This year, we turned everything on its head and decided NOT to go uptown for Fashion's Night Out. We chose to sample the Fashion's Night Out's downtown venues instead. Beside the fact that they did a much better job explaining who was where, doing what, and when, we tried to maximize coverage across several neighborhoods: NOHO, SOHO and the Meatpacking District. We think it turned out to be the right decision, but you be the judge. (Read on for more about our adventures and this Marc Jacobs pop-up truck.)
NOHO - Odin/Lafayette St.
After meeting at MOMA on Spring Street, which was preparing to exhibit threeAsFour products (bags, shirts, scarves) using Yoko Ono designs, we headed to Odin New York (119 Lafayette Street). Designers Shipley & Halmos partnered with Guerilla Ice Cream to serve summer-flavored ice cream and donate all proceeds to the Street Vendor Project. Neither of us was game enough to try the Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale and honey flavor ice cream even after a free sample. Here is Valerie trying three of the four flavors offered. Both of my selections (chocolate and port wine ice cream with bruleed bananas and cashew sprinkles, and mango ice cream mixed with fruit something-or-other) were scrumptious. Check out GuerillaIceCream.com for ice cream-making classes and events. (Valerie says: I second Jean's enthusiasm for Guerilla Ice Cream. I also tried the mango and the chocolate with port wine; my third selection was chai. If you twisted my arm to designate a favorite, I'd have to say the chai, mostly because there were flavors I'd never tasted in ice cream before. Chocolate with port wine was a VERY interesting combo. Mango only loses out because I've been spoiled for choice this summer, what with fresh mangoes on the street, frozen mango margueritas at Tabla - till they inexplicably took them off the menu - and Ciao Bella mango sorbet.)
While we were sitting in the little park on Lafayette Street and Cleveland Place enjoying our ice cream, photographer John Lamparski stopped by to say hi, but only just barely -- he was too hungry and too busy after shooting the Nicole Miller show to stop and chat, so we waved him on his way. I spied this fabulous graffiti from my park bench and enticed Valerie to take my photo. I especially loved "HACULLA" spelled out on the teeth on the cyclops cartoon creature.
Like four sirens of mythology luring sailors with their songs, this quartet of fabulous babes beckoned shoppers into Bebe on Broadway near Spring Street by dancing to pounding rock music and modeling their wares. Needless to say, they drew quite a crowd.
As you can see, some took Fashion's Night Out as a personal challenge. This gentleman, who was walking south on Broadway between Prince and Spring Streets, accessorized his bright white summer cottons with fox fur (an Idiosyncratic Fashionistas' no-no) and crystal-lensed sunglasses for an oversized statement. Sort of Mr. T meets Snookie!
The Marc Jacobs Van, Broadway
Just north on Broadway, we encountered Marc by Marc Jacobs' latest twist on the pop-up shop -- the pop-up truck. Shoppers could just step up to the curb and order accessories through the window of this customized ice cream van. Judging from the crowd, business was brisk.
Kate Spade, Broome Street
Our next stop was Kate Spade New York (454 Broome St.) because Tim Gunn and Deborah Lloyd, creative director of Kate Spade were purportedly to be on hand to judge displays inspired by Gunn's new book. Although neither made an appearance while we were there, we did meet Tim Boyle, who had designed and made the fabulous camo poncho he was wearing, and his friend, Bruce, also a designer. We compared notes and were not surprised that they had many of the same destinations on their dance card as we.
Valerie managed to snap this woman's picture as we worked our way through the crowd to the door. Valerie says: from the side, it was even more of a work of art, but we weren't always able to get exactly the shots we wanted. Throughout the course of the evening, we crossed paths with COUNTLESS fabulous people, only a smattering of whom we were able to photograph.
Nicole Miller, Greene Street
Next stop: Nicole Miller where we got to meet the redhead designer herself, thanks to a very attentive member of her staff (see him below in suspenders and white socks). Slim and trim and wearing beautifully high-heeled shoes, she couldn't have been more gracious host. She thoroughly enjoyed the crowd and surveyed all of the goings-on from her perch near the front of the store. The revelers in her shop represented an eclectic mix of fashion styles.
