For Parisians, ‘La Rentrée’ is the period when the city perks up after the mass August exodus and a bold new season of culture, art and fashion gets into swing. Similarly, New York welcomes a cultural reawakening after Labor Day (2 Sep) and London see a host of autumnal happenings post the August bank holiday weekend. The back-to-school vibe and seasonal shift mean that increasingly, September is seen as the ‘real new year’.
No matter the city September serves as a tipping point for a tantalising feast of culture, art, performance, fashion and sport across the globe, making it one of the most exciting months of the year to travel. Here’s our curated roundup of events happening somewhere in a city near you.
Psst… Jetting off soon? Don’t forget to check the ‘Events’ section in your LUXE app for up-to-date info.
Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong – Glow with the flow
One of the year’s most magical rituals, the Mid-Autumn Festival (13 Sep) is traditionally celebrated with glowing lanterns, mooncakes and family reunions. If you’re in Hong Kong, don’t miss the spectacular Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, held in the low-rise atmossy nabe Tai Hang across 3 nights (12-14 Sep).
Wondering if Hong Kong is safe to travel to right now? Read this guide on Travelling to Hong Kong During the Protests.
Paris – Strike a pose
The French set the pace in style and attitude on so many matters, and no better example of this is ‘la rentrée’, the period in September when Parisians return from their summer escapades and the city perks up with a plethora of cultural events, including new seasons at the Opéra Bastille and Palais Garnier and smash art exhibitions like Musée d’Orsay’s Degas at The Opéra. Ella Fitzgerald might have loved Paris in the springtime, but we always fall for autumn.
But wait, there’s more. Design and fashion also occupy the spotlight this September with Paris Design Week, (5-14 Sep) Maison & Objet, (6-10 Sep) and Paris Fashion Week (23 Sep-1 Oct) drawing crowds of creatives from across the globe.
Berlin – Listen to your ‘art
More than just a trade fair, Berlin Art Week (11-15 Sep) is embraced by artists, gallerists and contemporary institutions for a week-long celebration of creating, discussing and exhibiting art. The main event spans two massive hangars at Tempelhof Airport, with an array of venues both commercial and cultural participating.
New York – Love-all
The US Tennis Open (26 Aug-8 Sep) bounces into town for 2 weeks of on and off-court action. Chances are New Yorkers’ early September diaries are as jammed as Anna Wintour’s as the global fashion set descends for NYFW (6-14 Sep) for a whirlwind week of runway shows, parties and performances.
Top-of-the-heap American and international films make their debut at the New York Film Festival (27 Sep-13 Oct), which includes free filmmaker talks and panel discussions – plus a closing night selection by Ed Norton. Brooklyn’s mouth-watering weekly Smorgasburg (Fri-Sun, various locations) keeps foodies full and faithful through until November.
Chicago – Young ‘arts run free
One of the Windy City’s biggest events, Expo Chicago (19-22 Sep) returns to Navy Pier, with galleries from 24 countries showcasing global contemporary talents, plus a diverse program of panels and talks. Hot on its heels, West Town Art Walk (27-28 Sep) introduces art, music, fashion retail and food by homegrown talents along Chicago Avenue (between Milwaukee Ave and Western Ave).
London – Off the charts
Among autumn’s blockbuster art shows, William Blake The Artist at Tate Britain is the greatest retrospective of the great Romantic’s work ever held. With the help of a little tech wizardry, Blake’s wishes will finally be granted and his work displayed in vast proportions as he’d always dreamed of.
Renowned for being the edgier of the four fashion cities, London Fashion Week sees homegrown talents showcase their SS20 collections. Should that Frow ticket have gotten lost in the post, fret not – there’s a stonking line-up of installations and design discoveries across the city. Soak up the scene pre and post at LUXE faves Sketch, Isabel, Circolo Popolare and The Coral Room.
Combine sartorial appreciation with best-of-Brit product and interior design talents at London Design Festival (14-22 Sep), held at various locations around town, including Chelsea Harbour and the V&A. Taking place at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, London Design Fair (19-22 Sep) is the pick of the crop for spotting upcoming creators and makers.
Peek inside the city’s grandest public and private buildings during the excellent Open House Weekend (21-22 Sep). This year’s highlights include a Masonic chamber hidden in the Andaz Hotel and no.10, yes that no. 10 (only through ballot).
Singapore – Pole position
The Singapore Grand Prix (20-22 Sep) roars into the Lion City this month. The nightime city race is a highlight of both the F1 and Singapore calendars, with its intoxicating mix of speed, glamour and celebrity. Action on the grid is more than matched by a cracking roster of live performances from Swedish House Mafia, Gwen Stefani and Red Hot Chilli Peppers; the Amber Lounge is where you’ll find drivers, models, celebs and wannabes mingling afterwards.
Wherever you’re headed, don’t forget to pack some LUXE