Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fashions Night Out, New York City

Fashions Night Out in NYC is a local shopping event held in NYC to kick off fashion week. Stores entice aspiring fashionistas to view their collections, by providing free drinks, yummy snacks, and limited edition items while DJ’s spin the latest tunes.  Best of all, you have an opportunity to meet the designers themselves and even the celebrities they dress!
It’s a shopaholics dream, or a nightmare, if you are a shopaholic who is trying to stop shopping. Devastated that I missed last year’s event I was faced with a dilemma.  On Fashions Night Out – do I stay in once again, or do I go out? (click here to learn more about the event).
It happens once a year, and it was my only chance to mix with the real fashionistas. So I accepted an invite from my best friend and her sister, and armed with my Amex and debit card … this uptown girl headed to a remote fashion haven otherwise known as “Downtown.”
Live Mannequin at Calvin Klein
SoHo once known for starving artists and galleries is now like a mini Madison Avenue for the international set and the fashion savvy. There were so many stores, so much to do and such little time! Where to begin? Did we want free booze, and tasty treats? Or were we more interested in celebrity sightings?
 The streets looked like a Sex and the City casting call. Never had I seen never saw so many tall, beautiful and stylish women before. Everyone looked like models. Then I realized…they were models! My first experience of FNO was the Calvin Klein store where window mannequins displayed Calvin Klein underwear. Except the mannequins were live. That’s right; the store had living breathing, perfect human specimens, ABSENT OF BODY FAT, modeling UNDERWEAR! Right in the window! Who needs to go inside? The store was empty. The sidewalk was packed. I vowed never to eat a carb again.
 My first actual stop was the DVF store. Diane Von Furstenberg, herself, was there, looking even more elegant and stunning in person than she does in photos, to launch her new line of perfume called Diane. Photographers took paparazzi like photos of the shoppers on a “virtual red carpet” (I did not want to wait in line). I enjoyed some very delicious champagne and sample hors d'oeuvres served by pretty boys in-between modeling gigs.  I have to say I love love, love her fall line. Mohair dresses, jeweled tone colors, famous prints, all were to die for.(click here). Despite the fact I purposely wore a vintage wrap dress, I sadly did not get to meet my fashion icon, because of yep, long lines.  Hence, the life of a New Yorker facing the city's ferocious fashion crowds.
Across the street  at Betsy Johnson – girls were dancing in the windows, bartenders were pouring some bubblegum colored  champagne drink  and the dance music  was spinning. Stylists were on site to curl and style your hair . They were also offering free makeovers with any purchase, and were giving away Yoplait yogurt. Yogurt? Not sure what that was about, but my friend Karen was happy to get one for free! I passed on the makeover, because  I  don’t think a woman of a certain age should experiment with electric blue eyeliner, but hey- that’s just me. We soon realized we were in the wrong demographic .and headed to our next stop.

 My absolute highlight of the night was the Ralph Lauren Polo, store. I fell in love with some beautiful rain boots, which I would have bought had the tag not read $400. Perhaps rubber is worth more pound for pound than gold these days? What do I know?
That is where I met Nacho Figueras, the Argentinian polo player, who is the face of the Polo ad campaign (click but you may not want to click back ). Seriously, if he is not the most handsome man on the planet I don’t know who is. Even the free Pinot Blanc however, could not help me gather enough courage to ask him for a photo. A fellow fashionista saw my hesitation, and asked  if he would take a photo with me. That is when this hard core New Yorker let her guard down and handed my brand new iPhone to a perfect stranger, who agreed to snap a pic. In retrospect, I really wish I had that makeover.  And maybe even plastic surgery to make me look like Brooklyn Decker.  Not only is Nacho gorgeous, he is genuinely nice.  I told him he is my favorite polo player in the world, because he is. So what if he is the only polo player I know?  Now I can die happy.

Me and Nacho Figueras

Dr. Ruth at Taschen

 Next was the Taschen store; where the art of the book is curated within retail setting.(click here  for the coolest art books ever) Upon entering, we were asked to sign a waiver, as a segment was being filmed for the television show of interior designer Nate Berkus.  Nate was charming and friendly, as was his latest client and guest of honor,sex therapist,  Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Free drinks and free sex advice all in the same place. 
At Burberry there was a lot of loud music and a crowd so dense you could not even tell you were in a retail store! The party atmosphere was in high gear and there was more free champagne to go around! But tired , buzzed and hungry , we left as the party was just getting started, as tomorrow was a work day.
At Burberry party. I love this pic because I appear as blurry as my vision was...
 We grabbed diner at a typical downtown trendy restaurant, where the service and cuisine were lacking in every aspect , but you pay for the privilege of being there. The price was right, because we did not have to pay for any more booze.  My Amex and debit card went untouched and my expensive shopping night out, only cost me about $30.00! Talk about having fun with no money. Of course, my wish list for the upcoming season is longer than a six- year-old’s to Santa. But that will be in my next post.  I’m off to count shoes, dresses, and let’s not forget it’s time to bring out those tights!

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