What to see and where to be seen during fashion week.
Where will the fashion flock continue their revelry after the scheduled parties shut down? The newest hot spots in town, of course. Leading the pack is the most convenient for the Bryant Park tent crowd: Lobby (330 West 38th Street), Jeremy Casilli’s swanky, service-oriented lounge, which opened Wednesday, and provides "the amenities one would expect in a hotel" according to Casilli. Like? A private penthouse with a flat-screen TV and cocktail cuisine. The service wears slinky Betsey Johnson dresses and the decor is ‘Moulin Rouge’ meets Palm Springs." Casilli invested in a cabaret license, but Lobby-goers will have to settle for boogeying in their chairs. "I don’t believe in a dance floor," he says.
Dancing is certainly in order, however, at Adultworld (116 Suffolk Street), a new music-centric club on the Lower East Side that sounds kinky but isn’t. Rather, it’s a launching pad for new talent — both local and beyond — from indie bands to DJs to electro. No live music.
For a more traditional club experience, head to Rehab (380 Lafayette Street), the site of numerous celebrity sightings.
Throughout the month of February, New York plays host, not only to the fashion pack, but a flock of gypsy guitarists and flamenco dancers performing around town, such as those of Madrid’s steamy Noche Flamenco, directed by Martín Santangelo and featuring Soledad Barrio, who will be pounding their feet with passion at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St.) this weekend.
Meanwhile, next door at The Public Theater, George C. Wolfe directs "Radiant Baby," a brand new musical about the life of Keith Haring. The downtown pop artist is played by Daniel Reichard, young actor and Haring look-a-like. Debra Barsha’s Eighties-inspired score draws on hip-hop, new wave and disco.
WHERE THE BOYS ARE
The Donnas come to town tonight, which means every sassy teenaged girl in the Tri-State area is headed to Irving Plaza for their fix. Another reason they’re going? Ok Go, the all-boy power pop band from Chicago is opening for the lasses. They may not be headlining yet, but this brainy quartet is shaping up to be the industry’s next big heartbreakers. On Feb. 9 and 10, soulful standby Aimee Mann will croon milky ballads from her new album "Lost in Space" at Irving Plaza.The real ticket, however, comes to town Feb. 21, when Brit boy sensation, The Music, plays the Bowery Ballroom. Deemed the new Coldplay by critics, these heavy rockers are even opening for the band on their upcoming American tour.
The "Matisse Picasso" show opening at MoMA QNS on Feb. 13 is sure to draw hordes, but the more adventurous contingent will make their way to P.S. 1 for "After Matisse/Picasso" and "First Steps: Emerging Artists from Japan." The latter, which includes work by ten edgy Japanese artists, including Yahurio Suzuki’s "inter-reflection" — a wall projection of tiny chairs spinning on a moving turntable — will open on Feb. 16 with a performance by Yuka Honda, of the beloved indie band Cibo Matto.
In Manhattan, Brooklyn artist Nina Katchadourian’s show at Debs & Co (525 West 26th Street) offers an eerie play on fashion. To create the pieces in her show "Natural Crossdressing," running until Feb. 22, Katchadourian used textiles found in Trinidad to create outfits for a pet rat, Rascal, and a pet snake, Carla. The original costumes are on display, as are photographs of the animals dressed up as each other and a video demonstrating just how tricky it was to get those pets into their fall looks.
Just when you thought shopping in New York couldn’t get any more varied, both fledgling and established retailers have created all sorts of innovative boons to beckon shoppers inside.
With his dark, romantic good looks, it’s no wonder Israeli-born designer Yigal Azrouël was looking to create a warm, sensual environ for shoppers in his eponymous boutique which opened this week at 408 West 14th Street.
The 2,500 square-foot boutique, which is both rustic and spare, features exposed brick walls and wood beams and polished concrete floors. Feminine touches such as butter-colored silk curtains create a boudoir feel in the dressing rooms, along with antique setees or chairs in each room.
