Fashion-Forward: Winter 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

December 23January 11 and 28 
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

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.

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. 

(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. 

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. 

Through January 10, 2015
Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family 
National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, 212-514-3700
This exhibition focuses on the decorative creations of Southwest indigenous peoples during the last 50 years, with specific attention paid to the jewelry-crafting Yazzie family of Gallup, New Mexico. The showcase features nearly 300 pieces of jewelry fashioned from gold, silver and turquoise, as well as some stone inlay and fine beaded works. 

 “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
December 16–20
Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment Summer Sample Sale
260 Sample Sale, 260 Fifth Ave., 212-725-5400 
Shop for fall and winter attire at the Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment Sample Sale. Apparel from the “it” brands is usually marked down by up to 50%. 

Through January 3, 2015
Paul Frank Holiday Pop-Up 
Paramount Hotel New York, 235 W. 46th St,  212-764-5500
Best known for “Julius,” the company’s iconic cartoon monkey spokesman, Paul Frank is famous for its playful, light-hearted accessories, home goods and active wear for men, women and kids. But New Yorkers will have an opportunity to do more than just pick up the brand’s signature T-shirts and backpacks at the Paramount Hotel outpost—this pop-up shop will also offer a full slate of complimentary holiday activities, like DIY craft classes, coffee tasting events and even karaoke nights.

Recently Opened
129 Spring St., 212-389-1247
A pricier offspring of H&M, COS opened its first NYC location in SoHo with four floors full of minimalist clothing for men and women. Structured bags, bold-colored outerwear, turtlenecks and a blazer modeled after Patti Smith’s signature jacket are among the items for sale.

598 Madison Ave. 
In an effort to revitalize the brand’s image, Fendi has relocated its Fifth Avenue flagship to Madison. Fendi creative director Pietro Beccari said the new store’s location and merchandise—more color, more fur—are meant to attract a new generation of shoppers.

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. 

Looking Ahead
February 6–April 18, 2015
Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the '70s
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
The sexy, glamorous world of 1970s designer fashion was ruled by two men—Yves Saint Laurent and Halston, who between them set the decade’s sartorial tone and dressed everyone from Catherine Deneuve to the denizens of Studio 54. This exhibition—which features 80 ensembles and 20 accessories on display from the designers—places their fashions within the context of that infamous decade’s glitz and turmoil.

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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