Fashion-Forward: December Events


by Mallory Passuite, 11/23/2011

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The most wonderful time of the year also tends to be the busiest, especially when it comes to shopping. Black Friday is just the beginning of the annual month-long retail marathon that sees the City reveling at charming outdoor holiday markets (read our roundup for details), festive window displays—Lady Gaga's Workshop at Barneys is among the grandest—special sales and pop-up shops. Take a break from the madness with a meditative museum session mulling over a perplexing pair of McQueen shoes at FIT or a stunning Irving Penn portrait at ICP, or indulge in the fray with a designer menswear market and some recently opened shops on Madison Avenue. Expect even more exhibitions, events, store openings and sample sales to crop up as the month goes on, so remember to check back for additions and updates.

December 8
Glenda Bailey and Vince Aletti
International Center of Photography, 1133 Sixth Ave., 212-857-0000
Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey and ICP guest curator Vince Aletti (the journalist behind many a fashion-related photography exhibition) will discuss pop culture, photography, high fashion and Harper's Bazaar: A Decade of Style, now on view at ICP. The event begins at 7pm and includes a $5 admission fee. RSVP at

December 9, 14 and 15
Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage Signing
ICP Store, 1133 Sixth Ave.
Book Court, 163 Court St., 718-875-3677
Kaufmann Concert Hall at 92Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.
The famed photographer—a “Living Legend,” as designated by the Library of Congress—makes appearances to support the release of her new book, Pilgrimage. While Leibovitz is largely known for her portraiture in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, Pilgrimage concentrates on inanimate subjects like a dress that belonged to Emily Dickinson, the River Ouse (where Virginia Woolf drowned herself) and Sigmund Freud’s patients’ couch. “I needed to save myself,” Leibovitz told The New York Times of her inspiration behind the book. The photographer will sign copies at the International Center of Photography bookstore on December 9, beginning at 6pm; December 14 at Book Court at 7pm; and December 15 at the 92nd Street Y, following her book discussion.

December 10
Francois Nars Personal Appearance
Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., 212-826-8900
Meet the photographer, founder and creative director of much-loved makeup line NARS. The Parisian-born self-proclaimed perfectionist moved to New York in the ’90s, where he worked on Madonna’s controversial book, Sex; shaved off Kristen McMenamy's eyebrows (for an Anna Sui runway show); and launched his own line, first of lipsticks and liners at Barneys. Nars will sign limited-edition sets from the NARS Modern Kabuki collection and copies of his latest book, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself, from 2pm to 4pm.

December 312
The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor

The late, legendary actress was known for many things, among them an incredible collection of jewelry, said to be worth more than $150 million. The pieces have toured the globe before making a final stop in New York, where they will be on view to the public, leading up to their auctioning by Christie's, December 13–16. Admission is $30 (or $20 if preordered) and tickets are available at

December 8March 10
Joaquín Sorolla and the Glory of Spanish Dress
Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, 684 Park Ave., 212-628-0420
Select works by Joaquín Sorolla, the Valencia-born painter known for his impressionistic use of light, will serve as the centerpiece for the Spanish Institute's follow-up to last year's much-loved Balenciaga exhibition. In an unprecedented partnership with the Ministry of Spain, the new show will display the paintings alongside other art and costumes never before seen in the US, including pieces from Madrid's Museo del Traje. The exhibition was conceived by Oscar de la Renta, chairman of the Institute's board of directors, and curated by André Leon Talley, the Vogue editor who also recently curated the first show of the gallery named for him, in the Savannah College of Art and Design's new museum of art.

Through January 7, 2012
Daphne Guinness
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
The heiress, couture collector and occasional window dresser co-curated this exhibition, which showcases 100 pieces from her fascinating closet personal collection. Among the featured designers, find creations by Azzedine Alaïa, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Gareth Pugh, Valentino, Givenchy and others, plus—those who missed The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Savage Beauty exhibition, take note—several pieces by the late Alexander McQueen, a friend of hers.

