of this global cool kid magnet—others have swept Paris, Tokyo and London—finally opened early in the New Year, just in time to become the late night/early morning crash pad of February Fashion Week. The Chinatown faux dive evokes a vintage Vietnamese bordello, and the no-camera policy encourages turpitude. But it’s an exclusive set that misbehaves in owner Andre Saraiva’s dance den.

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