Fashion’s Night Out (FNO), was initially created by Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) as a way of encouraging fashionistas to hit those shops as the economic downfall kicked in. Initially taking place just in New York in 2009, the event has since turned into a global initiative — and about which we are definitely not complaining!
Among fashion lovers, this has to be the most anticipated shopping event of the year; since shoppers indulge in extravagant events and hefty discounts, it certainly does feel as if Christmas has come early. Last night as FNO hit London, TFS took a stroll down an unusually pedestrianised Bond Street to check out exactly what was taking place.
We began our night on the cusp of Soho, at the renowned vintage store, Beyond Retro, which had been transformed into a Harajuki dream world. Inspired by those cool Tokyo trendsetters, they launched their new Rainbow Grunge theme, with brightly dressed mannequins and cartoon motifs prominent throughout the store. The theme was further captured by its appropriately dressed staff, Japanese pop music pumping out of their stereo, and guests were also treated to sushi and Japanese alcohol, as well as the opportunity to sing their hearts out at their pop-up karaoke booth.
After our Japanese experience, we headed towards Carnaby Street to take at look at Liberty’s fun fayre theme. The famous luxury department store was definitely one of THE places to be, especially as some of London Fashion Week’s favourite designers were hosting special events. Most excitingly, we met the lovely Roksanda Ilincic, who was signing exclusive hand-drawn sketches of her AW collection and posing for photos.
Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll were also in store, with Saunders hosting his #ShowUsYourSaunders photobooth competition and Nicoll offering styling advice and displaying his new collection on model Jade Parfitt. If meeting some fab designers wasn’t enough, internationally acclaimed hair colourist Josh Wood and his team were also on hand and transforming customers’ hair into the latest catwalk looks (top photo). We were also treated to live music by DJ Richard Sloan as we watched Liberty’s scarf team demonstrate new ways to wear their exquisite scarves.
Of course, we had to check out what was happening on one of Europe’s busiest high streets, and Oxford Circus definitely didn’t disappoint. Topshop’s flagship was the port of call for most, with its store almost emulating music and light like a night club. Karin Park hit those decks and musician Delilah performed a couple of sets upon a pivotally placed window stage. Each guest received fashion raffle tickets and also had the opportunity to take part in complimentary makeovers.
Topshop aside, River Island and Pull and Bear’s party offerings also tempted us inside. River Island partied with celebrity guest DJ Laura Whitmore, a complimentary champagne bar, and free goody bags for those who got there early enough, while Pull and Bear really got that gig feel going with live music (above) and a discounted drinks bar!
Just when we thought that the party couldn’t possibly keep going, we reached New and Old Bond street, home to London’s most lavish brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Mulberry. Littered with a mass of stylish people and live street performances, this was where the most exclusive parties were taking place. Mulberry was hosting its official private Vogue party with Alexandra Shulman and Emma Hill, and so it inevitably had the most sought-after guest list of the evening. Lucky for us, it opened its doors to the general public later in the evening with an array of prizes, goody bags, and of course, more live music.
As the fashionable night drew to an end, the exclusive Mahiki night club was the natural progression for those fashion loving celebs — and for us too! After all of our exciting shop-hopping in heels, delicious cocktails were the perfect way to end the night.
Images by Samantha Robinson