Project Runway's New York

Project Runway wouldn't be the same without the backdrop of Manhattan woven throughout each episode. Here, a must-see, must-do guide to the city where designers never sleep!

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September 17, 2012 9:30 AM
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Cassandra Montoriol Alaux

SEE ...

The landmarks Project Runway made famous

MOOD
225 West 37th Street; moodfabrics.com

A one-stop shop for the chicest in designer fabrics, the only thing that draws more customers to Mood other than its eccentric collection of threads is its general manager's Boston terrier, Swatch. The Mood mascot has his own fan club, with many shoppers and PR sightseers refusing to set foot in the store before confirming that Swatch is working that day. Stop by for a chance sighting of PR's designers or to take in tens of thousands of fabric bolts, from an Oscar de la Renta silk print for $16 per yard to a heavily beaded Swarovski-crystal lace for $800 per yard.

PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN
560 7th Avenue; newschool.edu/parsons

Design royalty Donna Karan was a sophomore at Parsons when she was wooed away by her first employer, Anne Klein. Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and Jenna Lyons of J.Crew all call Parsons undergrad home, securing the design school's spot in the fashion hall of fame. The 116-year-old college is home to the workspace for Project Runway designers, as well as the site of many a meltdown and Tim Gunn lecture. We hear the security guards there love dishing little-known Parsons trivia to Project Runway diehards, so pop in for the campus scoop (300 people a day do!).

THE HIGH LINE
Gansevoort to West 34th Street; thehighline.org

Watch the sunset from atop the High Line, a one-mile stretch of elevated railroad tracks now converted into one of Manhattan's top attractions — a lush park that runs along the West Side of Manhattan. It's a go-to spot for season eight designer and Project Runway All Stars' April Johnston to take a breather. "I love the architecture and design of it," she says. "Plus, the almost-panoramic view is priceless."

FASHION WALK OF FAME
Seventh Avenue (35th Street to 41st Street)

Twenty-eight of New York's most influential designers are immortalized on Seventh Avenue, better known as Fashion Avenue, as part of the Fashion Walk of Fame. Established in 1999, the Walk highlights icons like Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Betsey Johnson, and Marc Jacobs on a stretch from 35th Street to 41st Street in the Garment District.

THE FASHION CENTER KIOSK
Seventh Avenue and 39th Street; fashioncenter.com

Lost in an abyss of fashion? Visit the Fashion Center kiosk in the Garment District for help on everything from locating the nearest H&M to the best place to score a deal on grommets. You can't miss it — the famous needle-and-button and garment-worker sculptures flank the kiosk.

LINCOLN CENTER
Columbus Avenue and 64th Street; lincolncenter.org

You'll be hard-pressed to find a place brimming with more VIPs from fashion's top tier — fashion editors, models, socialites, and style-obsessed celebs — than Lincoln Center during New York's spring/summer 2013 Fashion Week (September 6 — 13). Project Runway hosts each season finale at the performing-arts hub, with finalists presenting their entire collections on its main stage. (Oh, and it has three world-class theaters, an opera house, concert halls, and is an amazing place for people-watching, too!)

THE HOLE
312 Bowery; theholenyc.com

If you're creative and looking for inspiration, stop in The Hole, a woman-run art gallery that houses experimental exhibitions, artists' books, and alter-native magazines. On September 4, Californian artist Eric Yahnker's mixed-media exhibition "Virgin Birth n' Turf" will open.