Fashion-Forward: Fall 2014 Events


by Christina Parrella, 10/22/2014

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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

November 9 and 23
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

November 6
92Y Talks: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History 
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel is, of course, the designer responsible for a number of trends that have been pervasive for decades—the little black dress, two-piece tweed suits and flats among them. Author Rhonda Garelick discusses the French luminary, who also happens to be the subject of her new book, Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History. Garelick will talk about Chanel and her indomitable personality, as well as the effect she had on fashion and her influence over how women dress.

November 7–8
Tiffany T Train
545, 545 W. 22nd St.
To celebrate its new collection, Tiffany T, legendary jeweler Tiffany & Co. has created a full-scale subway train inside an art gallery, paying homage to NYC and the nearby High Line. The exhibition features authentic handrails, train ceiling lights, windows and steam. It also displays the Tiffany T collection, which includes bracelets, rings and necklaces with a T design. Limited quantities of the T square bracelet will be on sale. Free onsite custom engraving is also available. The space is open from 11am to 5pm on both days. 

November 18
Fashion Icons: Valentino in Conversation with Fern Mallis 
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500
The now-retired Italian icon, who created the trademark "Valentino red" dress, sits down with Fern Mallis to discuss his storied career, haute couture and his passions. 

December 6
Miracle on Madison Avenue 
Madison Avenue (bet. 57th and 86th Sts.)
The annual Miracle on Madison Avenue promotes shopping with a cause. Participating retailers on a closed-to-car-traffic stretch of the thoroughfare will donate 20% of their profits for the day to the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Shoppers will be treated to live music performances, celebrity guest appearances and snack tents set up along the street. 

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% 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. 

September 27–January 4, 2015
Kimono: A Modern History
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. (at 82nd St.), 212-535-7710
Throughout history, the kimono has served as fashionable attire, art and a symbol of Japan. Featuring more than 50 robes, this exhibition explores the garment from the 18th century to today, depicting a range of styles, patterns and textiles. This showcase also focuses on the influence that Western dyes and machinery had over the kimono-making process. 

September 30–March 15, 2015
Maryland to Murano 
Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, 212-299-7777
This exhibition examines the relationship between artist Joyce J. Scott’s beaded neckpieces, made in her Baltimore studio, and her glass sculptures fashioned in the Berengo Studio on Murano Island in Venice, Italy. The pieces demonstrate Scott’s intense dedication to technique and interaction with her chosen materials. Examples include a bib necklace crafted with glass beads and a hand-blown Murano glass Buddha filled with beaded jewelry pieces.

"Sentimental Rings: From Birth to Death and In-Between." Courtesy, Doyle & Doyle

October 9–November 9 
Sentimental Rings: From Birth to Death and In-Between
Doyle & Doyle, 412 W. 13th St., 212-677-9991
As downtown's go-to destination for antique jewelry, it’s no surprise that Doyle & Doyle has an exhibition, Sentimental Rings: From Birth to Death and In-Between, that features a beautiful collection of vintage gems. This assortment includes antique rings as well as never-before-displayed pieces that touch on topics of love, loss and longing. 

Mourning ensemble (1870-1872), courtesy, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Veil (ca. 1875), courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: © Karin Willis/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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.

"Finial from the Throne of Tipu Sultan" (ca. 1790), on view in "Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection." Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

October 28–January 25, 2015
Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. (at 82nd St.), 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.

Helena Rubinstein with African mask (c. 1935). Courtesy, Helena Rubinstein Foundation archive, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Photo: George Maillard Kesslere

October 31–March 22, 2015
Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power
The Jewish Museum, 1105 Fifth Ave. (at 92nd St.), 212-423-3200 
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 Rubinstein. (You can also thank her for the hefty price tag—Rubinstein 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. Rubinstein 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. 

Through 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 January 3, 2015
Dance & Fashion

The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and 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. 

 “Unicorn Tayss” (2013), by Walter Steiger on view in "Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe." Courtesy, Walter Steiger. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

Through 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.

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
October 18
Adidas Originals = Pharrell Williams
610 Broadway, 212-529-0081
Marking Pharrell Williams' second collaboration with Adidas this year, this collection, which will be sold at select retailers, features three versions of the sportswear label's signature Superstar jacket—ultra-luxe, naturally, made from Nappa leather in three colors (white, red and bright green). As you might expect, the style doesn't come cheap—each piece runs around $1,000. Matching Stan Smith shoes will accompany the jackets.

November 5–8
Diesel Sample Sale 
151 Wooster St. (between Houston and Prince Streets), 212-725-5400
Shop markdowns on denim, men's and women's apparel, jackets and accessories. 

