Thursday, February 26, 2009

NYC Fabric Store Review: B&J Fabrics

Address: 525 7th Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-354-8150
Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. -5:45 p.m.; Saturday: 9:00 a.m. -4:45 p.m.
Online store: B&J Fabrics
Best for: Luxury fabrics for those who don't need to check the price per yard

11/02/10: Read my fresh take on B&J here

B&J Fabrics on Seventh Avenue is the place to go when you need to make a drop-dead, one-of-a-kind, red carpet gown.

I like to visit a Chanel boutique at least once a year. Not to buy (as if I can afford Chanel!) but to observe the styles, the fabrics, the garments' interior finishes and exterior touches. It's the big girl's equivalent of a field trip.

Unless you've got a Chanel-sized budget, B&J Fabrics on Seventh Avenue in the Garment District belongs in the field trip category of fabric stores. Many of the stunning fabrics you'll find here are well over $200USD a yard. I gasped at the $810 per yard price tag attached to a piece of feather-trimmed embroidered organza, but others report they've seen fabrics at B&J's going for $1,200 a yard. That's over $33 an inch!

I asked Scot of B&J for a definition of a typical B&J customer. "I'm not certain there is one," he replied, listing Seventh Avenue fashion houses, theater and movie costumers, stylists, boutiques, and couturiers and dressmakers as groups who frequent the store. He named home sewing enthusiasts as well, but I think that should be qualified as home sewing enthusiasts with Park Avenue budgets.

To be fair, I saw lovely Liberty of London cotton lawns that, if I remember correctly, were around $45 a yard, and I even found a family wool tartan for $10 a yard. Some of the basic materials were similarly priced to fabrics at Rosen & Chadick, Mood Fabrics and New York Elegant Fabrics. But most of what you'll find at B&J is well over $85 a yard and aimed at those in the market for red-carpet gown material.

Bottom line: Go at least once for the gawk factor.

How about some feather-trimmed organza? It's just $510 per yard.

Looking for luscious velvets in spectacular colors?

Or how about embossed leathers?

Here's the beaded and feather-trimmed organza that's a steal at $810 per yard.

At the lower end of the spectrum, how about pailettes on silk chiffon for $155 per yard?

A customer checking out the Liberty of London prints.

I liked the inspiration boards located throughout the store.

Some cotton prints artfully displayed.