NYFW diaries

Where the daring and fabulous partied during New York Fashion Week

Jamie Valentino (wearing hat, bottom right) at the Daily Front Row's annual NYFW party.
Jamie Valentino (wearing hat, bottom right) at the Daily Front Row’s annual NYFW party. (Photo: Daily Front Row)

New York City becomes a tornado of socializing in the name of NYFW during September, queerness and heterosexuality swirling in a whirlwind of runway shows, extravagant dinners, and after-parties. 

But you don’t have to be in the industry to experience New York Fashion Week’s glamour. 

The reality is that the fabulosity belongs to Manhattan. So that means you don’t have to wait until next year for the fun. 

GayCities knows the city’s gayest secrets – it’s kind of our thing – and there wasn’t a party invite fashion insider Jamie Valentino turned down. 

Here’s a list of the places that hosted NYFW’s boozy magic + where to go once the clock strikes midnight and it’s time to dial up the notch for gayness. 

Cosmopolitan parties at Hard Rock Cafe

Jamie Valentino with friend Elle Luan featured in Cosmopolitan's Instagram slide from the "Sex at 26" launch party.
Jamie Valentino with friend Elle Luan featured in Cosmopolitan’s Instagram slide from the “Sex at 26” launch party. (Photo: Cosmopolitan Instagram)

Believe it or not, the Hard Rock Cafe hosted the gayest and straightest parties of the month. Per the straightest, Cosmopolitan hosted a launch party on the rooftop for sex editor Kayla Kibbe’s “Sex at 26” column. (It deliciously chronicles Kibbe’s shameless approach to youth, sex, and power; I love how much queer visibility a straight female’s musings can have because of her fearless social lawlessness.)

Per the Daily Front Row, they hosted it at Hard Rock’s underground nightclub and, as usual, made sure there was no shortage of stylish gay men, plus a fashionable femme fatale trying to find the straight in the gay-stack. 

The gays go to The Stranger on Fridays

Jamie Valentino and friend at The Stranger NYC. They're platonic, we promise.
Jamie Valentino and friend at The Stranger NYC. They’re platonic, we promise. (Photo: Author)

Real NYFW gays don’t just stop the fun at events. We took the reins of the night as soon as the open bar ended.

Our most recommended featured venue on this list is The Stranger NYC. Specifically, you want to go on Friday for their gay party. It’s a new nightclub brought by the owners of legendary The Box, which is truly enough of a guarantee it’s unhingedly unique and extraordinary.

A glimpse into The Stranger NYC. (Photo: The Stranger)

Throw in the best day of the week made for the gays, and it’s a mystical good time with performances and spectacles throughout the night, dancing koala pouring champagne in your mouth included.

Designer Frederick Anderson hosted an afterparty at Hearsay

Jamie Valentino, Frederick Anderson, and Enrico Bruno at an NYFW party.
Jamie Valentino, Frederick Anderson, and Enrico Bruno at an NYFW party. (Photo: Author)

As expected with the gay designer Frederick Anderson, there was a ridiculously fun afterparty where the only thing not allowed was falling off the table. His clothing is chic, but his curated gatherings of 400 people are rock.

Anderson’s Spring 2024 collection was another celebration for female socialites all over Manhattan, but the real portion of the evening began with his afterparty at Hersay, a new nightclub brought by a group of hospitality titans, including Matteo Garzia and Alessandro Brioschi.

Thank God for publicist Debra Hughes on the scene to help GayCities skip the line that happens when Anderson is tasked with filling a club.

Of course, the gays could only stay at a straight place for so long (four hours), so we went to Rise afterward, one of the best gay bars in the city.

Upscale Brasserie Fouquet’s is your bougee new dining spot

French cuisine is about to become your new luxury obsesion. (Video: Author)

If money is no object, you’ll be dining at Fouquet’s.

The restaurant’s elevated groove lands somewhere between Cipriani and the Carlyle, sugar babies included. But as new as the venue may be, it still presents in the style of old money – from France, specifically.

You can order anything and bet it’ll be delicious. Seriously, from foreign appetizers like the snails and beef tartar to more familiar entrees like chicken and salmon, we just wanted more.

Jamie Valentino and celebrity journalist Tijana Ibrahimovic dine at Foquet’s. (Photo: Author)

And we did go back, this time opting for dirty martinis and the lobster. It was a tender bite of heaven with a taste of sin to wash it down. The Parisian brasserie doesn’t miss when it comes to food or service.

For the dessert, trust us and get the Crepes Suzette. It comes with a show, too, so your Instagram can adequately eat.

Gay Dating App Archer hosted a panel

Gay dating app Archer had a pop-up sex panel during the fashion season. Unfortunately, we (author) were out of town during their previous Fire Island summer dance parties. But we got to make an educational panel, *sarcastic* yay.

But there was wine, and the sexpert panelists Zachary Zane, Tony Morrison, and Lamont White were actually a collision of smart and dirty sex, which was fun. We (author) want to take this moment to apologize to Archer moderator Michael Kaye for interrupting the panel to comment. It was innate tipsy instinct.

We’ll download your app and meet cute boys as punishment.

In other party news, Member club Soho House’s Play Series has drawn chic new faces to the venue for live music and cocktails. We experienced an NYFW version with musical guest Morgan Saint and enjoyed her mix of Lorde and Lana Del Ray vibes.

Still, the crowd was too tamed for us to spend all night there.

Say goodbye to NYFW with a circuit dance party

Horse Meat Disco is always a reliably gay good time and a circuit queen staple.
Horse Meat Disco is always a reliably gay good time and a circuit queen staple. (Photo: Author)

It’s a good thing we had Horse Meat Disco on our calendars for a healthy dose of letting loose – which you can say unrelatedly rounded out our NYFW season. Yes, several runway shows were included, not mentioned in this piece – but do you really care about that?

Let’s focus on the legendary cult party, which is too shirtless and queer and musically liberating to put into words. Yes, it’s not for everybody, but if you want to lose yourself in a dance frenzy among a sea of unencumbered gay men – it’s for you.

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