ELLE NEW YORK GUIDE

As fashion week gets in to gear, check out the very best of the city that never sleeps

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Words by Mark C. O'Flaherty

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Where to stay in New York

The fabulous, glamorous Paige Powell, one time Warhol confidante and ex of Jean Michael Basquiat, has curated the art at the revamped, 1920s deco-era, jazz-age Lexington (511 Lexington Avenue; NY 10017; +1 212 755 4400), once home to Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. Powell’s masterstroke was to get Ruben Toledo to contribute an immersive mural that wraps around two interior floors of the hotel.

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Just around the corner from the rock and roll madness of Ace Hotel, the plush, slightly Costes-flavoured NoMad Hotel (1170 Broadway and 28th Street, NY 1001; +1 212 796 1500) has a branch of Maison Kitsuné off the lobby, and one of the hottest restaurants in the city on the ground floor (named, prosaically, The Nomad): the whole roasted chicken for two with foie gras, black truffle and brioche is one of the most talked about dishes in Manhattan. Our other favourite heavyweight five star hotel is The Peninsula (700 Fifth Avenue, NY 10019; +1 212 956 2888), for cocktails on the roof terrace of Salon de Ning, with its amazing Fifth Avenue views, and for the customised Minis that you get, avec chauffeur, for three hours a day during your stay, when you book a suite (which we always do).

The old 80s and 90s downtown crowd has all but decamped to Brooklyn, and the Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Avenue, NY 11249; +1 718 460 8000) has become the shiniest (albeit in an on-trend industrial kind of a way) tractor beam in Billyburg for the international fashion and design community. Reynard Restaurant is the bee’s knees, while Caron Callahan’s new store in the lobby sells locally made small-run objects and fashion.

 

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Where to Eat in New York

Forget the cronut and all that passé cupcake baloney. Go for some major Chinese. Mission Chinese Food (154 Orchard Street, NY 10002; +1 212 529 8800) is chef Danny Bowien’s fun, sceney, low-fi, dragon-ceilinged Lower East Side Chinese dining room. Favourite dishes include shaved pork belly; tiki spare ribs (with coconut and pineapple, natch) and “very freakin’ spicy” thrice cooked bacon.

Daniel Boulud still reigns supreme as Manhattan’s most significant star chef, and on balance we think his best restaurant is Boulud Sud (20 W64th St, NY 10023; +1 212 595 1313), next to Lincoln Center. The seafood is full of Mediterranean sunshine flavours, and the puddings (particularly the grapefruit compote with sesame mousse and Turkish delight and halva) are spectacular.

 

 

 

Where to Go Out in New York

Paul Sevigny (yes, brother of) has put his name to Paul’s Baby Grand club, opening at the Tribeca Grand Hotel (2 Avenue of the Americas, NY 10013; +1 212 519 6600) during September 2013’s Fashion Week. The visual buzz is “Dorothy Draper, Frances Elkins and Madeleine Castaing”. Chloe (that’s the sibling, not the Paris-based house) designed the staff uniforms. 10 minutes cab ride uptown from Tribeca, haute club queen and Chelsea Hotel resident Susanne Bartsch continues to bring the fashion crowd to Marquee (289 10th Avenue, NY 1001; +1 646 473 0202) on Thursdays for her Catwalk party, with the hottest DJs and weekly art happenings.

 

 

 

Where to Shop in New York

Fivestory (18 East 69th Street, NY 100021; +1 212 288 1338) is a trad Upper East Side New York townhouse that has been transformed into a giddy, swish and quite marvellous destination concept store to rival the likes of Colette in Paris. You’ll find crystal, candles and ceramics as well as one-off clutch bags and collections by Peter Pilotto and Preen. Shop for chic, sustainable, remixed and reworked vintage gems at Reformation (156 Ludlow Street, NY 1002; +1 646 448 4925), where most of the stock is one-of-a-kind.

 

 

 

What to Wear in New York

Mix pristine vintage Halston-era 1970s finds with modern J. Crew basics and luxury investment buys – swathes of cashmere, coats, wraps and incredible shoes from SoHo. Add a quirky Patricia Field touch of humour, with Keith Haring graphic jewellery.

 

 

 

Don’t leave New York Without…

…one of Victoria Simes’ leather-wrapped silver bracelets with a shock of horse’s hair, from Zero+Maria Cornejo (33 Bleecker Street, NY 10012; +1 212 925 3849). They have been a fixture of Cornejo’s accessories line for years, and this season they come in of-the-moment neon colours.

Beauty SOS – Where to go for Pampering in New York…

When you need the best blow dry to get you set for an evening out, go to one of the five Manhattan branches of Drybar where they just do one thing, but do one thing very well indeed: no cuts, no colouring, just the perfect “blowout”.

For a full day of relaxation, book a session at the Roman-style Aire Ancient Baths (88 Franklin Street, NY 10013; +1 212 274 3777). Have a massage, unwind in the sauna and relax in the seawater pool. The interior design is dark and stylish, with lots of bare brick, candles and Moorish lanterns.

 

 

 

Mark C.O’Flaherty is the Editor-in-Chief of the irreverent luxury travel magazine

Picture credits: Getty, Instagram, Matt Lever.

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