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A fashion-forward guide to NYC

New York City is the most fashionable place to be seen this week when Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week rolls into Lincoln Center. One of the biggest draws of the event is the opportunity to rub shoulders with the fashion elite: models, photographers, designers, stylists and celebrities. Here's a guide from industry insiders for the best spots to catch a glimpse of a model, a drink with an editor or a bite with a fashionista. See you in the Big Apple in your stilettos.

Christian Siriano

If you want to catch up with Project Runway wunderkind designer Christian Siriano, head to these spots:

Christian Siriano Flagship Store, 252 Elizabeth St., in Nolita; 212-775-8494. In August, the Annapolis-native opened Christian Siriano, a 1,000-square-foot boutique where he sells his frocks, shoes and purses. Siriano said he tries to visit the store every day, so chances are you might see him there.

Toy, 18 Ninth Ave. at 13th Street in the meatpacking district; toyrestaurant.com; 212-660-6766. Siriano celebrated there with friends the night of his show last fall. The hot spot is ideal for late-night dining, dancing or after-dinner lounging. The restaurant/lounge is designed to cater to "foodies, fashionistas, art-lovers, clubgoers and night/day-life aficionados," according to its website.

Miss Lily's, 132 W. Houston St. at Sullivan Street in downtown Manhattan; 646-588-5375; misslilysnyc.com. Siriano loves snacking on the Caribbean cuisine of this Jamaican-style diner. The restaurant is a collaboration between Paul Salmon and Binn and Genc Jakupi. Salmon owns and runs Rockhouse Hotel in Jamaica as well as serving as one of the founders of Joe's Pub in Manhattan. The Jakupi brothers are a part of some of New York's hottest nightclubs, including Bungalow 8, 1Oak, and The Box. The ambience is a huge draw for Siriano. "The servers all look like models and have Jamaican accents," he said.

Antiques shops: On the weekends, you might catch Siriano and his boyfriend, Brad Walsh, locating treasures. "We bought a bunch of things in the Hamptons," Siriano said. "We got some knickknacks and lamps from a store in Paris. We love the Chelsea antiques."

Zoey Washington

A fashion editor and stylist with ties to Baltimore, Zoey Washington knows the spots where fellow fashion gatekeepers choose to spend their time discussing trends and looking fabulous. After the runway, she suggests these spots:

INA boutique, 21 Prince St. in Nolita; 212-334 9048; inanyc.com. "It has the best consignment shopping," she said. "Balenciaga, Miu Miu and Lanvin galore from current and recent seasons. I always pick up a few dresses and jackets there before show season."

Barbico Enoteca, 2020 Broadway (Upper West Side); 212-595-2805; barciboenoteca.com. "I always hit it up for Lincoln Center postshow cocktails," she said. "Great Manhattans and handmade cocktails, and some of the best risotto."

Pad Thai Noodle Lounge, 114 Eighth Ave.; 212-691-6226; padthainoodlelounge.com. "If I am downtown for shows, then I always hit them up for their amazing lunch special," Washington said. "It is tiny and lovely, with just the right amount of ambience."

The Carlyle Hotel, 35 E. 76th St., Manhattan. 212-744-1600; http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/carlyle. "If you want to be seen, then hit up the Carlyle Hotel for drinks post-uptown shows," Washington said. "It was the outpost for every displaced fashion editor and model during Superstorm Sandy. But if you are only interested in sightings, then hang out at the Empire Hotel bar, the Starbucks ... near Milk Studios or across from Lincoln Center. Every fashion maven needs a jolt, and it is the smartest way to spot them."

Danielle DiFerdinando

The Ellicott City native's handbags have been stocked by the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, sold from Fifth Avenue to Tokyo, and carried by tastemakers like Rachel Zoe and Anna Dello Russo. Oprah Winfrey bought 5,500 of her bags in 2011. Her fashionista favorites include:

Piperlime store, 121 Wooster St. in Soho; 212-343-4284. A self-confessed fan of piperlime.com, DiFerdinando was excited to learn that the popular site was opening a store in New York. "Piperlime is my go-to store to shop the latest fashion-forward trends," she said. "It's got a boutique feeling but has everything I need in one store — apparel, shoes, jewelry and handbags." For shopping, she also recommends anywhere in Soho or in the West Village.

Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (Upper West Side); 212-875-5456. "It's a great a place to mingle with fashion insiders," she said. "Everyone from the industry is in one concentrated area at one time. It's great."

Hip hotels: "If you're unable to make it to the shows at Lincoln Center, great fashion hangouts are the Jane Hotel, the Mercer Hotel, Ace Hotel and Crosby Hotel," according to DiFerdinando. "There are excellent lobby bars and cafes for a great social scene."

Brooklyn Flea Market: DiFerdinando thinks this spot is ideal for vintage shopping. "It's only a 15-minute cab ride away from my apartment in Lower Manhattan," she said. "I can find anything from a native American rug to retro sunglasses from the '50s. I get inspired by vintage jewelry for hardware and retro geometric prints, which is a very big trend right now going into spring/summer. I always see celebrities or other fashion designers there. I recall the last time I was there, I saw Jessica Alba shopping with her children and husband."

Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave.; 212-753-7300. DiFerdinando calls it a "must" for every fashionista visiting New York City. And the chances of meeting a celebrity are pretty good. Last September, Anna Wintour, Victoria Beckham and Rachel Zoe all made appearances at the store during Fashion Week.

If you go

Merecedes-Benz Fashion Week is Thursday through Feb. 14 in New York City. Go to mbfashionweek.com for schedule of events.

NYC & Company, the city's tourism arm, is offering several promotions that will be available for at least part of fashion week. Options include Restaurant Week Winter 2013 (ends Feb. 8); Off-Broadway Week (through Feb. 10) and two lodging promotions featuring either boutique hotels or luxury hotels. For information, go to nycgo.com/wintersale.

5 (fashionable) things to take

When you're on the go, running to fashion shoots and shows, there are several necessities to get you through the day. Fashion editor and stylist Zoey Washington recommends these Fashion Week essentials:

1.Smythson notebook and rollerball pen. Essential for jotting down trends.

2. Candy. Who doesn't need a quick pick-me-up?

3. Emergency flats. Because heels can wreak havoc on your feet.

4. Umbrella. You must protect your hair and haute couture.

5. Structured tote (preferably Celine). You'll need a fasionable accessory for carrying all your goodies.

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