5. The whole of the Lower East Side:
This neighborhood, beloved by tourists for its Tenement Museum and for still having something of the old New York grungy look, is a major after-hours destination for the fashion types as models grab dinner (yes, they eat) at Schiller's Liquor Bar, stylists sleep at the Thompson LES Hotel, and runway after-parties are held in places like the penthouse of the Hotel on Rivington. It also helps that the LES is filled with lots of little (and mainly local) boutiques, for them to make last-minute tweaks to their outfits.
4. Chelsea Market:
Although the conventional image of New York's Fashion Week is all the hustle and bustle around Bryant Park, last season began a split in Fashion Week that took around a quarter of the designers downtownto Milk Studios in West Chelseafor their shows. You'll find the hippest lines down here, like Band of Outsiders, Preen, and threeASFOUR. Before, between and after shows, everyone knows to go to the nearby interior marketplace that is Chelsea Market, where there is food, free WiFi, and shops for killing the time.
3. NY Public Library:
The grandeur of Astor Hall at the New York Public Library's huge Bryant Park building is not lost on fashion lines, some of which choose to rent the space for staging elaborate runway shows. One designer who always does is Jill Stuart, and her show guarantees that socialites and stars of reality TV will be walking up and down the grand steps of the place, in lieu of tourists, who usually head here for their museum-like exhibitions.
Samantha Ronson deejays an after-party
2. Hotel Bars:
Although the days are stressful and long, and the fashion set should be rehydrating with water and getting their beauty sleep, there is none of that. Hotel lounges and bars keep the cocktails coming, and some of the more "in" places (like The Bowery Hotel, The Standard, The Soho Grand) have their lounges reserved for private parties during the weekno hotel guests allowed.
1. Bryant Park:
Hands down, this is the spot which will be most affected by Fashion Weekkeeping tourists and everyone else out. Usually, this lovely green park in the middle of Manhattan delights visitors with a winter ice skating rink, various kiosks for food, and a free outdoor WiFi signal. But Fashion Week takes over the entirely of it, shutting down the ice rink and building invite-only tents over the grass. However, this is the last year for Fashion Week at Bryant Park, as it moves to Lincoln Center next season.
[Willow show photo: Jaunted]