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FNO NYC Recap: Mayhem across Manhattan

September 11, 2010 |  4:19 pm


The dollar count may not be done yet, but by sheer body count -- and the number of events that unspooled across New York City on Friday night -- the sophomore installment of Fashion's Night Out was an unmitigated success.

All The Ragers who found themselves in town for New York Fashion Week tried mightily to experience as much of the fashion-related frivolity as possible, starting the night at Barneys New York's 10-layer cake of chaos at Madison and 61st Street at 6:30 p.m., and ending it nearly four hours later outside the Balenciaga boutique (outside because the crowd turning out to hear model Karen Elson sing had reached capacity at the exact same moment we arrived).

Barneys seemed to serve up something for everybody, from a display of handmade Kouklitas dolls inspired by fashion icons (Anna Wintour and Grasce Coddington dolls greeted shoppers right inside the front door), to Simon Doonan posing (patiently) for photos and signing copies of his book "Eccentric Glamour," and Daphne Guinness signing bottles of her namesake fragrance.

The Lanvin boutique on Madison Avenue was wrapped in a white gauzy bow and selling limited-edition FNO T-shirts. Next-door at Donna Karan, live models struck poses in the window to the amusement of the few folks who weren't crammed cheek by jowl another door down waiting for Naomi Campbell and a cadre of hoofers to bust out a dance number (all wearing Dolce & Gabbana T-shirts with photos of Campbell on them).

Chanel was a beehive of activity -- with most of the activity focusing around the chance to order a pair of customized ballet flats (this Rager's better half left the store having plunked down a hefty deposit on a pair Fnoi_nyc3 in pink with a black patent leather cap toe).

Headed down to SoHo, the Rage Mobile passed Bergdorf Goodman which had amassed a crowd 10 people deep and curling around the block, awaiting appearances by the likes of Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Over the course of the evening details trickled in -- Oscar de la Renta and Mikhail Baryshnikov hitting the dance floor at Oscar de la Renta, lacrosse players showering in the window at Gant's 5th Avenue flagship (in honor of Michael Bastian's recent lacrosse-themed Gant collaboration) and too many poker tournaments, ping-pong games, special appearances and performances to count.

By the time we reached SoHo, the streets were so thick with shoppers and gawkers, the Rage Mobile was at a complete stop. Luckily, we were within a few yards of the Ralph Lauren store and were able to hear Janelle Monae as she started her performance in the front window. It was like being at a drive-through concert, and every time Monae turned to face the street, hundreds of people shouted their appreciation.

In truth, it was almost a blessing to get boxed out of Balenciaga. Even though we'd wanted to catch Elson (AKA Mrs. Jack White) croon, when the bouncer said: "We're at capacity -- it doesn't matter if you're on a list or not. We're at capacity," we willingly packed it in.

Because no matter what kind of front-row fit can be pitched, not even the fiercest stiletto-heeled fashionista would dare to go toe-to-toe with a Manhattan fire marshal.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from New York

Photos: Among the things to be seen in Manhattan during the second installment of Fashion's Night Out were; (At top, from left), a lacrosse player showering in the window at Gant (Credit: Gant), Kouklitas dolls depicting Ruben and Isabel Toledo on display at Barneys (Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times), and singer Janelle Monae striking a pose in the window of Ralph Lauren's SoHo boutique (that's a branch from the tree outside obscuring her eyes). (Credit Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times). At bottom, Simon Doonan poses with shoppers at Barneys. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times