November 6
Alexander Wang x H&M
640 Fifth Ave., 212-489-0390 
Fashion wunderkind Alexander Wang teams up with retail giant H&M to release a line of street wear that consists of logo-heavy leggings, crop tops and flip-flops.  

November 6–8
Alexis Bittar Sample Sale 
143 W. 19th St. (bet. Sixth and Seventh Aves.)
Score bangles and earrings from the SoHo-based brand at up to 70% off. 

Recently Opened
Concrete + Water
485 Driggs Ave.
As if Williamsburg wasn't fashionable enough, here comes another new concept shop to add to the neighborhood's appeal. This stylish emporium carries a collection of accessories and fashion pieces (for both men and women) made by independent designers. The airy space is styled with a rustic, minimalist aesthetic, and that sensibility is reflected in the stock—a mix of high-quality clothing and home wares. A 600-square-foot backyard plays host to trunk shows, concerts and events. 

Babel Fair
294 Bedford Ave., 718-387-1310 
This newly opened Williamsburg boutique, which already boasts an outpost in NoLIta, stocks clothing and accessories from international labels as well as trendy goods like color-blocked sweaters, floral bombers, green lipstick and curated pieces from around the world. 

67 Wooster St.
Céline, the epitome of contemporary French chic, has expanded its presence with a downtown location. The brightly decorated space will house sunglasses, clothing and shoes in addition to the brand's sought-after luggage and trapeze bags. The interior also features décor by the Danish artist FOS, a collaboration that continues from the brand's London location. 

Woolrich. Photo: Laurel Golio

125 Wooster St., 646-371-9968
With the recent surge of enthusiasm for Americana and the back-to-the-land movement, Woolrich is an easy favorite: the company has been making hardy outdoor gear and wool products in the US for more than 180 years. The Pennsylvania-based company has now opened its first flagship store, located in SoHo. The shop features clothing from Woolrich John Rich & Bros., a sub-label with a design-savvy edge, as well as from Woolen Mills, designed by Mark McNairy. The 1,900-square-foot, two-level store houses outdoor gear such as flannel shirts, utility vests and wool coats for both men and women, as well as scarves, bags and blankets. The space will also exhibit art and host events. 

Looking Ahead
November 14
Topshop Flagship Opening
605 Fifth Ave.
The British retailer, whose arrival stateside in 2009 was a frenzied event, will open its largest US outlet on Fifth Avenue. The store, which sells affordable and trendy clothing for men and women, will emphasize personal shopping and will feature a special edited section of merchandise. 

(L to R) Day suit (1966), by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Gift of Eleanor K. Graham; Licensed copy of a Chanel day suit (c. 1967). Gift of Ruth L. Peskin. Courtesy, © The Museum at FIT

December 2–April 25, 2015
Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits
The Museum at FIT, Fashion & Textile History Gallery, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
Long before the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was being knocked off by the thousands, counterfeiters in the early 20th century were miming the creations of that era's fashion designers and labels. Considering the high cost of couture and ready-to-wear clothing, fakes are an irresistible lure, a seeming bargain that allows the buyer access to an exclusive cachet. This exhibition focuses on the counterfeiting phenomenon, which the curators trace as far back as 1903—when a purple velvet dress made by English fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth was copied without permission. From then on, the trend has only flourished, as in a 1947 milestone, when copycats produced replicas of Christian Dior’s coveted collection of pleated skirts and crew neck jackets. To this day, fashion brands continually combat the rip-offs—whether they be dresses, jeans or shoes—and counterfeiters still thrive. The exhibition examines the trend with both originals and fake versions of clothes on display, among them an authentic wool bouclé Chanel day suit along with a licensed copy, as well as real and counterfeit bags from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel. 

March 3–April 15, 2015 
Lauren Bacall: The Look  
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4585
Celebrate the style of screen icon Lauren Bacall at this exhibition, focusing on Bacall's looks from the 1960s and '70s and her close relationships with designers like Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro. Among the items on display are Bacall's famous YSL pantsuit and Chanel suit

May 7–August 16, 2015
Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film, and Fashion
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. (at 82nd St.), 212-535-7710
Chinese culture is the theme of next year’s annual exhibition and gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center. Titled Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film, and Fashion, the exhibition features more than 100 examples of garments influenced by Chinese culture. Haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear fashions from designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Laurence Xu will be displayed alongside paintings, films and decorative art 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
    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
    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  3. 6
    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11238
  1. 7
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10028
  2. 8
    67 Wooster St.
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10012
  3. 9
    H&M - 640 Fifth Avenue
    640 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019

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