Clifford on The Catwalk Htx
If You Can Make It There...

Houstonians in NYC for fashion week plan shopping, visits to The Dutch & Cesar Galindo's show

Houstonians in NYC for fashion week plan shopping, visits to The Dutch & Cesar Galindo's show

Editor's note: While Clifford is on his way to New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, his fashion colleague, Heather, scouted out some Houstonians who plan to be there, too.

Of all the pre-Fashion Week stories making the rounds, my personal favorites detail how editors and models survive the whirlwind. Mickey Boardman, Paper’s editorial director, sends his Lacoste shirts to a laundry where he picks them up still wet and Teen Vogue’s beauty director Eva Chen makes it through thanks to the magic powers of polish changes, ending the week with Deborah Lippman’s sparkly Happy Birthday polish.

Houston has its own coterie of Fashion Week-bound style seekers set for their time along the runway. From who to wear and where to eat, these women are prepped and ready for fashion's big party.

Samira Salman: From Paris to New York

Samira  Salman, owner of Salman Solutions, a luxury-oriented, advisory firm, planned her NYFW wardrobe in Paris (ooh la la!), is checking shows with a local connection and has a certain Mario Batali restaurant on her list.

CultureMap: How did you plan your wardrobe?

Samira Salman: I planned my wardrobe shopping in Paris – when I went for New Year’s Eve. I bought pieces at Le Bon Marche, Sandro, Pablo, and Maje. Accessories are Chanel, Hermès and Cecile et Jeanne — one of my favorite French jewelry lines! Also, lots of cashmere from Neiman's and scarves from a business trip to Shanghai in 2009 where I racked up, and Paul Smith.

CM: How many suitcases are you taking?

SS: Just one, and my amazing Mary Nichols carry-on. I travel a ton, so I have a great system, and can efficiently pack in 30 minutes.

CM: What shows are you seeing?

SS: I am going to hit a few shows as my schedule allows. Right now, I have the Kahri show on Friday, and the Kate Kills Pretty, Czar by Cesar Galindo, Rich Kim Lillian, Onyx Noyz, and Purple Label show/brunch on Sunday, in my calendar. I may add a few more, if time permits.

CM: What one bar/restaurant/store is a must?

SS: There are SO many! My favorite restaurant right now is: The Dutch, managed by my friend Chad Walsh, who is Connor Walsh’s brother. Connor is a principal at the Houston Ballet if his name didn’t ring a bell. I will definitely go there. I also want to try Stanton Social. I’ve heard it’s delicious! And, if time permits, I must stop by Eataly, Mario Batali’s place for the pasta and wine all the way in the back.

CM: What are your NYFW survival tips?

SS: I take at least 30 minutes each day to sit in a coffee shop, journal, reflect, and be still. I also try to schedule at least one beauty/spa treatment during my stay, just to relax and unwind, a blowout, massage, etc. I always make a point to see and visit with non-fashion friends and clients, to keep me balanced, and in perspective.

And I always make sure to dress warmly. It’s hard to smile when you are freezing.

Misti Pace-Krahl: Just one piece of luggage

Stylist and fashion show producer Misti Pace-Krahl will be looking for some inspiration from her vantage point along the runways of Carolina Herrera, Carlos Miele, Reem Acra, Betsey Johnson and Prete & Bruno. Impressively, her entire NYFW wardrobe is held in just one strategically-packed piece of luggage and of all the statement-making pieces she could take, Pace-Krahl let her personality and expression plan her wardrobe.

CultureMap: What one bar/restaurant/store is a must?

Misti Pace-Krahl: Wherever my friends want to's the company you keep. I do want to try Aldea. George Mendes food captivated me in the Bon Appetit magazine.

CM: What are your NYFW survival tips?

MPK: The city itself does it to me! So many people and so many lights equal energy.  And, there is always my go-to, coffee! I love my folding City Flats from GAP. Tired feet make me a tired lady. Houston at times can have all four seasons in one day.

I always pack a jacket/evening jacket —if these two can pull off as the same, BONUS, walking flats —mine are always patent leather, and an umbrella.

Rebecca Spera & Sabrina Miskelly:  BFF's plan one color scheme

Best friends Rebecca Spera and Sabrina Miskelly pulled from the sister/BFF handbook, combining accessories and other wearable elements for their NYFW wardrobe. Spera and Miskelly are balancing work and play during their time in New York since Spera is the host of Mirror, Mirror, a lifestyle show that runs in Houston and across the country and Miskelly is the show’s  producer.

The two depended on tailoring existing pieces, shopping online for last-minute items and working in vintage from Houston boutiques Cheeky Vintage and the Vintage Contessa.

CultureMap: How did you plan your wardrobe?

