Last Friday was Fashion’s Night Out, the kick off for this week’s New York Fashion Week. For those unfamiliar with Fashion Week, it is when fashion labels show the public things that no one can wear for several months, due to the weather, or can never wear ever, due to large amounts of fat on said public. For those unfamiliar with Fashion’s Night Out, it is essentially an adult version of Halloween – people dress up, there’s copious amounts of drinking, and free crap is given out.
I’ve always thought the name “Fashion’s Night Out” was a bit misleading. It’s fashion, isn’t EVERY night a night out? It’s not like Fashion decides on Tuesdays to hit up yoga, Wednesday making dumplings for it’s grandma, and then Thursday catching up on it’s summer reading.
To be sure, I’ve never been to any Fashion Night Out before, so after hearing all sorts of hooply about parties at which the Olsen twins serve Budweisers while Karl Lagerfeld mans a nacho cart. I had to check it out.
So I put on my finest (track) suit, filled my Camelback with beer, and headed out on the town.
The night started off pretty slow. Sure, there were the usual circus performers, and people dressed as like elephants like out of your worst Surrealist nightmare:
But considering that this is New York, was any of that really that weird? No. I wanted to see some really weird shit – something that really touched my soul and my pancreas at the same time, that showed me the limit of human creativity was the same as human sanity, that made me laugh at the heights of artistic endeavor and then cry at our own mortality. Or at least I wanted a free t-shirt.
I made my way to Soho because, if this was an adult version of Halloween, then Soho was like going to the rich peoples’ neighborhood — you know, where they hand out full size Snickers bars and not just pennies or whatever it is cheap, old people give to kids.
Bond St. had a good number of vendors, although there were probably equal numbers of food vendors as designers. Rogan had an interesting booth where people could (naturally) pose for pictures. I didn’t check it out, but I assume there was an actual camera in the tent, one that didn’t have a phone attached to it.
I wandered around for awhile, ending up at EVA, where at least I did find a whole bunch to drink, if not a glimpse into any kind of sartorial nirvana.
As fine a the drinks were, I ultimately left that neighborhood and ventured on into Black Fleece. If Soho was the rich kids’ neighborhood, then Greenwich Village is like where the young but hip rich people lived. Now that I think about it, Greenwich IS literally that, so this analogy is starting to blur the line.
People don’t really like Black Fleece I feel, because of it’s association with Brooks Brothers. This is odd to me. I think people think that Brooks Brothers is “your dad’s clothing store”, and that it represents “the man” or some other nonsense. First, this is NYC, if you live here, you probably ARE the man. Second, hating Brooks Brothers is like making fun of your bespectacled geometry teacher, or not liking your aunt’s needlepoint. It’s one thing to be edgy, it’s another thing to be a jerk. Not cool to like Brooks Brothers? Fuckers have literally invented some of the most timeless pieces of menswear ever created, and people don’t like them because they don’t have a V-Shaped Torso Skinny Atkins Fit.
I really dig Mr. Browne’s too-too-small suits, although they are a bit outlandish. He himself wore clothes so small a Ken doll would have asked for a bit more room in the shoulders. And yet he looked great, and at least he has something to say about fashion. He’s almost literally taken the men’s fashion world’s obsession with slim fit and taken it to its logical end, in the process effecting dozens of other labels whether they like it or not.
I tried to get some more drinks here, but there were too many people. I decided to move on, stopping where I might to ring a door bell, ask for liquor, or leave a flaming bag of poo. Ultimately, I ended up where I probably should have been anyways, an actual bar. The drinks weren’t free but you didn’t have to push past any men wearing high heels to get to them, although, considering the neighborhood, that wasn’t an impossibility.
Ultimately, Fashion Night Out just ended up being A Night Out. I didn’t really see all that much crazy stuff but, more disturbing, I really didn’t see that much style going on. A lot of black, and lots of tight clothes, just like any other NYC evening. It really wasn’t until I ended at my favorite late night regret, McDonold’s, that I saw something at least a little titillating.
Next year I’m dressing up at Optimus Prime.