Through January 8, 2012
Harper's Bazaar: A Decade of Style
International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, 212-857-0000
During her decade as editor of Harper's Bazaar, Glenda Bailey and her creative director, Stephen Gan, have continued the magazine's storied tradition of extraordinary photography. This retrospective includes striking portraits and tableaux shot by such fashion photographers as Jean-Paul Goude, Patrick Demarchelier, Sølve Sundsbø, Tim Walker, Mario Sorrenti, David Bailey and Peter Lindbergh.

Through January 8, 2012
Picasso to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler
Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, 212-299-7777
Some of the 20th century's great artists have created stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, often intended to be given as personal gifts. The Museum of Arts and Design displays almost 200 works by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons and others.

Through January 20
Incomparable Women of Style: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977–2011
Gladys Marcus Library, Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558

New York nightlife and fashion photographer Rose Hartman has captured iconic moments in style and culture in the City for more than 30 years (think: Bianca Jagger, wearing Halston, riding into her 30th birthday party at Studio 54 astride a white horse in 1977). Hartman's photo collection includes impromptu pictures of Grace Jones, Diana Vreeland, Courtney Love and Iris Apfel, to name a few, plus lesser-known underground figures.

Through February 20
Cecil Beaton: The New York Years
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., 212-534-1672
In 1928, the late, now-legendary fashion photographer Cecil Beaton moved from England to New York, where he shot fashion and portraits for the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair. The New York Years, now on view at the Museum of the City of New York, pays homage to his time in the City, with a collection of photographs, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger and Greta Garbo, plus costume and set designs for My Fair Lady (1956) and Swan Lake (1951).

Through April 15
Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones
Bard Graduate Center Gallery, 18 W. 86th St., 212-501-3023

While the hat remains a timeless category of garb, Lady Gaga and guests of the royal wedding have put the avant-garde types back in the spotlight as of late. And, with impeccable timing, the Bard Graduate Center hosts a collection of hats curated by British milliner Stephen Jones. The exhibition, which opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2009, includes more than 250 extraordinary pieces by Jones, Philip Treacy and Bill Cunningham. American- and New York–centric items like Mouseketeer ears and Babe Ruth's baseball cap were added for this iteration, the show's US debut.

Through May 8
The Great Designers: Part One
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
This is the first component of a two-part exhibition that will highlight pieces from The Museum at FIT's archives. More than 50 works—including masterpieces by Alaïa, Dior and Prada—will be on display.

Irving Penn
Carrère Gallery at The Forbes Galleries, 62 Fifth Ave., 212-206-5548
Through his signature, elegant style, the great American photographer Irving Penn captured beautifully minimal images—images that have a tendency to captivate viewers. Carrère Gallery at The Forbes Galleries is displaying a selection of Penn's iconic images and fashion editorials, including Woman with Roses, a photograph of his wife, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, in a black Lafaurie dress with a stunning silhouette, shot in 1950.

Stores and Sales
Project No. 8 Men's Holiday Sale
Project No. 8, 38 Orchard St., 212-925-5599
Save up to 40% on brands like Adam Kimmel, Henrik Vibskov, Zero + Maria Cornejo and more, plus 25% off Dries Van Noten F/W 2011.

December 1–3
Shipley & Halmos Men's Sample Sale
8 Greene St., 2nd fl.
The brand's first-ever menswear sample sale will feature previous-season ready-to-wear pieces, including suits, shirts and coats, at more than 50% off original retail prices.

December 1–14
Ohne Titel & Easton + Combs BOFFO pop-up
57 Walker St.
The women behind fashion label Ohne Titel (German for “untitled”) and New York–based architectural firm Easton + Combs collaborate on the fifth installment of this year's BOFFO Building Fashion series. The series pairs designers with architects to create a unique, though temporary, retail environment. Previous editions have included projects by the likes of Patrik Ervell and Graham Hudson, and Nicola Formichetti and Gage/Clemenceau Architects.

