MANHATTAN - New York's annual Fashion's Night Out, now in its third year, is a chance to catch all the hottest trends and see designers' newest collections. But that's not all the swanky star-studded night has to offer.
From talent contests to dance parties, the Sept. 8 event promises once again to be the one of the biggest parties of the year for Manhattan's savviest fashionistas. Check out the guide below to navigate the hottest spots as New York's fashion week kicks off this year.
"FNO is the back-to-school for grownups," designer Diane von Furstenberg said on the Fashion's Night Out Facebook page. "[It's] the day you decide to build your wardrobe for the season...or buy the handbag you cannot resist buying."
Venues throughout the city will make shoppers feel like excited schoolchildren when they're given a chance to see the industry's top designers introduce their new lines and designs.
From 6 to 9 p.m., Macy's Herald Square will be packed with designers, models and celebrities who are on-hand to help shop. Designers Tommy Hilfiger and Rachel Roy and celebrities such as supermodel Coco Rocha and New York Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire will be around for consultations on shopping, dance parties and performances.
Further uptown, designers Alistair Carr, Christian Cota and Doo Ri will help shoppers navigate new trends at the swanky Saks Fifth Avenue department store. Fashionistas scouting for upscale threads will also be soothed with truffles and designer 'dos, compliments of the Rebecca Minkoff Hairbraiding Bar.
Other designers who'll be out for the big night include Donna Karan, Vera Wang, and Kenneth Cole.
FASHION GURUS GET COMPETITIVE
Designers won't be the only ones trying for a competitive edge at the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Department stores and boutiques around Manhattan will give shoppers a chance to sharpen their skills and compete head-to-head for fabulous prizes.
At Bloomingdale's, shoppers tired of perusing the latest trends can drop the shopping bags and flex their muscles with a few rounds of Foosball during a tournament hosted by the men's department of 7 for All Mankind, starting at 6 p.m. Afterwards, participants can cruise over to the Fred Perry Bowl-Off, starting at 7 p.m., where shoppers will compete at skee ball to win tickets to the Brooklyn Bowl. There'll also be performances and games.
Downtown at Alexander Wang, the fashion icon is hosting a talent contest ahead of Fashion's Night Out, offering contenders a 30- to 90-second chance to blow him away. The winner will be invited to perform live at the store on Fashion's Night Out.
Videos should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org before Aug. 22.
FOODIES AND FASHIONISTAS
Who says food and fashion can't go together? From gourmet dishes to junk food snacks, several stores will keep shoppers fueled to power through the night.
At alice + olivia, hungry shoppers will be fed popcorn, Sno-Cones and cotton candy while they peruse the season's latest dresses. After they've had their fill, satisfied shoppers can enjoy a few old-fashioned carnival games, made available in the store.
Cours La Reine, the gourmet pastry shop that's recently expanded it's reach with a new pop-up shop schedule, is creating delectable dishes that they say are fit for even the pickiest fashionistas. The store will be hosting a Macaron event with pastries made from fall colors and seasonal flavors. The chic pastries petit fours are also on the menu. The shop is used to a fashionable clientele, as former clients include Yves Saint Laurent, Zadig et Voltaire and Eva Scrivo.