The luxury of New York during fashion week

FOR those who appreciate the effort required to make fashion week manageable, experiencing the city outside of the packed schedule is rare, if not impossible. The days are spent entirely within the confines of your hotel room, transportation, or the shows and presentations of the day. Those who make the ordeal look glamorous are wizards… or liars.

Top of the Rock, Manhattan, NYC

When I received an email regarding New York Fashion Week, with the first line validating my internal yearning for a little rest and relaxation, naturally I swooned. New York Tourism & Conventions had built an impressive schedule for the post fashion week downtime, maximising a couple of days to show us the best that the city has to offer.

Finishing my final show of the season and heading to the Loews Regency New York to check in for the next, and far more glamorous, schedule to commence, was a moment I shall cherish forever. Situated on Park Avenue, a mere few steps from Central Park, the luxury hotel offers expansive views of swanky buildings in the Upper East Side. The interiors reflect this, with sophisticated muted tones framed by gold detailing, geometric prints, and warm lighting.

Loews Regency

Loews Regency King Guest room

From the basement level to its 21st floor, the hotel exudes style. The Julien Farel Restore Salon and Spa, a 10,000-square-foot urban spa oasis that can be found on the ground floor run by French hairdresser Farel and entrepreneur Suelyn Farel is testament to this. With each wall decorated by photographs of the iconic shoots and clients that Farel has worked with during his credible career, you feel the weight of experience echoing through the walls. Inspired by the legendary ‘Power Breakfast’ at The Regency Bar & Grill, Julien and Suelyn Farel created the ‘Power Hour’, an experience where one can receive three or four simultaneous services in an hour. Sign me up.

New York is well documented for its musical legacy, and visiting The Jazz Club at Aman New York that evening was a generous slice of its historic foundations, harking back to the Prohibition era and the likes of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Aman’s Jazz Club takes direct inspiration from speakeasies of the era aforementioned to build an urban sanctuary cocooning you in a melody of exquisite music, cocktails and decor away from the busy streets.

Aman Jazz Club

It feels like stepping into a doorway to the past, a discreet, luxurious haven with minimal logos, adding to its exclusivity. The musical performances we witnessed, ranging from an eccentric tap dancer to a traditional jazz quartet, exemplified the success of this opulent throwback to the Golden Age of Vaudeville & Variety.

After an evening of tequila, wellness awaited us at the QC NY Spa the following morning, an enchanted oasis found on Governors Island, a short ferry trip from downtown Manhattan. It was a crisp morning, and the steam billowing from the heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi overlooking the city skyline is an image that will stay with me forever. Just 24 hours earlier, I had been rushing to my final fashion show of the season, blisters intact and dehydration on my mind.

The city skyline at QC NY Spa

At QC NY Spa, you can explore over 20 wellness experiences, from sauna rooms to foot bath spaces to an upside-down room encouraging a different perspective. The package is an eclectic mix of nourishment for the mind, body, and soul. My favourite was the infrared room, featuring cushioned beds encased in infrared lights with a warming effect to help dilate capillaries and activate metabolism. I will now prescribe a post-fashion week spa day for all upcoming seasons.

With our minds blissfully relaxed, the only therapy missing was retail. Home to an ultimate collection of archival fashion and luxury shopping, the city boasts multiple hotspots for a wardrobe refresh. Madison Avenue offers the leading stores gleaming with inviting hues and window treatments, redefining the in-shopping experience. Venturing down Madison Avenue to The Met steps (a must visit for Gossip Girl lovers alike) introduces you to emerging designers, completing my full-circle moment from the days prior that were spent exploring fashion week designers who define the city as a destination for up-and-coming talent.

Madison Avenue by Julienne Schaer

Fuelled by the creativity of the city, our after hours visit to the Museum of Modern Art could not have been better timed. As the first museum devoted to modern art, it encompasses an extraordinary collection of 200,000 works by 20th-century artists. Feast on Van Gogh’s Starry Night along with favourites by Kahlo, Warhol, Rothko, and more. The triptych of Monet’s Water Lilies in room 515, which envelopes you in the dazzling, disintegrating and daring vision of the artist, is a truly unforgettable experience, especially when witnessed alone.

MoMa facade

The exhibit “Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner – Spirit Movers” was showing during our visit, a deeply personal meditation on Black expression by the London-based designer. Fashion week often moves too fast to appreciate the artistic notions behind collections. Seeing Bonner’s expansive mindset within this incredible symphonic exhibition was a valuable reminder of the personal narratives infused into each designer’s work. I left with a newfound appreciation for the aesthetic practice of the industry in which I operate.

The Modern dining room

Adjacent to The Museum of Modern Art, The Bar Room at The Modern offers Chef Abram Bissell’s vividly seasonal contemporary, à la carte cooking, with caviar hot dogs, artichoke velouté, and an array of the finest cuts of meats building layers of complex flavours that redefine the classics of American cuisine under a contemporary lens. Accompanied by Bourgogne Aligoté, a 2020 wine by François Mikulski that is savoury, somewhat salty and energetic, and the finish was tantalising.

The Modern, Stone Fruits

Strawberry dessert, The Bar Room at The Modern

Visiting the kitchen to see how the chefs made this visionary menu come to life, underscored the collaborative approach to the museum and restaurant as a whole. It also was a pinch me moment as a recent obsessor of The Bear series, which is set at points in a New York kitchen. Admittedly, and reassuringly, The Bar Room is far removed from the chaos found in the series.

City Climb, courtesy of The Edge

Our New York escapade concluded with City Climb, an experience that offers an unmatched perspective of the city. This exhilarating adventure involves climbing a skyscraper over 1,200 feet above the ground and leaning out from the highest outdoor platform in New York City. Guided by a trio of hilarious staff, who made walking up a 45-degree angle to reach the top of a thousand-foot-high building seem like a normal Saturday morning activity, I felt like anything was possible.

Stairs up to The Climb

By the time I was boarding my flight home later that day, I could barely remember how I had even arrived, my mind overflowing with the treasures of New York. It is a feeling all who visit can relate to and stands as a testament to the city’s magic. After just a few days, the home you left behind starts to be replaced by the thrilling possibilities of a new life in a transformative world. If only all fashion weeks could end like this.

by Lily Rimmer

Loews Regency New York – A superior room at Loews Regency New York starts at $599 per night

QC NY Spa – Massages start at $100 per person

New York visitors can book flights via United here or calling 0845 607 6760, or their travel agent. London Heathrow to New York/Newark from £515.49 (Economy); £841.49 (United Premium Plus); £3317.49 (United Polaris business)

For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit