Fashion’s Night Out By Samantha von Sperling
As I weave up Madison Avenue, throngs of styled out fashionistas strut their stuff in stilettos or teeter depending on level experience, turning the thoroughfare into one gigantic runway show. One of the greatest nights of the year for not only fashion forecasting but people watching.
Maneuvering in an out of stores It was interesting to see who was doing what and how they had organized it. It ranged from doing absolutely nothing except staying open late, to lovely events with music, champaign and hors d’oeuvres to velvet ropes with gate keepers with lists, to over crowded over hyped, garish events I did not understand or see the appeal in.
As an image consultant, I get invited to a lot of things during fashion week but for me the coveted invitation is to Giorgio Armani. Of all the events all over town, it is the chicest, most opulent and I feel the most intelligent as far as integrating lifestyle and the arts. Last night a Q and A discussion with Samuel L Jackson and Angela Bassett led by Vogue’s contributing editor Adam Green about their new stage performance that explores an intimate look at Martin Luther King as a man apart from being a cultural and political icon.
I can only describe the feeling in that room as magical. It had everything, all the trappings of the most elegant soirées, amazing clothes (as always), limitless style between the collection and the guests, huge stars in an intimate setting and a discussion that had me so engaged my pulse was racing. I was not alone, there was a collective energy in that room potent enough to rebuild the world if only the whole world could have shared it.
Although Fashion’s Night out was meant to be an international evening of festivities meant to bolster the economy through patronage to the fashion industry, I saw very few shopping bags to offset the seemingly endless flow of Champaign. Has Fashion’s Night Out become more hoopla than help to the fashion industry, just part of the annual advertising budgets?
Perhaps. But it also makes Fashion Week accessible to everyone at a time when magazine sales are down and not everyone can get into the shows. It’s a very clever way of engaging the consumer public. Without consumers there is no fashion industry. The fashion houses may make the styles and the media may do their best to manipulate our thoughts about what’s hot and what’s not but at the end of the day what we wear and how we wear it is still our decision.