Rebecca Spera: Sabrina and I are splurging on the trip, so we didn’t want to splurge on our wardrobes, too Last night, Sabrina and I got together to play “dress up." First we chose our neutral – black.  I’m packing a black pencil skirt, black skinny pants, a black leather jacket, black blouse, and black turtleneck. 

Sabrina Miskelly: Having a full-time job and being a mom, I have to say, Rebecca thought about this before I even had a chance!  She brilliantly came up with a one color scheme plan, mixing in some vintage pieces.  I filled in any gaps with a couple of online purchases, with next-day shipping since I waited until the last minute to pack.  Let’s hope those black ponte knit skinny pants and leather pumps arrive before I leave for the airport! 

CM: What shows are you two seeing? 

RS: We’ve been offered a ton of fun behind-the-scenes opportunities, and our schedule Saturday and Sunday is jam-packed.  I’m not sure when we’ll sleep – if ever! 

SM: Our schedule is jam-packed from the moment the plane hits the tarmac until it’s wheels up on the way home!  We got so many amazing invitations (and it’s our first MB Fashion Week), that we just kept replying yes.  I guess we’ll map it all out on the plane. Talk about “flying” by the seat of our pants.

CM: What one bar/restaurant/shop is a must? 

RS: The Dutch is the hot, delicious, most-talked about restaurant in NYC right now.  We’ve made our reservations!  I want to check out Aritzia in Soho for shopping.  My girlfriend is a NYC fashion blogger, and she says it’s a must, especially for the fashionista on a budget!

SM: I’ve been asking the same question. I don’t pretend to know everything about New York.  I’m a Southern girl. I am lucky, however, to have gotten recommendations from many friends and colleagues who have lived, played and stayed in area.  Plus, I try not to hit the same places over and over again.  I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to try something new!

CM: What are your NYFW survival tips?

RS: There will be Arctic-like temperatures according the meteorologists, so my plan is to look un-cute with the hat, scarf, warm (and comfortable) shoes until a block from the Lincoln Center.  Then, I’ll switch to heels, fluff my hair, and try my best to look fab walking into shows filled with the best of the best in fashion. 

SM:  I have to say, I’m most concerned about my feet. Walking 15 blocks in a pair of high heels is not something I normally do. So, I’m stocking my handbag with shoe cushions, band-aids and flats that I can slip on in a moment of desperation.  You’ll probably also find a protein bar, packet of almonds, black pashmina, more hand warmers, tissues, lip balm and hand cream in there.  I’ll be like a walking Winter Fashion 911 kit.

Debbie Festari: Shopping and shows

Debbie Festari is part of the “Dynamic Four,” a close-knit group of fashion devotees who are veterans of New York Fashion Week. Festari, Melissa Mithoff, Joyce Echols and Elizabeth Petersen have Cesar Galindo on their must-see list and stops at their favorite haunts.

CultureMap: How did you plan your wardrobe?

Debbie Festari: The change in the weather means an extra suitcase, but during the day its flats, flats, flats and at night it’s heels.

CM: What shows are you seeing?

DF: We definitely want to support Cesar and see Aries Milan show Kate Kills Pretty. We are also going to Herve Leger and Monique Lhuillier, but we pace ourselves. If we have a late night dinner, we will skip an early show and go to one later in the day. It’s a whirlwind and we love the energy of New York.

CM: What one bar/restaurant/store is a must?

DF: We never go to New York without making it to Cipriani and the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel. There’s so many good places like Balthazar and we always go to Bergdorf’s since we don’t have one in Houston.

News_Fashion Week_Fall 2011_Lincoln Center_Revson Fountain
Lincoln Center is the scene for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Photo by ©Mark Bussell
News_Fashion Houston_final night_October 2011_Cesar Galindo
Native Houstonian Cesar Galindo, pictured here with models at the World AIDS Day Luncheon in Houston, is showing his Czar line in New York on Sunday. Photo by Federico Villamayor
Samira Salman
Samira Salman's New York Fashion Week experience includes stops at Stanton Social and The Dutch, a hip restaurant with a Houston connection.
News_Heather_Misti Pace-Krahl_Jan 2012
Misti Pace-Krahl's  entire NYFW wardrobe is held in just one strategically-packed piece of luggage.
Rebecca Spera, Sabrina Miskelly
Best friends and co-workers Rebecca Spera and Sabrina Miskelly are headed to their very first New York Fashion Week. Vintage pieces and hand warmers are among their must-haves.
News_Mo's Leukemia party_Debbie Festari
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week veteran Debbie Festari is heading to New York with her style-savvy circle of friends Melissa Mithoff, Elizabeth Petersen and Joyce Echols. Debbie Festari Photo by Fulton Davenport: PWL Studio