A Walk Into the Night: Fashion's Night Out 2011

On Fashion's Night Out, a festive atmosphere pervades the evening, out on the streets and in the boutiques, especially in fashion-rich SoHo. Meeting new people requires little effort, and a little champagne and a little chocolate, or a lot of it, helps to get the conversations flowing. Given the nature of the event, everyone looks pretty great.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
Looking over a blue Adidas mannequin's shoulder at the Diane von Furstenberg store across the street.
Wooster Street, SoHo.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
Chanel store, Spring and Wooster.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
Dancing in the windows at Betsey Johnson, Wooster Street.
The store was full of pinkness.

Conceived in 2009 by Vogue as a global initiative to support the fashion industry in tough economic times, the third iteration on Thursday night continued to build on the event's prior successes. Celebrity-studded special events, many announced at the last moment, helped drive enormous high-heel foot traffic to area stores, especially to the big department stores uptown.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
A chorus line promotes Seychelles footwear.

Fashion's Night Out
The London Souls play a set at Morgane Le Fay, 67 Wooster Street.

The event in SoHo was something like a well-dressed block party, and indeed many of the outfits played up the artful and party lines of fashion. People in heels seemed to do fine maneuvering the Belgian blocked streets, gawking at windows and the passing fashion parade.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
Fashion's Night Out spilling out on the SoHo streets. Greene and Prince Streets.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011

Throughout the evening, I mentally tried on several fashion identities, imagining myself in various clothes. It dawned on me that I'm an Eileen Fisher sort of person, although there's a Betsey Johnson waiting to come out. Some clothes I admire for structure and craft and art, so I tend to look at the classic and sculptural work at Morgane Le Fay, for example, like an art critic.

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
outside Ralph Lauren

Fashion's Night Out, SoHo, NYC 2011
Phaidon hosted a launch party for their new book on fashion photographer Guy Bourdin.
Window of Phaidon Store, Wooster Street.

Last night I met many delightful people - store managers, designers, corporate fashion representatives, chocolate makers, personal handlers, bloggers, and fellow shoppers  - and I look forward to returning to the stores to continue the conversations.

Above all, Fashion's Night Out expands my understanding of New York's creative community. New York's great creative class doesn't only work in galleries, museums, and music halls, I understand now.

It works retail.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from Thursday evening, September 8, 2011. SoHo, New York.
Fashion Week continues through September 15, 2011. See the official website for more information.

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