September means one thing, a whole month of fashion.
Renowned editors, designers, models, Instagram sensations and the street style crew pack their suitcases and flock to New York, London, Milan and Paris for fashion’s biggest event and a month on the road.
These are the hotels where serious fashionistas need to head.
Lisa Haynes gives us the key pieces to pack… These are the latest drops from the catwalk’s finest so you’ll be one stylish step ahead.
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Hôtel de Crillon, Paris
The most glamorous backdrop to Fashion Week is Paris legend, The Crillon, you could say Paris’ most elite hotel. It was closed for a four-year renovation, and voila. The doors are back open, flooding with the fashion crowds, no more than during Fashion Weeks. Interiors that have retained the historic soul with modern entrees, ideal for the well-heeled regulars. Karl Lagerfeld did the decor of the Grands Appartements, a set of two exquisitely over-the-top suites overlooking the Place de la Concorde. This is Paris’ Grand Dame Hotel.
St Regis, New York
This is New York glam. A hotel for jet setters, full of regulars. For couture lovers, it’s the Dior Suite at the St Regis that is the big draw. Swaths of fabric in the label’s signature palette of warm greys, subtle pinks and soft whites throughout. Ornate Louis XVI-esque furniture in the living-room nods to the Avenue Montaigne atelier in Paris. Suite guests can also access the second floor of the Dior boutique on 57th Street, which will be opened exclusively for their visit. If you’re not staying, make sure to visit its King Cole Bar & Salon (birthplace of the Bloody Mary).
The Mandrake, London
The new hotel that has everyone talking, and its set to be packed this London Fashion Week. How do we know? As soon as it opened, Vogue editor Edward Enninful hosted a party here.
Created by Beirut-born Londoner (who lives in Alexander McQueen’s former studio in Hoxton), you’ve got elements of a souk, mythical jungle and New York nightclub. Enter via a dark corridor, you’ll find the long bar with a backdrop of a fantastic half peacock, half kangaroo creature strutting her stuff in a glass case. Go upstairs to the upper-floor terrace and you’ll find a greenhouse with garden chairs and pot plants. A device in the outdoor courtyard blocks mobile signals, so save your pictures to Instagram later. The new place to see and be seen.
Maison Breguet, Paris
Remember this name: Maison Bréguet. The new 5-star hotel in eastern Paris thought up by Brice Errera and Samuel Gelrubin. Small enough for boutique-hotel character, but with comforts that rival the city’s famous palace hotels, This cosy five-star hotel seduces guests and is nothing less than fabulous. An under-the-radar gem is our new black-book favourite for indulging in a Paris fashion moment. All accompanied with a swanky restaurant and bar, an intimate outdoor terrace, and an exquisite little spa.
11 Howard, New York
Best for…fashionistas with a conscience. In fashion-central SoHo (think Opening Ceremony and Kirna Zabete concept stores), is this boutique hotel with a heart. It’s more Scandinavia than New York, warm, modern and paired back, all rooms with light oak floors, handcrafted furniture, and custom artwork. Head to the higher floors for the best views, particularly The Terrace Suite, with its wrap-around balcony. Its raison d’etre is “conscious hospitality”, donating a portion of booking revenue to Global Poverty Project to help fight inequality around the world, guests get free morning coffee in the first-floor Library and an early evening glass of wine on the house several nights a week. During NYFW, they have a series of pop up shops worth checking out.
Chiltern Firehouse, London
A Balaz establishment, Chiltern Firehouse is a party den in Marylebone. The waitresses are dressed in Emilia Wickstead, the menu is designed by ex-Conde Nast director, and for those in the know, there is a secret smoking terrace and a hidden black door entrance for after hours. A successful combination of clubby English country house with New York-style dazzle, it’s a magnet for the fashion set. Its where you eat, drink and party with the A-list.
Baglioni Hotel Carlton, Milan
Fashion doesn’t go out of fashion in Milan. Created in a tastefully renovated 18th Century palazzo, this is where you go for an aperitif, in fact where everyone goes for an aperitif. A much-needed end of the day cocktail, and light bites (the latter provided complimentary in Milan, it’s a cultural thing). There’s no better spot than the lush outdoor garden of Bulgari Hotel’s Il Bar. Catch the sunset, before you continue the fashion night out, and come back to retire for the night.
Shop like a fashionista
In time for Milan Fashion Week, learn the secrets of sartorial Italian. Just 90 minutes by car from the centre of Milan, Lake Como’s most historic hotel, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, offers lakeside bliss whilst being close to Italian high fashion. With a dedicated shopping consultant on hand, you can arrange a series of style masterclasses to discover everything from big brands to ‘by invitation only’ boutiques.
Accessorise with a visit to the world’s silk capital across the water, where the cobbled streets of Bellagio are the inconspicuous home of the world’s silk capital, and where many of the high fashion houses base their factories to create their scarves, ties, dresses, and accessories.
Or design your own made-to-measure pieces with the hotel’s in-house fashion consultant, opening doors to everything from high fashion made-to-measure ateliers.