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Out And About On Fashion’s Night Out

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As the first day of shows at Lincoln Center was coming to a close, the FNO festivities uptown were already in full swing. Michael Kors put on his own version of American Idol, turning his Madison Avenue store into a karaoke parlor for amateur contestants and bringing in Kate Upton, Nikki Reed, and Debra Messing to judge. Of FNO, Kors said, “It’s a new holiday. It’s Halloween, it’s New Year’s, and it’s all about style.”

Not far away, a more seasoned performer was taking the stage at Manolo Blahnik: Cyndi Lauper. “It’s kinky boot night!” Lauper said. (Kinky Boots is the name of the new musical she’s developing, about a drag queen and a shoemaker, which will head to Broadway next year; Lauper was wearing a red suede pair by Blahnik for the occasion.) “I love fashion, I’m sorry, I do. I like to give it a twist here and there, a little tug and a pull, deconstruct it a little. I don’t want to look in a magazine and see a 12-year-old in something I’m being pitched to wear.”

At the Calvin Klein store, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat was signing copies of his new book A Father First, while models including Karen Elson, Hanne Gaby Odiele, and Kasia Struss, fluttered about. “I always like to push the envelope a little bit,” Wade told Style.com as Ryan Lochte walked by. “With athletes the door is open for us in fashion, and we’re getting into it and enjoying it.” One block over at Bergdorf Goodman, Aerin Lauder (who was celebrating the launch of her eponymous cosmetics line) kick-started the retailer’s 111th birthday celebrations, which later in the night included visits from a host of boldface names like Thakoon Panchigul, Bobbi Brown, and Victoria Beckham and various festivities on the different floors. The scene at Saks was also a multi-story party, ranging from Oscar de la Renta signing fragrance bottles to manicures with Rebecca Minkoff to ping-pong with Susan Sarandon. Before her performance on the eighth floor, songstress Vanessa Carlton admitted, “I’ve never played a shoe floor—there’s some really nice shoes here. And, I’ve never played Saks before.”

It was a night of many firsts. At Bottega Veneta, creative director Tomas Maier was enjoying his first-ever FNO in New York, and over at Ferragamo, Miroslava Duma, Elena Perminova, and Anya Ziourova were hosting their first fête at Ferragamo, in honor of the Italian label’s Russian-themed Fall collection. “At first I thought it would be very overwhelming because I’ve never hosted a night before, but now I think it’s amazing,” Ziourova told Style.com while she clutched her Fabergé egg bag. As waiters passed out latkes, borscht tartar, and plenty of vodka, Duma said, “You know, Russians really love toasts. Sometimes there are people in Russia that, when they’re drunk, they’ll go on toasting for 20 or 30 minutes without reason. But tonight we’ll toast by saying good luck to the fashion industry.” A few guests at the Fivestory party, hosted by Olympia Le-Tan, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, and Arielle de Pinto, could have used that luck for the cut-throat game of Pictionary that was taking place. “I lost,” Le-Tan reported. “The first theme was ‘fashion people’ and I drew Donatella Versace. I think I did a good job but then someone on my team had to draw Mad Men and it was terrible so we lost.”

Downtown in Soho, the streets were so packed you could barely move. But the DKNY store, conveniently spacious and air-conditioned, offered some relief. That is, except where model-of-the-moment Karlie Kloss, who just signed with IMG, was standing. A crowd gathered around Kloss, who was holding a tray of Karlie’s Kookies (get the recipe here) made in collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar. “They are fashion-week approved,” she told Style.com (translation: “There is no butter and no sugar”). And better yet, she swears she eats them. “I have been eating them all day, I just came from the bakery.” There to support a different kind of FEED was Lauren Bush Lauren, hawking her do-gooder bags.

Over on the west side at Balenciaga, the line wrapped around the store for an audience with Grace Coddington, Vogue‘s longtime creative director. She couldn’t take all the credit. Some went to Pumpkin, her beloved tabby, whom she’d illustrated wearing several seasons’ worth of Balenciaga looks for a Steidl book some years back. Her friend Nicolas Ghesquière was so taken with them that the label printed them on limited-edition bags and scarves, which Coddington happily signed for fans at Balenciaga’s West Chelsea store for FNO. What does Pumpkin think of her newfound fame? “She loves it!” Coddington reported, though, a more press-shy starlet than her owner, Pumpkin wasn’t in attendance last night. A few blocks away, black was the color of the evening—as in BLACK, Comme des Garçons’ popup-turned-permanent store on 17th Street. Only a few shoppers at a time could fit into the minuscule store space, but many more made an impromptu block party outside, fueled by ice cream from a Brooklyn churner. Near nine o’clock, the designated cutoff time, there seemed no signs of dispersal—perhaps because the plastic snap-band watches CDG offered gratis as FNO gifts were all showing Japanese time. Diane von Furstenberg, however, was running on Democratic National Convention time last night. “Let’s all meditate,” she commanded at her Meatpacking District space. “Today is a little crazy so I’m going to go upstairs to watch the President.” Cue loud cheers. “I see this is not a Republican crowd,” she quipped. “Good, we have that in common.”

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of photos from the night.

Photo: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

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