Back in the day, it was always called the Garment District. I would often ride the bus or walk through this fascinating stretch of blocks in New York City, looking in the windows and marveling at the gorgeous things, but always reticent to enter a shop because I didn't know if retail customers were welcome. Well, it's now called The Fashion Center and thanks to Paula Nadelstern's excellent guide, I spent an amazing day enjoying it's treasures. While I experienced sensory overload in several shops, I did manage to spend some money! The Fashion Center has a cute little kiosk that offers information and a great photo op. I love the giant button and needle. There are also little medallions in the sidewalk, called the Walk of Fame, honoring various clothing designers.
Near the kiosk is this statue of a man sewing to honor all the garment workers. I made my trip on Saturday as Paula suggests because you do not have to compete with all the trade traffic then.
After a frustrating start at M & J Trimmings--too much stuff and staff that was more interested in socializing with each other than helping customers-- I moved on to a fabulous place called Tinsel Trading. Not only is this the cutest shop ever (one of Martha Stewart's favs), they have an excellent website, and friendly, very helpful staff.
I could have done a lot of damage to my budget in here, but I was good. Besides miles of gorgeous ribbon, they have antique trims and findings, and passementerie. I had to look that one up. It was a word I had never heard. Turns out, it means ornate trimming of braid, cord, or bead.
As a devoted fan of Project Runway, I had determined I was going to make the pilgrimage to Mood Fabrics on my next visit to NYC. It is all that AND a bag of chips as my daughter would say. As a quilter, I do not limit myself to 100% cotton because I came to quilting from theatrical costume sewing. (What do they make stabilizers for?) You won't find an abundance of cotton prints at Mood, but you will find everything else, and besides, the sightseeing is totally worth it.
I found this fabulous brocade and decided to buy two yards to make a jacket. I'll blog later about its construction.
I saw this vintage sign in the window of one of the shops as I was walking to lunch at Ben's Kosher Deli. (The plate of chicken noodle soup was to die for, the latke, not so much.)
New York Elegant Fabrics does not have a website, but it is a beautiful shop with a great staff at 222 West 40th Street. It was my last stop of the day since I had to get back to shower and change for the theatre.
Again, I could have spent a lot more money than I did, but satisfied myself with these two colorways of a Michael Miller Fabrics design called Lolli Dots.
This will not be my last trip to the Fashion Center. Now that I know where shops are located and what they offer, I will return!