December 2–4
Pop Up Flea
159 Bleecker St.
The "ever changing collection of new and vintage menswear goods" returns downtown for a fourth go-round. And while the A Continuous Lean-approved lineup for this year has yet to be released, previous years have brought brands like Oliver Spencer, Billykirk Leathermakers and Gant Rugger.

December 818
at Park & Bond
414 W. 14th St.
The smart, men's e-tailer, Park & Bond opens a Meatpacking pop-up with the equally smart men's magazine GQ. The store will stock pieces from the magazine's annual "Best Stuff of the Year" package, plus shoes, watches, grooming products and more.

December 9
Apple Store Grand Central Opens
45 Grand Central Terminal, 212-284-1800
Apple's newest flagship store is also one of its biggest and most historic—located in the landmark Grand Central Terminal. The store will open at 10am on December 9.

Through December 11
Theory Women's Sample Sale
Clothing Line, 261 W. 36th St., 2nd fl., 212-947-8748
Theory Men's Sample Sale
Company Store, 139 Fifth Ave., 2nd fl., 212-398-2777
Save up to 65% on Theory merchandise as the label makes way for spring. While some sample sales accept cash only, Theory has made this one quite convenient: all major credit cards are accepted and shoppers who "check in" at the sale on Foursquare receive an additional 10% off. The women's sale runs through December 4; the men's begins December 7 and ends December 11.

December 1317
Diane von Furstenberg Sample Sale
260 Fifth Ave.
Save up to 75% on DVF wrap dresses and more.

December 15–16
Rachel Comey Sample Sale
St. Patrick's Cathedral Youth Center Gymnasium, 268 Mulberry St.
Save up to 60% on men's and women's apparel, shoes and accessories.

December 15–17
I Don't Like Mondays Warehouse Sale
157 Bowery
Shop brands like Cheap Monday, Alexander Wang and Jeffery Campbell at up to 80% off.

December 1518
Helmut Lang and Theyskens' Theory Sample Sale
139 Fifth Ave., 2nd fl., 212-398-2777
Save up to 65% on women's apparel.

December 1627
American Apparel Warehouse Sale
766 Sixth Ave.
Save up to 90% on warehouse stock for men and women. Closed on Christmas Day.

December 17
Proenza Schouler Sample Sale
495 Broadway, 4th fl.
Prices at this one-day-only sale, which runs from 9am to 9pm, range from just under $100 to just over $1,000.

Through December 24
Ernest Alexander Pop-Up
9 Clinton St.
The New York–based brand of simple, carefully crafted accessories in heritage materials, plus classic jackets and shirting—all American-made—has popped up on the Lower East Side.

Through January 2
Gaga's Workshop
Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., 212-826-8900
With the help of friends like Mugler creative director/Lady Gaga fashion director Nicola Formichetti and artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide Pierson, Lady Gaga's interpretation of Santa's workshop will be the theme of the iconic holiday window display this year at Barneys. And, for the first time ever, the holiday initiative will take over the entire fifth-floor Men's Store, complete with a special collection of Gaga-designed gift items. Barneys will donate 25% of proceeds from sales of the items in Gaga's Workshop to a charity of the star's choice.

Recently Opened on Madison Avenue
At least 60 new stores have opened along Madison Avenue in the past year, including—just last month—big names like Escada (between 64th and 65th Streets), Bottega Veneta (between 70th and 71st Streets), Ladurée (between 70th and 71st Streets), Lululemon (between 84th and 85th Streets), Theory (between 85th and 86th Streets) and more. We suggest an afternoon stroll down Madison for some serious shopping and French macaroons.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    International Center of Photography
    250 Bowery
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY 10012
  2. 2
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  3. 3
    Museum of Arts and Design
    2 Columbus Circle
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  1. 4
    Museum of the City of New York
    1220 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  2. 5
    Bard Graduate Center
    18 W 86th St
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024
  3. 6
    Barneys New York
    660 Madison Ave
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10021

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