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Paris vs New York – Fashion’s Night Out 2010

Warning : my American raised bias comes out a teeny bit in this post!

I think that sometimes the Parisian fashion world can be a little blind and a little too stuck-in-its ways. September 7th was the Paris version of Fashion’s Night Out, an event started by Anna Wintour in New York last year to stimulate shopping and a small part of the economy called – retail. This year hundreds of cities are joining in the fun… and Paris apparently being zee capeeetal of fashion to many, of course hopped on the wagon again (or princess float, or magic carpet or what-have-you).

But I have a little bone to Pick with Paris’ Fashion’s Night Out. Yes we all know and adore the LVMH brands and they most certainly are iconic and level-defining brands of fashion, but that’s just the issue. This is all we see in Paris. There is never anything fresh, new, dangerous and exciting outside of their invite-only-carefully-planned and protected monde de la mode. Paris’ FNO was held on the most expensive street in the city, and between coupes de champagne and a bises or two on a powdered cheek, it was a self-back-patting event for the same ‘ol same ‘ol…. oh and a few bloggers who were able to squeeze their way in a door or two or at least stand on the stoop.

Mademoiselle à Paris

Trendy Gourmandise

Big Beauty

But you know what, even though I can gush with the rest of them over the new collections and gorgeous frocks that come into season… I want to see some spark in Paris! Something that has character, meaning and is bold beyond the usual shock value or glammed up couture that we are supposed to all swoon over. C’mon, show some muscle Paris! Show some real innovation! Fashion’s Night Out is for opening up to the world, not sectioning off your most exclusive street!

These are the times when I look to that rash and brazen attitude of New York city for a little bit of fresh air and dare. So Sorry Paris, I love you but, when it comes to throwing a party, You got nothin’ on New York City Baby!

New York , New York, put out all the stops for fashionistas, trendy youth, seasoned fashion people, bloggers, and the general public to throw the biggest fashion bash of them all! (The official charity being sponsored is the NYC AIDS Fund in the New York Community Trust; some of the proceeds from the official FNO clothing being donated.)

Volkswagon put out a fleet of vehicles for anyone with a receipt from an FNO participating store so people didn’t have to wait for cabs. How nice of them! Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were the judges of a karaoke contest at Barney’s! The city was alive with shoppers, models, bloggers, press, stars and designers all celebrating together. Frederic Fekkai Salon and Marchesa give a chance to have a ‘red carpet moment’ to fashionista nobodies at Henri Bendel’s. Competitions, give-aways, games and fun were available for everyone. Victoria Secret gave out make-overs, and people could meet super model Adriana Lima. Bergdorf Goodman held a best in show doggie fashion show! (see some pics in this article). Gentlemen were invited to escape the female frenzy at the cigar bar set up at UrbanDaddy. Tommy Hilfiger was tailgating on Broadway (in style of course!). Kate Spade hosted a window display contest with Tim Gunn of Project Runway…

…And all of this is just the tip of the top hat of fashion fun there was to be had in the Big Apple. Find the best of here, and Prête Moi Paris’ fave Stateside blogger Miami Olivia’s up close and personal recount of the fun-filled event HERE!

Frenchie Garance Doré was in New York for the fun. “C’est ouvert à tout le monde.” She says on her blog post from today (Sept. 11, 2010). And that’s the point, open to everyone.

I say, Paris, take note and put a little more bang into it next year, else the Parisians start to feel a little “curb-sided” fashionably speaking of course!


  1. Something different was going on in each window at Bergdorfs. One had a designer on top of a towering ladder dripping pink and white candle wax over an enormously tall headless mannequin dressed in a gown made of yards of white roses. Another had dance groups performing in black light iridescent clothing. YSL had male models licking the handbags in their windows. Everyone was in a party frock and multi-inch heels, music was playing from every corner and everyone was invited! I even saw the world’s top designers walk their pampered pooches down a purple runway. Marchesa designer Keren Craig won in her voluminous magenta ruffled gown. You couldn’t have more fun in your life! Even Karl Lagerfeld Himself, was there, avec iPhone to snap fotos of someone else at the opening of the new Chanel Store in Soho. Sorry Paris, this time, we beat you!

  2. The Paris FNO is a disappointment! You need special invites for each shop, hardly anything is open to the public and there’s no sense of community. NY definitely takes the win!

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