2011 September 9

Oh, FNO! Adventures in Shopping...

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Lara Stone Lara Stone
Billy Farrell Agency
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(NEW YORK) Let's say you're a fashionette (or -et) who spent every summer weekend on "Long Island", returned to the city only to find herself in an Irene-y exile from Barneys, Bergdorf, Jeffrey, and Kirna, and is facing NYFW, LFW, MFW, and PFW with nary a shopping trip since...Spring sales! Could it be? For that fashionette, Fashion's Night Out (from now on, eternally, "FNO") is a duty. For the hoi polloi, it's free drinks and giveaways. But for everyone non-agorophobic enough to hit the streets of Manhattan (and Brooklyn! and Queens!) on this particular night, it's a mission.

Team Daily had no fewer than seven fearless reporters scouring the city, recorders in hand, angling for a moment or three with Rachel Zoe at Intermix, Michelle Tractenberg at wherever, that former Backstreet Boy at Kiehl's. But this Daily reporter, assigned to one stretch of Madison Avenue, set off en Schwinn and attempted to A, bid bonjour to the designers and B, try to make it up to Oscar before Sarah Jessica Parker had left the building.

First stop: Calvin Klein Collection. "T-shirts, t-shirts, t-shirts!" exclaimed Francisco Costa, clutching a handful of signed "I Love Lara"s, of his purchases. The Stone in question had arrived in New York this morning. Her life has irrevocably changed since landing the uber-coveted Calvin Klein contract (Collection, fragrance, jeans...does she do home, too?). As for how? "It's just better!" she laughed, as a fortysomething woman wielded a Blackberry and said, "Lara, can I take your picture?" She smiled gamely, but did she have a choice?

Onward to Barneys. Simon Doonan was lingering outside, presumably on his way home, around 7:40. Carine Roitfeld, whose voice hauntingly floats from the windows, was slated to make an appearance at some point. But otherwise, the store was blissfully gimmick-free. You know what that means! Scores of salespeople, a handful of wandering shoppers, and the best customer service the Daily has experienced in ages. (It doesn't hurt when you run into the Co-op fashion director, who directs you to the latest arrivals in the great pants category.)

One pair of divine Céline trousers later—thanks, in no particular order, to Phoebe, Tomoko, and Mark (for the general shopability)—and it was off to J.Mendel, where Vogue's Emily Holt had been styling clients. "I think this is the one," said one of the aforementioned heavy spenders, showing Gilles Mendel the chocolate mink stole draped around her shoulders. Darling, of course it is. Models in beaded evening gowns graced the windows, in case you needed any more inspiration. The white wine (free-flowing) made decision-making, quite literally, a breeze. After Mendel bid adieu to his ladies, he ambled over to Bergdorfs, credentials in hand, for a P.A..

The mood was equally ebuillient at Dennis Basso, where Lisa Anastos was one of the many DB diehards angling for some time with the master. "You're killing me!" he laughed on what must have been his thousandth airkiss. Cocktails, try-on sessions, socials: such was the scene.

The line outside of Dolce & Gabbana was sufficiently discouraging, so as the relentless hour of 8:30 (closing time!) approached, it was off to those two: Oscar and Carolina. As your Daily pulled up to the corner, SJP et entourage were already crossing the street to an awaiting car. "Oh, hi," she said to two full-suited businessman, snapping her photo via cameraphone. "Hi!"

Last stop: Carolina Herrera, where the Mrs. herself was surrounded by clients, her husband Reinaldo, and daughter Patricia. A slew of Puig types, both former (Phoebe Gubelmann!) and current (Caroline Brown, Amy McFarland) , were looking healthy, happy, and relaxed. "Am I ready for the show?" said the unflappable Mrs. Herrera. "Of course not! But I will be tomorrow." Oh yes! It's show time.


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