Fashion-Forward: Summer 2014 Events


by Christina Parrella, 06/24/2014

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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

July 20, August 5 and 17, September 4 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

WindowsWear Fashion Window Walking Tour
Departs from Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St., 646-827-2288
Explore New York City's fashion displays with a WindowsWear walking tour. This two-hour jaunt gives insight into the history of the industry and how the City's most famous retailers dress up their windows. Tour goers will also visit shopping spots made famous in shows such as Sex and the City and Modern Family. Tickets must be purchased in advance; the schedule is available at

June 3–November 15
Exposed: A History of Lingerie
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
This showcase examines the history of intimate apparel from the 18th century to the present. Featuring over 70 pieces, the collection highlights all things feminine and delicate. Silk, cotton and lace garments from designers like Christian Dior, Valerie Porr and Patricia Fieldwalker are among the intricate pieces on display. 

Through August 10 
Charles James: Beyond Fashion 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, 212-535-7710
The Met celebrates the grand reopening of The Costume Institute’s galleries with a special exhibition dedicated to America’s first couturier, Charles James. The exhibition focuses on James’ design-making process, which involved much more than sketching. James constructed garments, using scenes and mathematics to achieve an architectural shape that accentuated the female hipline. His goal was to create a surrealist, weightless and visually stunning garment that appealed to a particular group of daring women. The exhibition features James's ball gowns from the 1930s through 1950s, as well as sketches, pattern swatches and partially completed works from his last studio in the Chelsea Hotel.

Through September 14
Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography
Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, 212-299-7777
This exhibition explores the influence of photography on jewelry artists from the 19th century through the digital age. Pieces on display come from more than 80 international artists, and include an Abraham Lincoln daguerreotype pin fashioned with gingham and black ribbons.

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.

Stores & Sales
July 21–24
Helmut Lang and Theory Sample Sale
Clothing Line, 261 W. 36th St., 2nd fl., 212-947-8748
Save on Theory and Helmut Lang merchandise for both men and women.

July 22–24
Ernest Alexander
15 W. 28th St., 8th fl.
Score rustic American menswear, accessories, neckwear, bags and shave kits at up to 75% off.   

July 23–25
Vivienne Tam 
260 W. 39th St., 11th fl.
Save up to 75% off the label's rich and vibrant threads. 

Recently Opened
Flea Market Betty
87 Havemeyer St., 718-306-4066
Flea Market Betty is (yet another) answer to your vintage shopping woes. The market, open Saturdays and Sundays, features artisanal food vendors and independent clothing and jewelry retailers. Friday nights mean food trucks (Kimchi Taco and Carl's Steaks) and dance parties.

Birchbox SoHo
433 W. Broadway, 646-589-8500
For $10 a month, Birchbox members receive customized samples of beauty products in the mail. The brand's first brick-and-mortar store offers customers a slew of products and services. The store arranges its products by categories such as "cheek," "brow" and "lips," and carries more than 200 brands, including a selection for men. The online customization is taken a step further in-store; for $15 you can build your own Birchbox with five samples. The bi-level flagship also features hair, makeup and nail services, as well as video screens with tutorials. Needless to say, you'll never want to leave.  

Rachel Comey
95 Crosby St.
Designer Rachel Comey, whose ultra-stylish flats have adorned the feet of many of fashion's best and brightest, has opened her first brick-and-mortar location in SoHo. Like her clothing, the store's aesthetic is clean and spare, complementing the designer's collection of dresses, denim and, of course, shoes.

Looking Ahead
September 10–February 15, 2015
Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy., 718-638-5000
Featuring over 160 pairs of designer heels—some dating as far back as the 16th century—this exhibition explores the evolution of feminine footwear. View stunning modern examples by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. Highlights include Marilyn Monroe's Salvatore Ferragamo stilettos; an 8-inch-high black leather platform bootie designed by Rem D. Koolhaas for Lady Gaga; silk, metal and glass heels made by Roger Vivier for House of Dior; and an absurd collaboration between Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí, the result of which is actually a headpiece. Six short films inspired by high heels accompany the show.

September 13–January 3, 2015
Dance & Fashion

The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
This exhibition explores the role fashion has played in the world of dance. Items that show dance's influence on fashion, including Christian Dior's and Pierre Balmain's ballet-inspired gowns, will be shown alongside Valentino's designs for the New York City Ballet. Ensembles from designers like Rodarte, Prabal Gurung and Halston will also be on display. 

October 21–February 1, 2015
Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. (at 82nd St.), 212-535-7710
This new show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Anna Wintour Costume Center focuses on widow fashions from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Featuring around 30 somber ensembles, the exhibition examines high fashion's aesthetic and cultural relationship with bereavement attire. The pieces, many of which have never been exhibited before, focus on the period between 1815 and 1915, and include mourning gowns worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra. Items range from the austere to the grandiose. Expect plenty of black.

October 28–January 25, 2015
Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. (at 82nd Street), 212-535-7710
The decadent and luxurious jewel collection of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani goes on display in The Met's Islamic art galleries. Both glamorous and fascinating, these adornments offer a peek into jewelry styles in India dating all the way from the Mughal period until the early 20th century, though the emphasis is on later pieces influenced by the West. Jaw-dropping highlights include antique gems incorporated into modern settings by Cartier, a diamond-encrusted, feathered turban clip and an elegant jade dagger that originally belonged to two emperors.

October 31, 2014–March 22, 2015
Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power
If you're one of the millions of women who count facial cream as a part of your daily beauty routine, you can thank Helena Rubenstein. (You can also thank her for the hefty price tag—Rubenstein promoted the notion that the higher the price tag, the more desirable the product.) Credited as one of the first to create and market beauty cream, she transformed the faces of clients in Australia and Europe using secret ingredients. Rubenstein came to New York City in 1915, setting up shop on West 49th Street; this exhibition showcases her collection of beautiful things, such as artwork by Picasso and Matisse, jewelry and fashion pieces. 

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  2. 2
    92nd Street Y
    1395 Lexington Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  3. 3
    The New-York Historical Society
    170 Central Park West
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024
  1. 4
    Museum of Arts and Design
    2 Columbus Circle
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  2. 5
    Museum of the City of New York
    1220 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  3. 6
    Dover Street Market
    160 Lexington Ave.
    Manhattan – Murray Hill
    NY 10016
  1. 7
    Berluti Maison
    677 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10065
  2. 8
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10028
  3. 9
    Saks Fifth Avenue
    611 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10022

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