Road Tripping to Two US Fashion Meccas
July 30, 2012 | Permalink
Contrary to what some Europeans might say, the US’s fashion capitals can take on the best of the Continental fashion capitals. New York City is our leading light when it comes to high-fashion production, and Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills, is without a doubt the country’s most cachet-rich boutique strip. These are must-visit meccas for the fashionista Road Warrior.
The Fashion Capital of the World
New York City is the fashion capital of the US and of the world. Many top-tier designers live and work in the city—such as Marc Jacobs and Yeohlee Teng—because, as they say, if you can make it in New York, you can make in anywhere.
Manhattan, NYC’s star borough, presents the fashionista with an abundance of things to do. I recommend starting off with the Fashion Walk of Fame, a series of sidewalk plaques honoring great fashion designers. Unlike the Hollywood Walk of Fame, upon which it was based, each of the Fashion Walk’s twenty-six plaques includes a brief bio and description of the honoree’s style. The Fashion Walk stretches between 35th St. and 41st St. on 7th Ave. (a.k.a. Fashion Ave.) in the neighborhood known as the Fashion District.
From the Walk of Fame, it’s just a quick ride downtown on the D train to Prada’s legendary flagship store, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas. Just as Prada attempts to make clothes and accessories that are radically different from anyone else’s, they attempt to create a shopping experience in this space different than you can have anywhere else. The wooden wave, made of exotic zebrawood, which serves as both portal to the store’s basement and performance stage, forms the theme of the store—fluidity and experimentation. This store is all about sensory experience, and it is an experience well worth having—even if you don’t plan on buying anything.
The ideal time for the fashion fan to visit NYC is during Fashion Week, a preview of next year’s looks, which takes place this year from September 13-16. New York’s Fashion Week is the first of a number of Fashion Weeks that take place around the world.
Stars and High Fashion on Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive has a well-deserved reputation as a window-shopper’s paradise. The best time for window-shopping on Rodeo is at Christmastime, when the weather is beautiful and the window arrangements are festively classy. But the weather is beautiful anytime of the year. We’re talking about LA here.
Don’t be concerned about looking out of place in this haute-couture destination if your clothes aren’t tailored. There will be more tourists window-shopping on Rodeo than there will be millionaires walking off with Tiffany and Armani bags. But exclusive shopping most certainly does take place here. Some boutiques, like Bijan, the world’s most expensive haberdashery, are appointment-only.
You may even spot some stars. Leonardo DiCaprio and others, like Paris Hilton and Nicki Minaj, have recently been spotted shopping on Rodeo. The actual shopping strip is only three blocks long, so don’t plan on spending the whole day exploring it. But making a stop at Rodeo Drive is a good way to make a morning or afternoon fashionable and memorable.
After living the fast-lane life of high fashion all day, you’ll likely want to relax in a hotel with all the things you miss about home when you’re on the road—like a kitchen, a laundry room and free in-room Wi-Fi.
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