Madison Avenue, especially around 65th and 66th streets, is a patch of designer heaven. In shop after shop you will mingle with wafer-thin fashionistas decked out in fabulously chic garb. We mere mortals may feel like country mice scurrying from one glamorous boutique to another, but a short walk is a fascinating foray into the world of high fashion, and you may even emerge with a new look.
Valentino should be your first stop if you expect to find yourself on a red carpet and wish to look your best for the paparazzi. Even if you don’t have a premiere on the agenda, the glamorous gowns and tuxes will make you feel like a star.
Madison Avenue makes a sharp turn east to Milan at Armani, where sumptuous limestone walls, dark wood floors and elegant staircases are as much a testament to Italian chic as the sparsely elegant attire for men and women. Attentive staffers who look like models will help you choose formal and casual designs that will ensure you fit into the surroundings.
The name says it all. BCBG stands for Bon Chic, Bon Genre, French for Good Style, Good Attitude. Designer Max Azria creates sexy dresses and shoes for women who have plenty of both.
A short walk north to 72nd Street, the former Rhinelander mansion is a prepster’s heaven. One of the city’s great Gilded Age palaces is now filled with enough Ralph Lauren tweed and plaid to clothe armies of country gents and ladies. Even if your tastes don’t run to duck-emblazoned khakis, stop by for an amusing look-see: to borrow a term from the country club set, the over-the-top horse and houndish environs are ‘an absolute hoot.’
The department store for style slaves of all ages, Barney’s stocks all the latest top designer lines, from traditional to trendy to trashy.