Fashion-Forward: Spring 2016 Events


by Christina Parrella, 03/14/2016

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New York City is one of the world's great fashion capitals. Luxurious boutiques, designer flagships and fast-fashion emporiums offer stylish goods in every corner of the five boroughs. Runway shows lend the start of every season a theatrical grandeur, but talks, exhibitions, store openings, exclusive collaborations and sample sales round out the offerings. Glamour is more accessible here than it is anywhere else on earth. Read our calendar below for stylish seasonal tips, and remember to check back for updates.

Stores & Sales

April 24, May 10 and 22, June 5 and 23, July 7 and 17, August 2 and 14 
Free Garment District Neighborhood Walking Tours 
Explore New York City's Garment District during this one-and-a-half-to-two-hour tour, led by Mike Kaback. You might visit a private showroom, a sample sale, Mood Designer Fabrics and more, all while learning about the neighborhood's historic background and importance. The tour—which starts at 10am on weekdays and 2pm on Sundays at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West 39th Street—is free, but reservations are required; you can make them by emailing

Through April 20
Madison Avenue Watch Week
Madison Avenue, between East 57th and East 69th Streets
Now in its sixth year, Madison Avenue Watch Week is a weeklong fete of luxury timepieces. Celebratory events and exhibitions take place at Madison Avenue boutiques including Chopard, Diesel, Hublot and Cartier. Special events include a presentation of high-end Chopard watches from Geneva and a series of watchmaking classes from Jaeger-LeCoultre. Rare and limited-edition pieces will be for sale here.  

April 23
BUST Craftacular
Factory Floor at Industry City, 233 37th St., 718-788-8079
Find over 100 vendors hawking beauty products at the spring edition of BUST Magazine’s Craftacular. Celebrate the beginning of spring with nail art, hair braids done by stylists from Williamsburg salon Amika and a flower crown station. Admission to this event is free and the first 200 attendees get a bag of goodies. 

Through May 1
Chroma NYC Pop-Up
120 Thompson St.
Shop Brazilian fashion brands including jewelry from Maria Dolores and handcrafted loafers from Blue Bird Shoes at this event.

Urban Oasis Shopping/Education Tour
This licensed New York City tour company specializes in fashion tours of the Garment District, SoHo, NoLIta and Brooklyn. But their tours aren't limited to just the retail experience—they also involve learning about the design process. Urban Oasis Shopping/Education Tour's clients shop at hidden-gem designer showrooms and workspaces at 65–75 percent off retail prices, and visit pattern-making facilities, fabric stores and small factories to learn about the complete process of fashion design from concept to production. Tours may be customized to include shopping only. During New York Fashion Week, special behind-the-scenes tours bring visitors to Project Runway locations, textile factories and designer showrooms. 

Fashion Window Walking Tour by WindowsWear 
Explore the best of the City's fashion industry and and see the amazing window displays at stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue. This two-hour daily walking tour begins at Macy's in Herald Square and journeys up Fifth Avenue, passing by the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and more.

Through April 16
Fairy Tale Fashion
The Museum at FIT, Special Exhibitions Gallery, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
Inspired by fairy tales from authors including the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, this exhibition features whimsical garments and accessories dating back to the 18th century. The showcase also connects fashion with storytelling—and how one item, let’s say Cinderella’s glass slipper, can shape the idea of a character. Thierry Mugler, Rick Owens, Thom Browne, Dolce & Gabbana and Tom Ford are among the featured designers. 

Through April 30
Gilded Age Glamour: Fashions from the Bartow-Pell Collection
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Carriage House, 895 Shore Rd., 718-885-1461
Displaying apparel from the museum’s own collection, this exhibition highlights women's, men's and children's fashions from the late 19th century. The period clothing, positioned alongside fashion illustrations, is meant to give visitors a peek into life during the Gilded Age, and how ideas around marriage, family and private and public life shaped the nation.

Through May 7
Denim: Fashion's Frontier
The Museum at FIT, Fashion & Textile History Gallery, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
This exhibition explores the history of one of the most adored fabrics in the world, from its roots as work wear to a symbol of rebellion and, later on, a preferred material for high-fashion designers.

March 18–August 7
Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History
Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St., 212-423-3200
The Jewish Museum hosts the first-ever retrospective of Isaac Mizrahi's work, celebrating the designer's 30-plus years in the fashion industry. The exhibition will include his early apparel, semi-couture range and even his fast-fashion line for Target. The installation will also showcase his forays into film, TV and other performing arts. 

