Fashion’s Night Out: As Seen Through My iPhone (at Patricia Field’s, Ace Hotel, Helmut Lang, Saks, Pachute)


Bedlam broke out in the streets of Manhattan Thursday night for the 3rd annual Fashion’s Night Out. Even though we sort of knew what to expect, the evening turned out to be a clusterfuck–in a good way.

We’re still grappling with the events that took place that night, but we can report that for others, Fashion’s Night Out was quite a disappointment.

All throughout the streets of SoHo, the hordes jammed into any store they could get access to. Were they eager to shop? Not so much, but when a line is stretched around the corner there’s a sensory in our brains that makes us desire to be inside.

It was so crowded that there was no cell phone service, and as one dude remarked (as he waited for friends outside Helmut Lang), “We didn’t lose cell service during Hurricane Irene, but we lose it during Fashion’s Night Out?”

That was one of the last things we can recall from last night. Luckily for me, iPhone makes it easier to remember.

We started our night at Patricia Field’s fashion fun house on the Bowery at 6 on the dot (the only way to full advantage of the night is to start on time). The long-time East Village boutique–and a favorite among eclectic dressers and “Sex and The City” fans–promised a night of pierogies and vodka. What we found instead, after a fuss about an RSVP list by The Situation (or at least someone that awfully looked like The Situation), was a gang of employees, interestingly, in Lady Gaga-inspired get-ups standing around looking bored. And as for the bar, we were told that they never got a liquor license so all they were serving was coco water. Needless to say, we split in less than 5 minutes. So we ventured across the street to Field’s other art party at the new Veselka, which didn’t look a thing like our beloved Veselka, but instead like a chic-looking cafeteria. Though that didn’t matter much after we were kindly served some specialty cocktail (the bartender did go into detail about the mixture, but once he said it included St. Germaine we didn’t care about the rest ). Sadly instead of pierogies, all we got served was deviled eggs (with caviar!). Perhaps we got there too early, but after a couple of those drinks we were pumped for the next destination.

After we made our way through the mobs in SoHo we found ourselves at Helmut Lang, a brand more known for modern silhouettes than for hipster ragers. At this early point of the evening, Mercer and Spring resembled the chaotic mass of Mardi Gras. Half of the line outside was for the Helmut Lang party while the other was for Luke’s Lobster Truck who were giving out free lobster, shrimp, and crab rolls. Finally, real food. Although we didn’t stay for the much buzzed-about set by Best Coast, we did enjoy plenty of drinks, the nifty photobooth sessions in the dressing rooms, and even danced to an awesome DJ mix of New Order.

First, disclaimer: We weren’t particular keen on going to Ace Hotel, mostly because we knew we’d be dealing with a throng of people, and sure enough the the line was around the block. But with so much going on outside, including a full-on fair with pay-per-play games like skee ball and target shootings, not to mention ’80s dance music, who would want to leave? Once we did make it inside, the lobby, which normally has a retro decor made up of taxidermy, old medical books and leather club chairs was now unrecognizable. From cotton candy booths to vodka/cranberry snow cones, Ace Hotel lived up to the hype. Oh, yes, Missy Piggy would be making a grand appearance, stepping out from the red-velvet curtains onto a very large stage, but we simply couldn’t commit to waiting for her (some fans waited more than two hours to for a glimpse of the Muppet). No disrespect though.

Saks was supposed to be our end-of-the-night destination because they had so many activities lined-up. We were especially looking forward to the tarot card readings, but by the time we got there everything was pretty much dying down. The braid-bar was done, we couldn’t find the Santos Party House crew, though we did get a chance at a Marc Jacobs “One Night Stand” manicure (instead of polish, it’s stickers..clever), and caught a sighting of ?uestlove. So after a quick beach ball game and surf simulation (hey, why not?) we called it a night.

But before we could really wrap things up, we saw a cute boutique on the Upper East Side called Pachute offering champagne and hors d’oeuvres so we stepped inside. The owner disclosed to us that they had quite a busy night with actual shoppers shopping. She said it was their first FNO and wanted to be a part of the festivities. While the big department stores and designers stores mostly attracted revelers, even though the intention is to spend money, she said she did have a steady stream of people purchasing items. So how about that, FNO did end up paying off in the end.