Fashion-Forward: Fall 2014 Events


by Christina Parrella, 09/02/2014

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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

September 30
A Classic American Look: How New York Saved Coco Chanel
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., 212-534-1672
Before Coco Chanel came out of a 14-year retirement at age 70, she spent time in New York City trying to rediscover herself. After her first postwar couture collection was roundly criticized by the French press, she retreated to NYC to seek a lift. This event delves into Chanel’s creative convalescence with author Rhonda Garelick, who will discuss her celebrated new biography, Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History

September 30–October 5
Of Mercer Pop-Up Shop
345 Broome St. (bet. Bowery and Elizabeth St.)
New York-based work wear brand Of Mercer hosts its first pop-up featuring its fall women’s collection, along with jewelry and accessories. The store will also hold a series of events including a Breast Cancer Awareness night, which happens on October 1. Proceeds from sales will benefit the charity The Pink Agenda. The shop is open Tuesday through Friday 11am–9pm and on the weekend 10am–5pm. 

October 12 and 29, 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

October 20–26
Madison Avenue Fashion Heritage Week 
Madison Avenue is home to some of the City's most glamorous retailers. During Madison Avenue Fashion Heritage Week, the store windows that line the thoroughfare become exhibition spaces that celebrate the heritage of each participating brand. View curated displays at boutiques such as Bally, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana and Hermès. The event, which can be browsed via a mobile app, also benefits the Museum at FIT.

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 jewlery 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 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. 

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
September 25
Urban Sweat by Alexandre Plokhov
546 Broadway (bet. Prince and Spring Sts.), 917-237-8800
Shop the sweats-based capsule collection from the label that specializes in comfy clothing, Helmut Lang. Lang’s new menswear director Alexandre Plokhov created an affordable line of sweats in the label’s signature gray palette. Hoodies, jackets, sweatpants and crewnecks will be available at a price ranging from $20 to $60.

October 1
Cara Delevingne for DKNY
655 Madison Ave., 212-223-3569
Model of the moment Cara Delevingne channels her off-the-runway sporty vibe for her upcoming collaboration with DKNY, called CaraD4DKNY. The collection consists of tanks, jumpsuits, T-shirts, bomber jackets and beanies, of course. Prices range from $70 to $375.

October 7–12
Elizabeth and James Sample Sale
260 Fifth Ave., 212-725-5400
Shop discounted apparel, eyewear and jewelry from the hip brand.

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.  

Christian Louboutin Beauté: Rouge Louboutin
Christian Louboutin, the architect of the world’s most lusted-after shoe, has transitioned into the beauty world via $50 nail polish. Louboutin's long-wearing, chip-resistant Rouge Louboutin (sold under the Christian Louboutin Beauté brand name) is colored and modeled after his famous red-soled shoe. The glass bottle, which takes up to 22 weeks to make, borrows its shape from his 8-inch Ballerina Ultima shoe, with a sharp handle reminiscent of a high-heel stiletto. The bristles, arranged in a triangular configuration, allow for more precise application. The polish is available at most online retailers and hits select stores on August 6. Thirty additional shades are slated for US release on August 31. 

Recently Opened
750 Lexington Ave., 646-521-2200 
Cosmetics giant Sephora just opened a new location in a former Levi’s store. The 7,000-square-foot space houses the usual Sephora stock, including cosmetic products from such brands as Marc Jacobs and Urban Decay, and a brow studio bearing the name of celebrity eyebrow shaper Anastasia. 

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.

Looking Ahead
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 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.

October 31–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. 

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. 

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
    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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