Through August 21
Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2 E. 91st St., 212-849-8400
This installment focuses on design as it applies to the mind, body and senses. Featuring over 250 works from more than 60 designers, the series is organized into seven themes: extravagant, intricate, ethereal, transgressive, emergent, elemental and transformative. These themes highlight fashion, architecture and other mediums that present the many forms and functions of beauty. Works from makeup guru Pat McGrath, hair stylist Guido Palau and fashion designer Giambattista Valli will be on view. 

Gilded New York
The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., 212-534-1672
The Gilded Age in America was marked by industrialization and immense economic growth, which attracted immigrants from all over Europe. It was a period of poverty for many and ostentatious displays of wealth for some. This exhibition explores the mark the upper echelon left in NYC through costumes, jewelry, portraits and ornamental objects created from the mid-1870s through the early 20th century. The exhibition further surveys the establishment of the retail and luxury marketplace that can be credited with the City's place in the global fashion world.

Recently Opened
104 Greene St., 212-334-3492
Fendi, aka “the fashion house that Karl Lagerfeld built,” moved to this location, a few doors down from its old spot, to properly display the Italian brand’s luxe—and instantly recognizable—leather handbags and accessories, as well as its signature looks in shoes and clothes. Though the shop is fairly minimal, funky touches abound, from the neon scribble running the length of the ceiling to the gigantic robot bear statue that greets you at the door. 

Sonya Rykiel 
816 Madison Ave., 212-396-3060
Decidedly French in its sensibilities yet utterly unique in its style, the Sonia Rykiel fashion house has been producing breathtaking, high-end designs since the label launched in the early 1960s. This shop is the label’s only free-standing store in the US and marks a triumphant return to the Upper East Side, and Madison Avenue, after its original New York City location closed in 2011. Rykiel’s signatures—stripes configured into sleek forms; quirky yet elegant pattern combinations; edgy fur accents; long, stately silhouettes—are all on display here, and the shop seems crafted with those designs in mind. The store features blaring red walls, café-style tables and seating, and more than a thousand French books to peruse, making your Parisian shopping experience complete.

Barneys New York Chelsea Flagship
Seventh Avenue between West 16th and 17th Streets
Barneys New York heads back to its original block in Chelsea where the department store first opened in 1923. The luxury retailer’s new and larger emporium will feature the usual range of upmarket apparel, accessories, shoes and cosmetics, along with Freds restaurant and an outpost of men's barbershop/cocktail lounge The Blind Barber. In a nod to the original store's past, a new spiral staircase will connect each floor.

Looking Ahead
May 5–August 14
manus x machina: fashion in an age of technology
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, 212-535-7710
The Costume Institute's spring 2016 exhibition focuses on how technology influences fashion, specifically when it comes to haute couture and handmade designs. While machine manufacturing used to separate haute couture from ready-to-wear, the division between the two modes has more recently become unclear. Works by Chanel, John Galliano for Dior and Yves Saint Laurent will be on display.

June 14–November 26
Antonio Lopez: Art and Fashion
El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave., 212-831-7272
El Museo del Barrio presents the first solo exhibition of Bronx-raised artist Antonio Lopez, whose fashion illustrations dominated editorials in the 1970s and '80s. The exhibition will feature Lopez’s drawings, prototypes, photographs and archival objects. His work focuses on sexuality in fashion, blending themes of race, gender and the body. 

September 2016–January 3, 2017
Proust's Duchess 
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
This exhibition focuses on the real-life inspiration for Marcel Proust’s character Duchesse de Guermantes from his lengthy novel, In Search of Lost Time. The duchess was modeled after Élisabeth, Comtesse de Greffulhe, considered a renowned beauty in her time. The show concentrates on her wardrobe, consisting heavily of dresses fashioned with lace bodices and billowing taffeta. 

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    The Met
    Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10028
  2. 2
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  3. 3
    Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281
  1. 4
    Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
    2 E. 91st St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  2. 5
    Staten Island Arts / Culture Lounge
    10 Ferry Terminal Dr.
    Staten Island – St. George
    NY 10301
  3. 6
    92nd Street Y
    1395 Lexington Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  1. 7
    El Museo del Barrio
    1230 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  2. 8
    Museum of the City of New York
    1220 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  3. 9
    Anna Sui
    484 Broome St.
    Manhattan – SoHo

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