Friday, September 9, 2011

Fashion's Night Out 2011: The Recap

Tori Gonzales, Courtney Kerr & Anna-Sophia Van Zweden
Fashion's Night Out was created in 2009 by Vogue's Anna Wintour as way to gin up excitement about the upcoming shopping season. Times had been desperate for retailers and designers; and this was a way to lure penny-pinching consumers into stores when the merchandise was at full price.

FNO was not about celebrating the runways, high-end designers and rarified goods; instead, it was a wholly commercial endeavor, one that sought the participation of every brand from Giorgio Armani to Zara.

Since 2009, FNO has evolved into a one-day gorge-fest of special guest appearances in boutiques large and small, hipster DJs, indie bands, a mass runway shows, a televised documentary on CBS and enough cocktail parties to pickle every liver from New York to Dallas to Los Angeles to London and Milan.

While the purpose of this event might be to drum up store sales... my interest in this event was (for the most part) purely superficial. I headed out last night to see what everyone was wearing!  From new Fall designs to stiletto shoes to fabulous accessories, Dallas's fashionistas pulled out all the stops last night.  It was fantastic to see so much hustle and bustle everywhere I went.

I started off the night at NorthPark Center, making Intermix my first stop. Most Eligible Dallas star, Courtney Kerr, was hosting their kickoff party and - no surprise - she looked amazing in gold lame shorts. Ah, to be young again... I also ran into global socialite Anna-Sophia Van Zweden, who will host next weekend's Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. This event is sure to be one of THE hottest tickets in town and I will be there to witness it all!

Next stop was Cole Haan, where I registered to win a free pair of shoes every month for a year. (fingers crossed) Then I scooted over to Neiman Marcus to catch up with fellow fashion bloggers (see pic below) Amber Venz of, Krystal Schlegel of, Bradley Agather and Alison Gross of who hosted a runway show with their picks for the best in Fall trends.

LeeAnne Locken
Next up was a private party at Gregory's. Grammy-winning artist Erykah Badu was spinning under her pseudonym DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown and the event was hosted by Farnzworth Bentley.  

LeeAnne Locken and I got a big kick out of the boots seen pictured here ----> Not sure who would actually wear boots giving you the bird, but they made for great conversation.  D Magazine's Most Beautiful nominee Pat Smith, Hamilton Sneed and former Dallas Cowboy Roy Williams were also on hand to hear Ms. Badu do her thang.

I then zoomed over to TOOTSIES for a quick stop to air-kiss reality TV stars, Most Eligible Dallas' Tara Harper and Drew Ginsburg. I have to admit, that I thought TOOTSIES wouldn't be that well attended, just because I figured most people would want to hit the major malls where you could hit up a lot of places. 

Boy, was I wrong. Alison Volk and her team get my award for the BEST event of the night. The second floor of the store had been transformed into a disco lounge and it was rockin'.  It was wall-to-wall people who were there to shop and party! 

Check it out, guys. Here's what you missed if you weren't at TOOTSIES last night!

I wish I could have stayed longer, but I was rushing to get to Highland Park Village and make the 9 PM fashion show produced by Jan Strimple.  So, after a big bear hug from Drew Ginsburg, a quick glass of bubbly with Big Rich Texas stars Melissa and Maddie Poe I was back on the road.

I call myself a "lucky parker" because I always find a front row parking spot. Even at the Galleria on Christmas Eve. It's a talent. I have it.  At Highland Park Village, I whipped right in a great spot and was able to dash into SCOOP to see Lisa Petty and stylist Stephanie Hernandez Quadri before catching the outdoor runway show - which was phenomenal!  Sadly, all of the stores started to close and I didn't get to enjoy much else happening there.

My poor feet were aching, so I raced home to change into a different outfit so I could change shoes, and headed across town to end the night at GiltCity's soiree with host Abi Ferrin at the Foundation Room at House of Blues.  And here's how the night ended up... with much dancing from music spun by DJ Jennifer Miller and Paul Paredes and lots of grey Goose cocktails. I can't wait for FNO 2012!!

(left) Jarrod Fresquez gets his groove on (right) Abi Ferrin with GiltCity's Melanie Schanz