FNO is one of my favorite nights of the year. Who doesn’t love meeting their favorite designers, editors, models and style icon celebs?
Forget the loud clubs. My favorite way to party is by shopping and mingling. And if you don’t love sipping free champagne, eating free Cluizel chocolates, scoping out handsome male models strutting around in slim suits, nabbing free Estee Lauder and Jo Malone beauty products, I don’t know if you and I can be friends.
At Saks, the fabulous Alexandre Birman, exotic shoe designer extraordinaire, judged customers in a red carpet competition to see who had the best saucy struts in high heels.
After the jump, Hayden Panettiere designs shoes for Zanotti, Andre Leon Talley is stately at Manolo Blahnik, Frederic Fekkai graces Saks, The Pontani Sisters burlesque it up at Bergdorf, Beyonce’s nail artist gives MBMJ manicures, and sexy models pose in the Bendel window.
There’s so much to love about a Stuart Weitzman collection with members of Young Hollywood co-designing for a good cause, which in this case is Dr. Marsha Moses’ ovarian cancer research in ovarian cancer at Boston’s Folkman Institute. I love fashion for a good cause! Among the designers making an appearance at Stuart Weitzman on FNO were Hayden Panettiere and Michelle Trachtenberg, pictured below with the shoes they designed.
I love the Hayden shoe! The triangle on the ankle is a metallic accent. Nice! Olivia Palermo and Scarlett Johanssen also designed pairs.
Another event that sizzled? SJP and Andre Leon Talley at Manolo Blahnik. The line was all the way down the block with eager fashionistas devoted to the iconic image of Carrie Bradshaw wearing her Something Blue wedding Manolos. Carrie… I mean, SJP, signed the soles of Manolos for those lucky enough to get in!
I was able to catch Andre Leon Talley coming out of Manolo. He is SO tall and he was wearing a long tan/taupe caftan-type thing. The crowds freaked out over him a bit, but he was cool as a cucumber.
After Manolo, we went to Saks, where the aforementioned Alexandre Birman-judged red carpet strutting competition was going on. Below, the judges give comments to a courageous strutter on my favorite floor, 10022-SHOE.
On the other side of the same floor, Frederic Fekkai, celebrity hairstylist, signed autographs and took photos with adoring young fans like the one below.
And on another floor, Saks really pulled out the fun stops with interactive games, like learning how to virtual surf from elegant designer Yigal Azrouel.
And over by Bendel, a large crowd gathered to watch a hot male model/Swarovski tattoo artist do his work.
And over in the windows of stately Queen of the New York Department Stores, Bergdorf Goodman, one of my favorite burlesque troupes, The Pontani Sisters, performed. Will they singlehandedly bring white hot gogo boots back into fashion??? I wouldn’t understimate them … ever.
Later, we browsed shoes and quaffed keg beer at Belle by Sigerson Morrison’s party downtown and visited Ina Men’s to consider uberhip boots for our boyfriends and drink refreshments in their backyard, skipped over to Nanette Lepore for beautiful coats and prosicutto pizza and champagne (keepin it classy, Ms. Lepore!), and saw yet more beautiful coats at Ted Baker London where my friend’s pal was djing. The streets were buzzing and every shop in Soho was alive with music, dancing, cocktails and admiration for the beautiful objects! Excitement was definitely in the air.
All in all, it was a fun and wonderful evening, and I think a successful branding evening for the department stores and labels, as well as a success for fashion in general. Though Ms. Horyn, fashion critic for the New York Times, may not see the reason for FNO anymore post-recession, I think it heartens me to think that we may not all be able to afford high fashion, but we can admire it for its art and participate in its events and mix high fashions objects in our closet with street fashion.
And, after all, fashion can be a part of your everyday life regardless of your price point, and influences us in a trickledown manner that is hard to deny (see: my favorite scene in The Devil Wears Prada, where Anne Hathaway’s character is informed by Meryl Streep’s character that even her discount box store-purchased items are influenced by the colors decided every year by high fashion institutions (such as color trend conventions)).
Bring the fun back to fashion and be inclusive, and people will feel excited again. We’ve had a long depressing recession. Let’s party again, fashion!