New York City – Free Travel 5: Fashion

New York City has always been a fashion mecca, and you can see the industry, past and present, by enjoying these fashion venues. Add them to your NY trip planner. They are uniquely New York!

Now, especially if you watch the reality show “Runway!”, you can see places that are on the map for Tim Gunn, Vogue editors, New York designers and models like Heidi Klum.

In the Grammercy Park-Flatiron area, just north-east of Chelsea, head over to the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). Their impressive museum is FREE!

Find it at: Seventh Avenue at 27 Street, just south of midtown Manhattan. It’s open T-F Noon-8pm, Sat.10am-5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, and legal holidays.
By subway: 1, 9, C, E, F, V, N, or R.
By bus: M10. Penn Station is close by at 31st Street for the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak.

The museum’s permanent collections includes 50,000 garments and accessories, dating from the 1700s to the present. Its particular strength is in contemporary women’s fashion, both couture and ready-to-wear women’s clothing. Major fashion designers like Azzedine Alaïa, Balenciaga, Chanel, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Halston, Charles James, Norell, Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood are represented.

Among the 15,000 accessories, there are at least 4,000 pairs of shoes, including examples by Manolo Blahnik, Ferragamo, Perugia, Herbert Levine and Roger Vivier.

There are also 30,000 textiles, dating from the 5th century to the present, including work by artists and designers such as William Morris, Salvador Dali, Raoul Dufy, and Junichi Arai. The holdings illustrate a broad variety of textile techniques and traditions from all around the world.

The millinery collection contains more than 3,000 hats by such famous milliners such as Caroline Reboux, Lilly Daché, Halston and Philip Treacy, and there are also many examples from top fashion designers like Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Jacques Fath.

The extensive handbag collection includes fine examples by luxury houses: Hermès and Gucci. Roberta di Camerino, Judith Leiber and Bonnie Cashin for Coach are also shown. Other showcase items are: fans, gloves, belts, hosiery and costume jewelry.

A small archive of fashion photography contains works by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Hermann Landshoff, and John Rawlings. Louise-Dahl Wolfe (1895-1989) produced 86 cover images and thousands of interior shots for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and John Rawlings (1921-1970), had over 200 Vogue and Glamour magazine covers created during his three-decade affiliation with Conde Nast.

If its time for lunch, head over to famed Empire Diner at 210 10th Avenue at 22nd Street, in Chelsea. It’s modeled like a gleaming, black-and-white Art Deco train car and is open 24/7. NY prices tho’!

Combine the visit to FIT Museum with shopping The MarketNYC. Their bazaar at Bleecker and Mulberry Street occurs every weekend. Young designers use a school gym to sell clothes and accessories, plus some vintage creations, for lots less than what you’d spend at surrounding Nolita boutiques. TheMarketNYC

You can continue your budget-but-high-end-fashion cruising at picky consignment chain INA (fashion editors regularly drop off last season’s goods). A women’s location is on Prince Street; men, walk a block east on Prince, then ½ a block north on Mott.

Reunite both sexes back on Mulberry Street and if you want another food option, then head 4 blocks south to Little Italy. For just over three dollars you’ll get one of the best cannolis this side of the Atlantic, at Ferrara or head to Patsy’s (Frank Sinatra’s favorite) is at 236 W. 56th Street Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, New York City All in all, what a great NY day!

New York City Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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