Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion's Night Out (AKA BlogHer Pt. 2)

I've lived in NYC for over 5 years now and have never participated in FNO (Fashion's Night Out) until yesterday. I've never been a fashion-centric person (I'm more of a foodie!), but I can definitely appreciate an opportunity for a fun night in the city and it definitely did deliver!

For me, FNO started with Dark and Lovely's Fashion Bloggers Breakfast. As a partner with Harlem's Fashion Row, they featured a panel at the lovely Bryant Park Hotel with celebrity hairstylist, Keith Campbell, model, Sessilee Lopez, and up and coming designer, Samantha Black.

It was a candid and fun panel moderated by Corynne Corbett, ESSENCE Magazine's Beauty Director, about how the panelists broke into their respective industries, their challenges and their plans for the future.  

I didn't take my DSLR with me but did snap a few phone pics (I'll update with pro pics when they're shared!):

We were treated to a preview of Harlem's Fashion Row designers and their work
I had the pleasure of meeting Afrobella
After I ran home, ate and got ready to head to FNO with my sister Ariane and friend Kendra. They had attended FNO before and had an action plan and everything. I called myself "dipping my toes into the water" so only planned to go to one private party in Soho and bask in the general ambiance of FNO.

Karen Millen's party sponsored by Daily Candy and Pantene was my one stop shop of FNO. It had a great DJ, drinks, sweet treats and mini-beauty stations. Getting to the party was intense - the streets were packed solid with people! I could have wandered about people watching, but instead I was on a mission . . .

I stood in line to get my nails done for over 30 minutes only to get to the front for them to say they were closing down shop. I'm not a very confrontational person so I expressed disappointment but Kendra would not let me back down (thank you Kendra!). She identified a "nice lady" in charge and encouraged me to get her to let me get my nails done. Alas, she and the patient nail techinician had mercy. Here's the finished style:

I'm usually a neutral kinda girl (OPI's Samoan Sand is my fave!), but it was fun to try something adventurous (and Mr. Love Bird approved!)
I had never tried Minx before and I really like the accent nail - although an odd character in a mask at the party was kinda harassing me about the weirdness of it. Kendra kindly pointed out to him that he was in a mask so who really was the weird one???

Moving on . . .

My sister got the Minx treatment on her nails too and the three of us headed out into the streets. There was a lot of ratchedness (Mr. Love Bird abhors my use of that word, but it perfectly describes so many things in this wonderful city of New York!).

Up to mischief at FNO!
Once we got outside we noticed a pack of people following a really, really tall man. Turned out to be Tyson Chandler who plays for the Knicks. Ariane and Kendra took off  running determined to get a picture as he headed into DVF so we stalked waited for him outside the boutique. Finally we got inside snapped a few pictures but Ariane was determined and got a picture with him outside before he was whisked away in his Escalade to another party, but not before his entourage was cat-calling after us.

That was enough excitement for me and I called it a night! It was so overwhelming with the hundreds (probably thousands) milling about the streets. people were surfing taxis, chanting in groups (about what I don't know!) and just general craziness, but it was totally fun! You could feel the energy and excitement and knowing there was so much going on that I didn't even touch the surface with my experience reminded me of all the craziness of BlogHer x10. In a way BlogHer kinda prepared me for FNO.

Next year I plan to attack FNO like I did BlogHer. I'll take the time to seek out events (you can create an itinerary on the website to share with your friends - my sister did but I was too lame to do this!). Maybe I'll even extend into Fashion Week itself and try to see a show.

I'm definitely not trying to become a fashion blogger, but since I'm in the middle of the fashion capital of the world I can definitely see it becoming a hobby! I was very thankful that I brought my flip flops along to change into and next year may just rock flats AND bring my DSLR in a stylish bag (I'm thinking Ona or Epiphanie). 

What are your thoughts on FNO/Fashion Week? Did any of you celebrate in your respective cities? Do you watch the shows online?