A popular destination this week among the fashion set is Lincoln Center (for obvious reasons). We’re partial to that area of New York, too, although lately we’ve been intrigued by a space just a stone’s throw east of the New York Fashion Week tents: the West Side YMCA.

There’s plenty of history behind this particular branch of the Y: it was the first to offer a dormitory wing (which later housed the likes of Jack Kerouac, Martin Luther King, Jr., Kirk Douglas and Tennessee Williams) and it’s widely believed that the formerly attached McBurney School was the inspiration behind Holden Caulfield’s alma mater in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. It even has its own distinct style, with medieval-inspired tiling in the pools, battlements and irregular balconies. The Barneys team saw it as a perfect backdrop to Fendi’s Spring 2013 men’s collection.

The collection by designer Silvia Venturini Fendi is unapologetically luxe but plays on juxtapositions between clean, efficient shapes and luxurious materials like crocodile, eel, leather and technical fabrics. Menswear classics like the overcoat are reimagined in exotic skins, sporty pieces are elevated with perforated leather, and even humble denim gets a lift in sharply cut shirts. There are touches of the futuristic, but it’s made for today—whether you’re on your way to Lincoln Center or just on your way to the pool…