New York, New York…
The city of dreams. Glamour, shopping, cocktails, Chanel bags, Mimosas on Sundays, stilettos everywhere…
Well, Sex and the City might have created that type of idea of the city, but I am sorry to disappoint you. New York is not exactly all that glamour, especially if you are living on a student budget.
However, fashion lovers, don’t give up! There are ways of experiencing New York’s fashion scene without skipping lunch for a week, I promise. Check some of my favorite fashion-related places in the city:
1.The MET Costume Institute
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) is one of my favorite places in New York. I go at least twice on each new exhibit! Usually, there are two annual exhibitions. One from May through September and the other from November through February. The one that starts in May, launched by the famous MET Gala (watching the arriving guests on that day is also a must btw), is always the biggest and most important one (watch The First Monday in May to learn more about the whole process and organization behind the exhibition and the gala). The current exhibit is called “Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion,” it features important designs owned by the museum that are representative of each century, from the 18th century to the present.
Obs: the museum has a suggested admission! You can literally pay $1 to see all its treasures.
2. Window Shopping at 5th Avenue
Window shopping at 5th Ave is always a lot of fun! It gets especially exciting on this time of the year. Make sure to check the famous holiday windows from Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, they are always breathtaking! Tiffany, Cartier and Ralph Lauren usually have great windows as well. Don’t forget to stop by Rockefeller Center for their Christmas tree and to watch people ice skating.
3. Dover Street Market
Dover Street Market, the multi-brand store owned by Comme des Garçons is probably one of the most interesting stores you will ever visit. Their selection of clothes and the installations and displays created by different artists make visiting DSM an experience. Feel free to go through all the store’s floors, browse through the most avant-garde trends and take pictures, you won’t be bothered! In the end, make sure to stop for a cup of coffee at the bakery on the 1st floor.
4. The Museum at FIT
Owned by one of the most important fashion colleges in the world, the Museum at FIT has an extensive collection of garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present. Besides being free, the museum’s exhibits are usually quite creative and unique. The one in the picture above, for example, was called “Uniformity.” It presented an analysis on the influence that uniforms have in fashion throughout the times and vice versa. Also, make sure to check for the public events offered by the museum!
5. The Shoe Department at Saks
An entire floor filled with the most exquisite shoes in the planet? The 8th floor at Saks Fifth Avenue Midtown will make your eyes shine. Get delighted by all the newest Manolos, Louboutins and Jimmy Choos and have your Carrie Bradshaw moment. One curiosity? Opened in 2007, Saks’ shoe department has its own zip code! 10022-SHOE if you are wondering…
6. Fashion Week Stalking
I like to say that New York has five seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Fashion Week. Twice a year (February and September), the most important people in the fashion industry mark their presence in NYC for one of the most important fashion events in the planet. Didn’t get your invitation to the shows? No worries! Mark your presence on the entrance of some of the main locations and you might stumbleupon Anna Wintour, Jessica Alba, Solange Knowles… That is not to mention all the fashion bloggers possible. All you have to do is follow the paparazzi!
7. Brunch at Freds
Ok, this might not really be included in a student budget but… You know, special occasions deserve some investment. On the top of department store Barneys at Madison Avenue, Freds is that restaurant to see and be seen. Make sure to wear your best brunch-outfit, make a reservation and enjoy a beautiful view of the city, delicious food and, of course, pay attention to the restaurant’s interesting and (usually) stylish diners.
8. Shopping around SoHo
SoHo is one of my favorite areas of the city. Very charming, with lots of interesting buildings that date back to the city’s earliest years, it is one of the main shopping spots in NYC. I like the mixture of high-end and popular stores with some unique local shops. There are also some great places to eat, especially bakeries and coffeeshops. Just walk around and explore!