Melissa in NYC: Restaurants, Bars, and Fall Buying

I was down in NY a few weeks ago for the start of the Fall 2012 buying season and a weekend with the girls. Almost didn’t make it due to some serious passport mishaps (I did learn however that you can get a new passport in 4 hours on a Saturday, if you persist).

I arrived at the Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district, which had a very Canadiana skating rink out front. Up a psychedelic elevator to my room with floor to ceiling windows and amazing views of the Hudson river and the skyline (abandoned railway track now a park). We started the night with dinner at Blue Hill in Grenwich (good but expensive). Then, due to some serious favours from friends of friends, we were put on the guest list at the Boom Boom Room. On top of the Standard Hotel, the coveted Boom Boom Room is a glowing, sexy, Mad Men bar with fantastic 360 degree views of Manhattan and vertigo bathrooms. It’s open to hotel guests from dusk to 10pm but then it closes and re-opens as a members only club.

The next morning we had an amazing brunch at ABC Kitchen, attached to a dream worthy, five level home interior store (saw this stunning leather bar that would look amazing in the MTM section for a mere $12,000). Then shopping, I wasn’t able to drag the girls to check out that many men’s stores due to the calling of shoes at 75% off; but John Varvatos is always a favorite.

As for NY style? Let’s just say that pretty much every guy out, who looked good, had on a sport coat or evening blazer. Think of sportcoats as the new striped shirt, you have to own more than one of them. Saw lots of great outerwear, worth it to invest in a few interesting pieces (it’s the first thing we notice.), and lots of chinos, which trust me, they can look as sexy as jeans.

We ended up at a cute, sexy Italian wine bar called Aria with amazing well-priced small plates (I’m still dreaming about their burrata) , great wine and killer music. We spent the next few hours working our way through the menu, and a few bottles of wine!

Monday was an early start at the Spring 2012 trade shows with Project and Capsule showing the best of utilitarian wear and hipster chic. We checked out over 200 different brands, booked orders with some of my suppliers that I can only see in NY. We also searched for the next big thing, and guy watched (yeah I know, rough life). Trade shows are a great petrie dish to men’s style. While I never really got into the heritage trend, it’s still going strong and now I love seeing the look dressed up more with a short blazer, denim dress shirt, and the staple knit tie. Also, starting to love the double breasted blazer, short and fitted worn with dark jeans, tucked in boots and dapper guys in 3 pcs suits and poorboy caps (yum!).

It’s great seeing men’s style evolving – when I first started going to the shows 5 years ago it was in the hey day of Ed Hardy and Affliction and booth upon booth of copycats and rows upon rows of denim. Now, the denim is still there but at least Ed Hardy has been replaced with flannel (which I’ll take any day), At this rate, I wonder if men dressing like men will soon become mainstream?

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