The glitziest of US fashion events is upon us and we don't want you to miss a thing. Here is all you need to know to carry off your Big Apple sojourn in style
A-listers, fashion icons, elite bloggers and editors extraordinaire have now descended upon the Big Apple to take their place in the front row for New York Fashion Week (ending 18 February), one of the biggest events in the global fashion calendar. And rightly so, for The Big Apple embodies American style and buzzes with a creative energy you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world. This year, it is set to be less commercial, even more creative and no doubt full of surprises (as well as a few shocks).
Oscar de la Renta showing at New York Fashion Week, SS15
Eminent designers, including Hervé Léger, Calvin Klein, Reem Acra, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Alexander Wang and Oscar de la Renta, will preview their eagerly anticipated Autumn/Winter 2016 womenswear collections. Held for the first time at Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Square, the event has more than 100 designers filling nine dates.
A bento box from Mandarin Oriental’s restaurant, Asiate
A slew of other fashion-led events and independent runway shows are running simultaneously around the city. Highlights include Made Fashion Week at Milk Studios, which showcases emerging fashion designers, such as Adam Selman, Babyghost and Marissa Webb; Nolcha, which focuses on independent fashion designers, such as Minan Wong and All Comes From Nothing, debuting this year; and Couture Fashion Week, presenting some of the world's most expensive dresses. To top it all off, there will be some über-cool, secret runway shows in the Meatpacking District.
Should you manage to bag yourself a front-row seat and you're feeling famished, then get lunch to be delivered right to your seat by Maple, one of New York's newest food-delivery services (with a delicious and super-healthy menu). For those in need of a sugar hit, pick up a doughka (a sticky-bun-style loaf) or some other tasty treat on the carefully curated menu at Dough, located in the Flatiron District.
Vintage Vivienne Westwood at the Fairy Tale Fashion exhibition at FIT
New York Fashion Week is filled with shopping, mingling and cocktails. When it comes to eating and drinking, top of the list of every fashion-forward New Yorker's list are Jewish deli-style eatery Russ & Daughters Café in the East Village and Jack's Wife Freda, a lively bistro in Soho, both great spots for lunch. For fine dining with a view, there's Mandarin Oriental, New York's own Asiate. The chic New American eatery ABC Kitchen in the Flatiron District and the recently opened French New Wave restaurant Le Turtle on the Lower East Side are also fabulous dinner spots. Afterwards, nip into Black Tap in the Meatpacking District for a gourmet milkshake, the dessert craze taking New York by storm. When you're done with sipping Krug at the city's hottest fashion week after-parties, head to the trendy MObar, located on Mandarin Oriental's top floor. This is the city that never sleeps, after all.
If you find a gap in your busy schedule, it's worth checking out the Fairy Tale Fashion exhibition – showing at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum until 16 April, it focuses on extraordinary 21st-century fashions by designers such as Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana. It's also fun to take a walk along the Fashion Walk of Fame on the east side of 7th Ave between 34th and 42nd.
The Fivestory boutique
Of course, you can't come to New York without indulging in a spot of retail therapy. So dash to Story, the latest retail concept to hit the city. This giant pop-up-type store reinvents itself every few weeks. There's also Fivestory, the carefully curated boutique on the Upper East Side featuring renowned international ready-to-wear designers, and Chelsea Market, a foodie's paradise, not forgetting good old American stalwarts Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and the stunning Ralph Lauren flagship store.
Whether you're in town to gaze at the latest designer collections or you just happen to be in the city, Mandarin Oriental, New York makes the ideal base for fashion-concious visitors. And when you’re feeling exhausted from all those runway shows, head to The Spa for a revitalising massage.