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In London, Henry Holland proclaimed FNO was “like late night shopping with extra Champagne.” The designer was playing host at Asprey on New Bond Street, where he was gifting the jewelry house’s Life rings to select pals, including Daisy Lowe and Pixie Geldof. And with a spring 2012 show looming next week, Holland said he appreciated the respite. “You don’t get the chance to nip out of the office as we’re working so hard, so this is great,” he said. Outside the Bond Street store, the road had been shut to traffic and hundreds of shoppers wended in and out of the luxury retailers on the street.
Nearby at Stella McCartney’s Bruton Street store, the designer had set up a kitsch disco with popcorn stands, lollipops and live dancers. McCartney co-hosted the event with her pals Livia Firth and Laura Bailey. "Stella throws the best parties,” marveled Firth, as she snapped pictures of a troupe of dancers clad in black and gold lame.
Meanwhile, Roland Mouret had thrown open his shop on Mayfair’s Carlos Place to celebrate both FNO and his 50th birthday, which took place on Saturday. “I thought at 50 you do things that count and my customers count so I am here,” said Mouret. “Plus, I have already had four parties." The designer served Champagne and cupcakes with sparkling icing, and treated his customers to a live display of his draping skills. The designer had also created three paper patterns for customers to replicate themselves, named after his mother and sisters, which are available as a limited edition and priced at about $30. “It’s a project anyone can do at home with some jersey and some ribbon,” assured Mouret.
And Coach brought a New York moment to its new London home on New Bond Street, as the company invited shoppers to pose against a backdrop of a New York skyline. Meanwhile, celeb guests including Gwyneth Paltrow, David Gandy and Jemma Kidd turned out at the store. Over at Liberty on Regent Street, the night took on a tropical mood. Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy, who’s known for spotting young fashion talent, was hosting a Hawaiian themed event called HonoLULU at the store, to celebrate the launch of her Lulu & Co collection with past Fashion East designers. There, guests including Jasmine Guinness and Simone Rocha — who has designed pieces for the line - browsed the collection and sipped rum and coconut cocktails. Rocha had even put a few tropical blooms in her hair to complement the decor. “Lulu said it was a Hawaiian theme, so I thought I’d make the effort,” she said with a smile.
Berlin's formerly divided status now means twice the events for Fashion's Night Out.
In the East, despite the rainy evening, the crowd hit The Corner for a fashion cocktail for Berlin designer Michael Sontag, whose fall collection is now stocked there. “We started selling his dresses from day one,” explained co-owner Josef Voelk. Models Katrin Thormann and Iris Strubegger were eyeing a gray Rick Owens leather jacket at the store. “But I can’t buy anything straight away. I need to go home and sleep over it,” Thormann confided.
Galeries Lafayette hosted Burberry beauty consultant Wendy Rowe, and set up a mini Cowshed spa for quick massages and manicures. An artist from Princesse Tam Tam lingerie drew quirky designs on ladies' silky scanties, while a seamstress created custom Edsor Kronen ties for the gents.
At nearby Departmentstore Quartier 206, the second floor turned into a silk road — London label Clare Tough and Berlin’s Odeeh both created limited-edition silk items for the night. Odeeh designers Jörg Ehrlich and Otto Drögsler were happy to be on hand and hands-on, assisting shoppers with fall purchases.
Across town in the West at the Hotel Concorde, local talents Mongrels in Common held a cocktail and sale in the bar area, hijacking a nearby elevator for their changing room — taking off instead of going up. Munich-based Selve, a custom footwear company, held a shoe-it-your-self salon upstairs on the hotel's 11th floor.
Schumacher, which now has stores in both sides of the city, kicked things off in its Schlüterstrasse shop with a surprise concert from violin virtuoso Arabella Steinbacher. The theme of the night was Lucky Numbers, with visitors receiving hand-painted tops featuring their digits of destiny. “I think I'd pick number eight,” said designer Dorothee Schumacher, who was also offering guests a chance to win an exclusive leather jacket straight off the runway in glossy green – the winning ticket was hidden in one of a batch of colorful patent clutches retailing for 99 euro ($140).
She wasn't the only one counting — German Vogue’s editor-in-chief Christiane Arp was gambling on a growth year for the event. "The first time we had 600 guests at KaDeWe. Last year, there were over 2,000. So that's a good outlook for tonight," said Arp. The line to enter the department store store was rivaled by the one inside — Chanel-lovers waiting to snap up the limited-edition Les Jeans de Chanel nail polish trio, available only on Fashion's Night Out, and only for four hours. On Friday, Vogue Fashion's Night Out moves to Dusseldorf, where it debuts this year.