The Grub Street Diet

Designer Catherine Malandrino Drinks Tequila During Fashion Week, Celebrates With Spaghetti and Champagne

Malandrino eats lunch at Market Café.
Malandrino eats lunch at Market Café. Photo: Melissa Hom

Catherine Malandrino spent most of last week obsessing about the weather. “All morning, every night, I was on the Weather Channel, on my iPhone, on my computer,” she says of the days leading up to her spring-summer 2011 presentation, held outdoors at Lincoln Center last Sunday. The day stayed dry, but she was ready to spin foul weather for the best: “We said it would have looked how clothes are in real life: Sometimes you have to wear them in the rain.” With Fashion Week behind her, Malandrino is off to Paris, where she’s looking forward to having macarons at the Hotel Crillon. “It goes with the French décor,” she explains. “In America, my little bite is a doughnut from Dean & Deluca, and in Dubai” — where she’s headed in a few weeks — “I like their oriental patisserie, little pastries with honey and dates.” Find out what she had to eat over the last week in our latest New York Diet.

Friday, September 10
I had my spring collection and Fashion’s Night Out on my mind all day. I brought my son Oscar to school and arrived to my studio at 9 a.m. Waiting for me was a cup of black coffee and a croissant from Dean & Deluca.

I had a working lunch with my design team. We ordered in from Pomodoro and shared lots of Italian antipasti, including fresh mozzarella and tomato salads, prosciutto di parma and arugula sandwiches, penne, spaghetti, and grilled chicken with slices of bread. Throughout the day, I drank many chilled coconut waters — I can drink up to four at a time, and during Fashion Week, sometimes I have ten in one day! It’s like a magic potion; it gives me power and brings a little sunshine to my day. I close my eyes and really feel like I am drinking right from the fruit.

After a quick stop at Bergdorf Goodman’s Fashion’s Night Out party, I traveled downtown to my boutique in the meatpacking district. I posed for many iPhone pictures, danced to tunes by Grace Jones and the Beach Boys, signed a lot of autographs, and had a quick glass of Moët Champagne. Afterward, I was back at my studio for more fittings, where I drank more coconut water.

After the last fitting, I met my friends from Paris at the bar at the restaurant at The Four Seasons, where I had a cosmopolitan with Cointreau. We moved from the bar into the Pool Room, where I ordered the Maine lobster salad with truffle vinaigrette.

Saturday, September 11
For breakfast, I had black coffee and some madeleines from Starbucks.

I was in my studio for lunch; it was Japanese food from Inakaya. I had seven pieces of assorted sushi, and miso soup, and I drank four Vita Coco waters. Dinner was in my studio again with the team, and we had a delivery of Lazzara’s Pizza. We shared a ham-and-cheese pizza, chicken parmigiana, baked-eggplant parmigiana, and rigatoni with tomato and basil sauce. I think Lazzara’s has the best pizza in town!

At two in the morning, just ten hours before my presentation at Lincoln Center, I crossed Eighth Avenue to dance with my friends from Paris at Escuelita, a gay club with live shows and go-go dancers. We danced to Latin music and drank tequila until three! I really needed this moment and crazy time to feel energized again and to release the tension from the week.

Sunday, September 12
I woke up at six on the day of my show — I only slept for three hours! I had black Illy coffee while having my hair and makeup done.

During the presentation, I didn’t eat — it was all about the collection. But after the show, a table was waiting for me at Ed’s Chowder House, where I celebrated with family and friends. We ate oysters and jumbo shrimp and drank Champagne; it was a four-hour lunch!

I felt exhausted after that, and I went home and fell asleep until midnight. I woke up starving, dreaming about spaghetti Bolognese, so my partner Bernard made some for me — we ate pasta and celebrated again with Champagne. It was beautiful.

Monday, September 13
I took the day off on Monday. I slept in and cooked eggs with prosciutto and a toasted bialy for breakfast.

I made myself a cheese plate for lunch with different French cheeses, raisins, grapes, and crackers. I drank a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. That night, I watched a funny movie at home while eating dried fruit, apricots, and peaches.

Tuesday, September 14
For breakfast, I had my black coffee and madeleines from Starbucks.

I went to lunch at Cookshop with my friend Akiko, who was in town for Fashion Week. I had steak-frites and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

That afternoon, I spent a long time in my showroom with my sales and design team reviewing the collection, and then for a late dinner, I went to the Lion to see my good friend, the chef John DeLucie. We toasted to my Fashion Week presentation with Champagne and Dover Sole.

Wednesday, September 15
I ate breakfast at home: a black coffee with a baguette with butter and orange marmalade. When I got to my studio, I had a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

For lunch, I went to the Market Café. I’ve been going there for ten years — it’s a charming diner with bright colors and easy and delicious food. I have known the chef for a while; he started as a waiter when I was a new designer in New York, and now he’s the chef and the owner — an American story! I had my favorite French country salad, which has endive, smoked chicken, tomato, walnuts, and Roquefort cheese with a lemon-pepper dressing. I drank a glass of Pinot Grigio.

For my final Fashion Week celebration, I headed to B.E.S with friends and partners from Russia and the Ukraine. We drank vodka — the restaurant created a Malandrino cocktail for us! We had my favorite roasted-pepper salad, a seafood platter, penne with vodka sauce, and a delicious chocolate soufflé. My Russian friends are so festive. We danced late into the night with our heads in the stars.

Designer Catherine Malandrino Drinks Tequila During Fashion Week, Celebrates