Private Lives Public Places

Patrick McCarthy, fashion arbiter

"I couldn't live without travel," says Patrick McCarthy, chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Publications. McCarthy makes regular pilgrimages to the world's chicest cities. And not surprisingly, the man who oversees the fashion bibles W and Women's Wear Daily has chosen his favorites (and a few not-so-favorites) with an editor's sharply honed eye. So where does one of the industry's most revered—if not feared—arbiters of style eat, whom does he need to know, what does he read, and, of course, what does he wear?

WHAT I WANT TO WEAR NOW
• Cashmere socks by Ralph Lauren.
• Suits by Helmut Lang or Giorgio Armani. Alex Disbrow at the Armani store in New York is the best salesman in the world.
• Shirts from Jil Sander or Charvet.

WHEN AT THE SHOWS IN PARIS . . .
I book suite 305 at the Ritz. It has the best concierges in the world. I love the restaurant Benoît on the Right Bank. And Le Voltaire, on the Left Bank, is a great neighborhood place. I lived in Paris for ten years, so it brings back memories.

. . . AND IN MILAN
I always stay at the Four Seasons Hotel. The same guys have been working at the front desk since it opened, and it's nice to get a welcome like that in Milan, where the weather can be gloomy. I eat at Nobu or Bice, which is the fashion hangout.

MY ULTIMATE FANTASY
A Gulfstream—fast and comfortable.

I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
• My gray Lexus convertible.
• Strong coffee with half and half and no sugar and the caviar omelette from E.A.T. on Madison Avenue.

I CAN LIVE WITHOUT
People in clothes that are too tight. There are altogether too many stomachs hanging out.

I REALLY LOATHE
Brasserie Lipp in Paris. The worst stereotype of a French restaurant, haughty and rude.

MY GREATEST ESCAPE IS
Miami, where I have an apartment and go to get away from New York winters. I love the Delano and The Shore Club, and I always visit a great restaurant called Casa Tua to find out what's going on.

RIGHT NOW I AM READING
Diary of a Djinn by Gini Alhadeff. It's about the Milan fashion world in the '80s.

IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT
I'd buy a Brice Marden painting from the Matthew Marks gallery. I also like Eric Fischl and Eric Freeman, who's a great new artist. I am around clothes all day, so shopping for art is exciting.

I NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT
My Gillette Turbo razor and Kiehl's shaving cream.

FOR LUNCH, IT'S
Often in my office with takeout from a local coffee shop.

MY FAVORITE NEW RESTAURANT IN NEW YORK IS
L'Impero in Tudor City. It's not overrun with trendy people.

WHO YOU NEED TO KNOW
Charles Masson at La Grenouille, Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder at The Four Seasons, Michael McCarty at Michael's, Frank Minieri at Il Cantinori, and Silvano Marchetto at Da Silvano. These men are characters. They have a point of view, and they always make you feel welcome and greet you by name, which makes all the difference.

EVERY HOTEL SHOULD HAVE
Massage as a standard amenity, like at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. Great for jet lag.

NEVER FORGET
A navy blazer and gray flannel pants—for men and women—always looks right.