For a certain kind of hotel — stylish, luxury-minded, not too obsessed with the NFL — New York Fashion Week is a biannual opportunity. The timing is ideal — end of summer for the Spring Collections, the dead of February for Winter offerings. What better moment to entice newcomers and remind locals and former guests that yes, we’re here?
Enter The Pierre’s fashion pop up in the Two E bar, a glamorous, windowless black and white lounge tucked discreetly off the lobby.
Through the end of the week the hotel offers a taste of Fashion Week — visual and edible — far from the glare of the Lincoln Center tents (but just around the corner from Barneys).
A virtual runway between the tables is created by a fleet of mannequins modeling haute-bohemia clothes from Figue, the Nolita boutique of fashion designer Stephanievon Watzdorf. Inspiration for her wildly colorful digitally printed silk kaftan came from the Ballets Russes (von Watzdorf’s grandfather, the Russian dancer and choreographer Leonide Massine, was a pillar of the Company). As for the light-weight pea green coat, it’s a reclaimed military jacket emblazoned with hand-beaded army insignia, a grown-up riff on von Watzdorf’s childhood predilection for buying jackets at the army surplus store and personalizing them with magic markers.
You can stroll around the clothes or admire them from afar from almost any table in the house. A special Fashion Week menu features quick bites – fanciful deviled eggs that wink at, and trump, the humble hard boiled eggs served at bistro bars, and a tasting of miniature desserts. Five eggs are offered, all sybaritic — a tiny egg cup laden with curried Maine lobster and mixed herb salad, an egg white stuffed with pesto-topped Burrata and heirloom tomatoes, you get the idea. I love the idea of super-small-plate bar offerings. At $3 apiece, you can grab a snack or piece together a high-protein meal.
Desserts — a last-blast-of-summer coconut, sago and melon sorbet spooned into a mini martini glass; peach mojito sorbet with ricotta cream; and lemongrass black-pepper sorbet with verbena raspberry crush –can be ordered solo ($4) or as a trio ($12). They’re small enough that you can eat one, at least, without guilt or feeling compelled to share.
And at a bar known for seasonal specialty drinks, the Figue-tini – a richly sensuous concoction crafted from fig vodka, grapefruit, lemon juice and cassis — ends its run with Fashion Week. So do the clothes. But for now, with most Fashion Week shows by invitation only, anyone so inclined can duck into the Pierre for a tactile preview of coming attractions.