Contributing to the high energy vibe was the music pumping through the space, courtesy of DJ Tiger Lilly. Trust me, she was even more gorgeous in person. No surprise: when she's not spinning, she also models.
When she saw us, the DJ waved us over and insisted that we join her -- on the DJ stand! She literally pulled each of us up onto her stage, which was about 3 feet above the crowd. Do not adjust your television sets. No, I am not still on the ground looking up. I am in the DJ booth with Tyger Lilly. She really is that tall. She was very funny and very sweet. Just wish I had a dollar for every photograph people took of the three of us! (Valerie says: it HAD to be the hats!)
Co-hosting the event with Nicole was singer Cassie, photographed here with her posse of friends. What an eyeful - beautiful and talented. This 26 year old, whose song "Me & U" was her first big hit in 2006, started modeling at age 14. She's an old timer at dealing with crowds of people. Valerie says: I LUVVED her shaved hair style. She does it so much better than I do.
Here we are with photographer, artist and blogger Ricky Day. Valerie says: I don't know what drinks they were serving, but they were exquisitely flavorful. (I certainly look like I'm enjoying mine!)
I loved this guy's socks! And, he wore his suspenders backwards and off the shoulders -- hmm, a new fashion trend? He's the one who brought us to meet Nicole. We felt very honored.
This little acid red-tressed vixen had a Hello Kitty tattoo to match her ring!
Out on the street again, and off to our next destination, we ran into this handsome fellow wearing the most wonderful Gareth Pugh shirt. The photo doesn't do him or the shirt justice.
Here is the tank top version of the official 2010 Fashion's Night Out tee-shirt. There were also short sleeved and long sleeved versions in white, and grey and a hoodie. She's one of very few who can wear the shirt over her skirt and still look fabulous.
Valerie says: outside of Y-3 on Greene Street, we ran into Jasmin Rodriguez (in yellow) and Mimi Loubeau, a pair with so much spark between them that they just about need to dress in flame retardant fabrics. Find out more about Mimi at therealmimi.com; and more about Jasmin at vintagevandalizm.com. Y-3 was pouring glasses of Veuve Cliquot, and models were showing the fall selection. Here are three of the models strutting their stuff for the camera. I fell in love with the middle model's hair. It doesn't look it here, but I think it was purple. Worked great with her shirt.
Anna Sui, Greene Street
Jean says: Takashi and I spied each other from across the store, pointed and screamed at the same time. I hadn't seen him since he modeled amazing headgear in the the Uta Bekala fashion show at Ideal Glass Gallery last February. He was dressed to kill, as they say, complete with a cool black fan that I nearly wrestled him to the ground for. it was nice to know somebody carries a heavier bag than I do!
When we emerged from Pleats Please, we ran into the street artist extraordinaire known as The Me Nobody Knows. Last time we saw him, he took our pictures and put us on his blog. This time, we asked to shoot his picture, and true to form, he obscured his face. He just returned from a very successful sold-out show of his work in Norway. Bravo!
Comptoir des Cotonniers, Spring Street
Jean says: We stopped into this French ready to wear shop and were instantly recruited by Goldie to participate in their "I LOVE ...I HATE,,," campaign. When they handed Valerie a billboard to fill in the blanks, she wrote: "I LOVE Champagne ... I HATE thoughtless businessmen." They then photographed her with the new FujiFilm "instax" camera and presented her with her own "portrait to go". Since I had no original thoughts of my own, they put me in with Valerie and did a second shot of the two of us with her sign. As we were leaving, Valerie complimented Goldie on her fingerless gloves. She looked at us, ran off for a minute and returned with two pairs for us! How fab. "I LOVE swag"!
Valerie says: I was uncharacteristically non-plussed by their challenge. When daydreaming, one ALWAYS knows EXACTLY what to say when given a seemingly simple task like this. And then when it actually happens... NOTHING! Nothing comes to mind! Deer in headlights syndrome! I stand by my love and hate, but I wish I'd written something meatier. By the way, for those of you in our age demographic, don't these wonderful little mittens remind you of the stunningly menacing Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter? Look closely at his knuckles... (Click on the photo for a better view.)