Azrouël’s designs are incredible feats of tailoring and include a one-of-a-kind embroidered and distressed seersucker jacket, silk and tulle beaded dresses, twill trousers and other pieces meticulously distressed with stone. Retail prices range from $600 to $1500 for jackets; $500 to $900 for basic dresses; $300 to $600 for tops and $400 to $600 for pants.Meanwhile, Henri Bendel, which is perpetually on the hunt for cute and quirky concepts for its in-store shops, has introduced new designer shops in cosmetics, accessories and apparel. It is stocking up on British beauty brands by adding Mary Quant and flirty, girly line Pout. However, Quant, who is enjoying a bit of a renaissance with the reemergence of mod fashion, will also sell a sampling of her new ready-to-wear pieces there.
Bendel’s has also carved out a niche for NoLIta-based jeweler Femmegems. At the work table, creative shoppers can custom design necklaces with pendants and semi-precious stones.
But wait, there’s more. During Fashion Week, in conjunction with 7th on Sixth, designers including Matthew Williamson, Diane Von Furstenberg and Luella Bartley will make special appearances at Bendel’s and, in some instances, show samples from their new fall collections.
Those shoppers intent on being in the know should head to Barneys New York. Where else would you be able to find Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas’ much-anticipated Y-3 Collection but there?
Also not to be missed: the new Balenciaga flagship Nicolas Ghesquière is set to unveil next week at West 22nd Street — the company’s first in the U.S.
Fashion week is the time to pamper your feet. And if you clear time for a pedicure, why not go to the best? Ji Baek, of Rescue Beauty Lounge fame, recently opened her third spa in the Meatpacking District (34 Gansevoort Street) featuring not only her classic Rescue treatments, but luxe La Mer manicures and pedicures, as well as facials galore. Of course, those with no time to spare will be happy to know that Baek’s new nail polish collection is also being sold at the spot.
It would be remiss not to mention 66 (241 Church Street), Jean-George Vongrichten’s scrumptious new Chinese restaurant, but since a reservation may be near impossible at this point, head to some of the newer boîtes in town. Brasserie 360 (200 East 60th Street) serves up the odd coupling of French bistro fare and sushi — on separate floors connected by a staircase — while Mario Batali’s latest, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (1 Fifth Avenue), has been winning over patrons with its individual pizzas, wine list and gelati. Plus, the restaurant has no reservation policy for parties under seven, which means whoever’s willing to wait eats.Gathering buzz with scheduled openings within the month are other illustrious names, many of whom are jumping on the casual dining bandwagon. Craft’s Tom Colicchio will add to his stable of eateries with Witch Craft, a sandwich shop next door to Craft.
The Harrison’s Jimmy Bradley and Danny Abrams are opening Mermaid, a no-frills, no-reservations Mediterranean seafood restaurant in the East Village. Krim Boughalem, whose West Village restaurant has been a standby for years, goes super-casual in Chelsea with Snack Bar, which will feature inexpensive and tasty treats from 8 a.m. until 4 a.m.
Other anticipated hot spots include WD 50, Wylie Dufresne’s new café on Clinton Street; Carriage House, Adam Newton of Cafeteria’s new upscale restaurant, and Yujin, hard-core sushi from the sushi chef half of Sushi Samba. We’re full already.
Hopefully, all visiting fashion types have hotel reservations by now. But for next season, keep these in mind. Chelsea’s highly anticipated Maritime Hotel (West 17th Street at Ninth Avenue) — Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson’s titanic undertaking — is finally near completion. The former home to Covenant House, a shelter for runaways — and former home to the Marc Jacobs show — was originally built to support the sailor’s union. Its current owners kept its aquatic history in mind when designing the decor.
At the other end of the spectrum is Times Square’s 45-story Westin New York (270 West 43rd Street), one of the behemoth chains courting the finicky jet set with architectural wonders and swanky services. Designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, the hotel is covered with 8,000 sheets of glass back-painted in ten colors, creating a prism-like sheen. It’s even got a nature gimmick: the west side is blue and purple glass, representing the sky; the eastern half is copper tones, representing the earth. The structure’s mid-rise section is made of brick — not glass —and is designed as a huge origami sculpture that its creators interpret as a rock or meteorite.