Working hard to maintain their standing, longtime scene favorites like Boom Boom and Electric Room upped the ante this season, playing private venue to shows by The Kills, Wu Tang Clan, and Solange Knowles. Meanwhile, newer spots like the long-awaited Le Baron and Tribeca's Super Linda established themselves as leaders of the pack, both hosting Purple magazine's painfully cool two-part, bi-annual party. From nightlife trailblazers to runway road kill, here are the top 25 hotspots that defined fashion week and will set the scene for the next six months of parties. Yes, the fashion should take center stage, but let’s be honest, sometimes it's more fun to see models dancing on tables than walking the runway.
The Tents, show venue
The Theatre (969 seats)
The Stage (740 seats)
The Studio (396 seats)
The Box (125 seats)
If you’re showing at the tents for Fashion Week, it’s likely that you’ve hit the big league. From Charlotte Ronson to Carolina Herrera, Lincoln Center is a New York editor's epicenter, and it is from here that any real NYFW should (and does) begin.
Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (at Columbus Avenue);212- 875-5456.
Goodness, restaurant: For the second year running, model Elettra Wiedemann has opened her pop-up restaurant GOODNESS at the Museum of Art and Design. Superchefs Mario Batali, Alain Allegretti, Julian Medina, and Leo Forneas will take turns from the 11 to the 14 to offer up the most delicious – and healthiest, obviously – dishes to the Fashion Week diners. If you’re hoping for Batali’s famously calorific pork belly pasta, you’ll probably be disappointed.
Goodness, 2 Columbus Circle (at 58th and Broadway); no number.
Lincoln, restaurant: The restaurant of choice for midlevel editors and buyers looking to sneak a cocktail between shows. Located at the heart of the uptown fashion week action, the all glass pavilion isn’t the place to plan your night around, but there’s some decent people watching to be done. Oh, and if anyone asks, that’s water. Not a gin and tonic.
Lincoln, 142 West 65th Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues); 212-359-6500.
Empire Hotel, hotel / bar: Having seen its cool standing skyrocket with the moving of Fashion Week from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center, the Empire is reliving its glory days (and yes, this is Chuck Bass' fictional home). Rachel Zoe is showing her fall '12 collection here, and the rooftop bar is the location for several reasonably exciting fashion parties – a good comeback destination with a fun but not insanely chic crowd (aka don't the Courtin-Clarins).
Empire Hotel, 44 West 63rd Street (at Columbus Avenue); 212-265-7400.
Starbucks, café: Okay, maybe Starbucks doesn’t have the most amazing coffee blends around, but three days into the week, most of the industry will consider chewing whole old grinds if it means a quicker shot of energy. Expect to hear the words “skinny triple shot” shrieked throughout the day as the crowd claws for that extra boost. As the location closest to Lincoln Centre, this 'Bucks will be a revolving fashion door.
Starbucks, 1889 Broadway (at 63rd Street); 347-478-5360.
Double Seven, club: David Rabin's glamorous venue has had a resurgence, and is back at the heart of the Meatpacking social scene. It kicked off Fashion Week by hosting Refinery's star-studded event, as well as Jason Wu and Naeem Khan's after show parties. Looks like it's back to being a fashion hotspot and we're very happy about it.
Double Seven, 63 Gansevoort Street (between Washington and Greenwich streets); 646-490-8925.
Boom Boom Room, club: You can count on New York’s most decadent venue to put together the biggest parties of the fashion week calendar, as Andre Balazs keeps Boom Boom at the top of the list. On Thursday night The Kills played a set there, Friday Waris held a throw-down, Saturday Purple raged and raged. You get it. Hot spots come and go, but Boom seems unshakeable.
Boom Boom Room, The Standard Hotel, 848 Washington Street, (at 13th Street); 212-645-4646.
Electric Room, club: Another Nur Khan model-magnet, Electric Room – in the basement of The Dream Downtown – hosts some of New York’s most exclusive events, without needing to rely on publicity to keep its buzz. Making use of his famously tight connections with the music scene, Khan quietly hosts some of the biggest acts in the industry to perform for his carefully handpicked crowd.
Electric Room at the Dream Downtown, 355 West 16th Street (at 9th Avenue); 212-229-2559.
Milk Studios, show venue: While nowhere near as imposing as the Lincoln Centre tents, Milk’s (or Made, we're still confused) central location in the Meatpacking and its younger vibe makes it many lines’ favorite presentation venue. From Simon Spurr to Suno, the huge site reels in the big names.
Milk Studios, 450 West 15th Street (at 10th Avenue); 212-645-2797.
Dream Downtown, hotel: As the flagship of Vikram Chatwal’s luxury hotel group, The Dream is home to Nur Khan’s Electric Room in the basement, the rooftop PHD club, and ground level The Gallery, plus Marble Lane, the restaurant that's popular with celebs like the Biebs. Khan’s notorious pulling power ushers a consistent influx of big name scenesters – though the fashion crew is usually heading below deck for the Electric’s more private ambiance. Dream Downtown, 355 West 16th Street (at 9th Avenue); 212-229-2559.