Dolce & Gabbana, West Broadway
The scene in Dolce and Gabbana: jammed with people drinking Heinken and screaming over the 300 decibel music. Out on the street, we just about chased Sergio to get his photograph. Besides being wonderfully dressed, he has his mass of dreadlocks coiled into a ring atop his head. Again, the photo doesn't do him justice. And Sergio has these great cheekbones that the hair style accentuated. Way cool! Check out Sergio's blog, Runway Wonderland, whose subtitle reads FIND YOUR ENVELOPE AND PUSH IT.
Shortly after we left Dolce and Gabbana, we encountered this Marie Antoinette wannabe voguing for the camera.
Chanel, Spring Street
Jean was stopped by an admirer, who then told her that Karl Lagerfeld was just across the street from us at Chanel. It was an absolute mob scene, with people four deep. We watched for a few minutes, but were never able to glimpse Kaiser Karl amid all the mayhem.
West Broadway, Greene Street
The night was filled with Mutual Admiration Societies. Can't remember if we stopped them or they stopped us, but we all had our cameras out in turn.
We ran into this lovely trio just up the block. The daughters, who live in New York City, are entertaining their mom, who is visiting from Florida. They vamped it up for the camera.
I call this shot "West Broadway Waif". She never spoke. She only giggled. A lot.
Meatpacking District / Washington Street
Does the back end of the bus make me look like...?
Well, as Jean noted last week, animal prints are back, BIG, as you can see here.
Jean spotted this bus full of dancing revelers. It was right around Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. Wish we had a video - these people look like they're standing, but they're shaking it.
Washington Street / West 14th Street
More Mutual Admiration Society. We ran into them after we checked out Diane von Furstenburg's store. Of COURSE we looked great, but we had a lot of help from our hats. We had our eyes peeled for like-minded folk, but probably fewer than 1 person in 100 wore a hat, and most were of the street vendor fedora variety.
This "Catch Me if You Ken" truck carried six real-life Ken dolls. The truck elicited howls from the crowd. It was a truly surreal experience. Because people of both sexes were kissing the glass, a guy kept coming around with a spray bottle and cloth to clean up.
Jean says: Formal Date Ken had a lot of attitude. He reminded me way too much of my high school junior prom date.
Surf Date Ken was my favorite. Just the right amount of beefcake for a PG-13 rating. He had a surfboard attached to the wall. You could see the wire tether above his swim trunks that was used to hold each of the Kens in place while the truck was in motion. Gallery Date Ken (his next door neighbor) even had an easel and paint brushes as props.
Near Spice Market
We had spied this woman earlier in the evening in DVF. We ran into her as we were heading home. When we told her how great she looked, she told us she had designed and made her outfit. Her friend, not pictured here, made her black feathered wig in about three hours' time. Great work!
After the ball is over... how subdued the subway is by comparison as we all straggled home. This gent, if you can make it out, is wearing studded leather shoes with high heels. Jean sez: Click on the photo to enlarge. I love the fact that he is wearing green socks with his dominatrix shoes! Perfect end to a perfect evening.
Valerie is wearing: a vintage black and red straw and silk hat labeled (of all things) 'Gertrude Schenectady'; my new Issey Miyake coat (shown in the recent Binging and Purging post), a vintage Issey Miyake leather and elastic belt, vintage full length Issey crinkle dress (shown in several earlier posts), my brand new post-surgery Nicole brand already passe gladiator sandals (also shown in Binging and Purging), and a variety of Mexican silver.
Jean is wearing: an Ignatius hat, Kedem Sasson skirt, Express black and white striped top, Ensemble sleeveless shawl clasped with a pin made from vintage bakelite Mah Jong tiles, red wooden gum ball necklace, assorted red resin and vintage bakelite rings and bracelets, Angela Caputi red resin bracelet with Greek key design, Tokyo Boy watch with red band, Betsey Johnson black and white striped socks and Dansko clogs.