News & Runway

Fashion’s Night Out 2011 Recap

Tory Burch

Line outside of Tory Burch's new UES boutique

It’s funny that the media makes such hoopla about Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) because the truth is, when you speak with many of those involved with building the hype about the global event, they don’t usually love it. In fact, for most of the publicists busy organizing the evening’s events and for most of the editors, writers, and designers who are busy attending them, it’s one more thing on a long list of to-dos in an already busy week. It’s a shame that the festivities couldn’t take place any other week aside from Fashion Week when many – including a good chunk of those who are very likely to actually shop – are feeling bogged down. That said, I ended up having a wonderful Fashion’s Night Out that could not have started and ended any more differently: I began my night at Dylan’s Candy Bar and ended it at Tom Ford.

Lanvin FNO

People dancing in front of Lanvin

While it was tempting to stay home and shop the limited edition FNO goods online at Kirna Zabete, Opening Ceremony, Shopbop, and the like, candy shoes and the promise to see Tom Ford’s forthcoming beauty line were too good to pass up. Keeping it simple with a clear and focused plan of attack and staying away from mega-attractions like Opening Ceremony at the Ace Hotel and Bergdorf Goodman also assured that I would keep my claustrophobia in check!

Candy shoes at Dylan's Candy Bar

When I walked into Dylan’s Candy Bar, one of the first people I spotted was owner Dylan Lauren who, all smiles, was talking about the candy shoes designed in partnership with RISD students and Rockport that were on display (read more about the partnership here). Also at the event was celebrity stylist and vintage lover Annabel Tollman who was decked out in a lace-accented, star-printed dress, perfectly on-trend with the plethora of glossy magazine covers and famous faces we’ve seen in star-printed Fall 2011 Dolce & Gabbana looks recently. As for the actual event, 17 RISD students gave Rockport’s Janae Pump for women and Day 2 Night Wingtip for men a candy makeover and there were some awesome creations, one of which actually melted in transit, but it was so cool it actually looked intentional.

Justin Bieber

The crowd waiting for Justin Bieber, the "surprise" guest at Dolce & Gabbana

After ogling the creations – my favorite of which was accented with tooth-shaped gummy bears – I decorated a stiletto cookie, got some popcorn, and headed off to Tom Ford’s Madison Avenue New York flagship. While it’s relatively tame uptown on FNO, given that Justin Bieber was making an appearance at Dolce & Gabbana, there were hoards of tweens, tons of security guards, and a bunch of police officers guarding the stretch surrounding the Upper East Side designer boutique. Also drawing a crowd was Tory Burch’s newest New York City boutique, which opened the day of FNO, and Lanvin where a few people gathered in front of screens with the video of Karen Elson and Raquel Zimmerman boogying down in Fall 2011 Lanvin playing on loop, to themselves dance.

Tom Ford BeautyTom Ford

Images from Tom Ford's forthcoming beauty range

When I finally made my way to Tom Ford's boutique, it was just as spectacular as one might imagine. I was there to preview the designer's forthcoming beauty collection, which has already launched in the UK and will be available State-side end of October/early November (the to-die-for polishes don't come out until December). Unfortunately, photographs weren't allowed, but trust that this is one collection worth splurging on. With 132 pieces, it's quite extensive and covers everything from shadow palettes to brushes and it's in keeping with the minimalist, sleek, stunningly luxe aesthetic of Ford's prior lipstick and fragrance launches.

Tom Ford

Images from Tom Ford's forthcoming beauty range

Want it all? Join the club. In the meantime invest in some brown makeup — yes, you read that right. Brown is all-but-sure to be the color of the season judging by how surprisingly great it looks on both lips (with Ford's new Coco Ravish and Deep Mink), and nails with HIPP x RGB's just launched, foundation-inspired polish collection.

If only all FNO events were as understatedly fantastic as the ones hosted in Tom Ford and Dylan Lauren's stores, I imagine FNO would get more across-the-board love. Sure, flashy celebrities and over-the-top carnivals are great for buzz, but am I the only one who thinks that next year they should strike all the excess frills and just have shops stay open late? I can’t think of a better night than one that starts with dinner and ends with a late night of strolling and shopping. Plus, it would certainly be more cost-effective for retailers and isn’t the whole point of FNO for retailers to actually make money?