How to get the best out of New York Fashion Week - even without a ticket

Chris Leadbeater
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With Fashion Week under way in New York, we take a glittering, glamorous glimpse beyond the catwalks...

1. New rules

Darling, you look absolutely glorious – who are you wearing? Prada? Gucci? Victoria Beckham? TK Maxx?… What on earth are you talking about? These are my pyjamas. I haven’t got dressed yet… Ah well, sweetie, you know me. I’m just getting into the mood. All anyone is going to be talking about for the next few days is New York Fashion Week (until Feb 13; nyfw.com).

All the beautiful people are there. You must come. You simply must. Oh, sorry babe, must dash. I can see Cara over there. Yoo-hoo, Cara. Darling, you look absolutely glorious – who are you wearing?

2. Pay as you go

Access is also possible for those who don’t mind splashing a sum with three or four digits in it. Official website NYFW The Experience (nyfwexperience.com) offers packages for those who dream of being in the same room as Kate and Kendall. The “All Access Experience” buys “an entire day alongside fashion’s elite” for $1,999pp (£1,553). “The Runway Experience – Spring” does something similar for $899.

3. Getting personal

Merely being in New York during Fashion Week should spark a desire for a shopping spree. And not just any spree. One that takes you to chic boutiques in search of items that will still look perfect once you’ve gone home. Viator (viator.com) sells a “Garment District Special Access Shopping Tour” (ref: 3888GAR) which dips into private showrooms for chats with designers, from £51pp.

4. Public property

New York Fashion Week also means hanging out in hotels of impeccable style credentials. Like, say, the Public (publichotels.com), the latest offering (in Nolita; doubles for $295) from hotel designer and Manhattan sophisticate Ian Schrager. Who knows who you might bump into in the lobby. Oh, hi, Naomi, I wasn’t sure if you were in town, so it’s… OK, not in a talk-y mood right now. Sure, sure, catch you later.

The Public in Nolita Credit: Nikolas Koenig

5. Fashionably late

On the small chance that dropping real life to run away to New York in the next 24 hours is somehow impractical, you could always aim for “Fabulous Philippines” – a catwalk show that is officially part of the latest New York Fashion Week, but isn’t scheduled to take place until April 13. This will see designers Albert Andrada and Barge Ramos display their latest wares. Tickets from $157 (eventbrite.com).

6. Roxy music

The Big Apple fashion world is not a place where you want to stumble through the door in a rush, muttering about how the taxi line at JFK was horrendous. Nonetheless, if you summon a little haste, and fancy gatecrashing the party, you could be in New York for the end of Fashion Week. A seven-night stay at the Roxy Hotel, flying from Heathrow, starts at £1,182pp (virginholidays.co.uk).

The Roxy: A hotel with an edge Credit: getty

7. Public access

We know what you’re thinking. New York Fashion Week – it’s a closed shop; a trendy-folk-only affair guarded by clipboard-wielding gatekeepers who glower at anyone who isn’t a Monaco heiress or a Russian oligarch. But such is the scale of the extravaganza that there are plenty of events open to the public. Go to fashionweekonline.com/new-york-tickets for a list of accessible shows.

8. Second chances

Don’t fret if you can’t be on a plane in the next 30 seconds. New York Fashion Week comes around twice a year, and everyone will be back in early autumn (Sept 5-11) to present their spring collections. Seven nights at Fifth Avenue palace The Langham, flying from Manchester on Sept 4, cost £1,731pp (travelbag.co.uk).

9. Miami is nicer

Why would I go to New York in February, when it’s in the grip of temperatures to make a polar bear raise an eyebrow? Why, especially, when I can opt for Miami Fashion Week (May 29-June 2; miamifashionweek.com)? Indeed. One week at the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, leaving Heathrow on May 27, is £1,368pp (ba.com/holidays).

10. London calling

Blah blah, New York this, Miami that. If I want to look at people who don’t eat burgers prancing about in clothes I don’t want to buy, I can do so without having to leap across the Atlantic. Don’t you know that London Fashion Week follows hot on the stiletto heels of NYFW (Feb 15-19; londonfashionweek.co.uk)? You’re so welcome.