Soho House, hotel / lounge: A perennial fashion favorite, Soho House is still the place to relax and regroup between shows. When the doors close on the madness of the Meatpacking outside, it can be tough to want to leave again. A safe haven away from the chaos of Milk just blocks away.
Soho House, 29 9th Avenue (at West 13th Street); 212-627-9800.
Pastis, restaurant: The Pastis crowd runs the fashion and art scene gamut with Theory’s Olivier Theyskens or Purple’s Olivier Zahm frequently stopping for lunch and glass of wine. Maybe it’s the location, maybe it’s the menu, but Pastis never seems to lose its sheen.
Pastis, 9 9th Avenue (at Little West 12th Street); 212-929-4844.
Le Baron, club: Having opened just two weeks ago, André Saraiva’s Le Baron is clearly holding court in New York’s nightclub stakes, with the dark red interiors and live bands keeping the achingly cool fashion crowd out 'til late (and having to try and explain to cab drivers that Mosco Street exists). Not the best idea if you need to be up at Lincoln Centre by 9 a.m. – but don’t think about that until the hangover hits. Let’s just hope those five-hour energy shots actually work.
Le Baron, 32 Mulberry Street (at Mosco Street); no number.
Red Egg, club: We hear that Red Egg has great dimsum, but this is Fashion Week—that’s not what we’re here for. Touted as the new Beatrice, the Red Egg crowd is mostly made up of up-and-coming DJs (aka not quite Harley) and models you saw on the runway that morning. While still very hot on the scene, it remains to be seen whether it can keep its footing now that Le Baron has finally opened its doors. Though scoring the Proenza Schouler after-party is a step in the right direction.
Red Egg, 202 Centre Street (at Howard Street); 212-966-1123.
Pulqueria, restaurant / club: Somewhere between a Mexican restaurant, a bar and a club, Pulqueria’s hidden entrance on a tiny Chinatown road was once easy to miss. Given the constant group of well-heeled partiers crowding outside these days, it’s not as secret as it once was, but still an entertaining mix of A-listers and art scene heavy-hitters.
Pulqueria, 11 Doyers Street (at Bowery); 212-227-309.
Omen, restaurant: Cool for not being cool, rustic old-school Japanese restaurant Omen is year-after-year a fashion week favorite. Pulling a more low-key crowd of the fashion / art world inteligencia, it has become an insiders’ favorite – regularly featured in Purple and/or Terry's Diary. Where celebrities come to be civilians, it transcends cool.
Omen, 113 Thompson Street (at Prince Street); 212-925-8923.
Acme, restaurant: A restaurant serving bacon mash and ‘country toast’ is not usually what you’d associate with NYFW, but the newly reopened Acme—from the owners of Indochine— is one of the hottest restaurants on the scene. Like, impossible to get a reservation hot. While the food is good, it’s the darkened basement that’s open until 4 a.m. that keeps things really exciting.
Acme, 9 Great Jones Street (between Lafayette Street and Broadway); 212-203-2121.
The Bowery Hotel, hotel / bar: Famously popular with the Euro fashion crowd, expect to see Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung lounging on the velvet furniture, sipping cocktails. and discussing the latest lines, along with a UK rocker or two.
Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery (at 3rd Street); 212-505-9100.
The Dutch, restaurant: While no longer new by New York’s standards, tables at The Dutch are still surprisingly tough to nail down. A young and beautiful crowd flocks here on weekends – expect to see several Gossip Girl actors loitering outside on any given night, as it seems to have become the cast’s dinner venue of choice. Very cool? Probably not. Great fun? Sure.
The Dutch, 131 Sullivan Street (at Prince Street); 212-677-6200.
The Armory, show venue: It’s generally understood that Marc by Marc Jacobs is the show that reminds the industry why they got into fashion in the first place, and it is held in all its glory at The Armory. The excitement around the show – one of the few productions to rival those in Paris – turns even the highest chair editors to giggling juniors as they pull every string to score a seat, or even just standing room. Marc puts The Armory squarely on the fashion map.
The Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue (at 25th Street); 212- 686-6556.
Super Linda, restaurant: Hosting the Purple magazine dinner (the kind of party that makes any place cool) is pretty much guaranteed to put this brand-new – like four days old – Tribeca restaurant on the fashion map. Owned by the Beatrice’s Matt Abramcyk, this is one place to keep a very excited eye on.
Super Linda, 109 West Broadway (at Reade Street); no number.
Le Caprice, restaurant: If you’re looking to rub shoulders with the most senior members of the industry this fashion week, Le Caprice is the place to go. While not cool in the traditional sense, it has a timeless glamour and elegance that appeals to the Anna Wintours and Diane von Furstenbergs of New York. Endlessly beautiful, endlessly classic, and very uptown.
La Caprice, 795 5th Avenue (at 61st Street); 212-940-8195.
Designed by Gabriela Alford