Fashion Week in New York City is underway (from Sept 6th-13th,) and though the runway shows are by invitation-only, there are plenty of events open to everyday fashion fans — from sample sales and pop-up shops (make sure you have extra space in your suitcase for the trip home!), to champagne-soaked beauty events and serious celeb-spotting opportunities.
Scroll through our list of events and and must-do’s for a fun Fashion Week filled with cocktails, couture, and maybe even a cupcake or two (hey, you don’t need to be a Size 0 to love fashion!).
- Official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week runway shows take place in a number of venues at Lincoln Center, with A-list celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z among the lucky few with front-row status at big-name shows like Vera Wang, Zac Posen, and Tory Burch. Even Olympian Ryan Lochte is expected to appear at Fashion Week shows in NYC this fall. If you weren’t invited, you can still get behind the scenes at Lincoln Center on one of the daily tours that visit the campus’ biggest venues. You never know who your tour might run into!
- If we had to stake out a spot within earshot of the red carpet at Fashion Week, the Empire Hotel would be it. And located across the street from Lincoln Center, this Upper West Side boutique hotel is more than just a good vantage point for celeb-spotting (nobody would fault you for smuggling some binoculars up to the rooftop bar for optimum people-watching!). The Empire Hotel is also hosting a public lounge where you can watch live streams of the fashion shows and get a free runway-inspired makeover. The Ricardo Rojas Salon will also be on-site, offering women “high fashion” ponytails, while SkinMedica will offer skin consultations. So even if you can’t get into the runway shows, you will look like you belong there. (Through Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 63rd Street side of the Empire Hotel, off of the lobby).
- The Ace Hotel, meanwhile will get in on the Fashion Week fun Sept. 12 with a party to fete the first anniversary of Rookie magazine, the online magazine created by precocious teen fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson (herself a regular at the runway shows, the young tastemaker has many A-list friends, so expect at least a few celebs in attendance at this party). The party at the Ace Hotel is open to the public, but you must RSVP on the hotel’s blog. (20 West 29th Street)
- Just because the models won’t be eating this week, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a meal at one of the Upper West Side Restaurants offering three-course lunch and dinner prix fixe deals this week. From celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Nougatine, to Daniel Boulud’s Boulud Sud and Bar Boulud and Gino Barbuti’s La Boute en Bois, two dozen restaurants are offering lunch for $15 to $38, and dinner for $21 to $48 under the “Fashion Plate Prix Fixe” offer. Through Sept. 13.
- Of course, New York City’s most famed fictional fashionistas are still the four ladies of Sex and the City. And the Sex and the City Hotspots bus tour is the perfect way to pay homage to Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda this Fashion Week. Visit more than 40 locations from the landmark TV series on this three-and-a-half hour guided bus tour around Manhattan, which includes stops at Jimmy Choo, where Carrie buys her famous shoes, and the cupcake bakery Magnolia, where Carrie and Miranda enjoy a buttercream-topped treat as they talk about Aidan. Also, check out the Central Park TV & Movie Sites Tour to see Sex and the City’s scenic sites in Central Park and from other TV shows and films like Gossip Girl. Alas, you don’t have to be a Gossip Girl to love fashion, but it doesn’t hurt. On Location Tours offers a Gossip Girl Sites Tour as well.
What’s your fave way to celebrate Fashion Week in NYC?