On a warm summer night Newport Beach was one of many cities worldwide to step out on the catwalk and let fashion reign. Fashion Island hosted 40 of its stores to a late night shopping affair fit for any top fashionista. Now normally I would not be the one to be at such a place alone. I would have my lovely girlfriend Alex with me as she is very up to date with everything fashion but I have some good taste and knowledge being the son of a fashion designer.
The event kicked off with an outside courtyard fashion show featuring some of the local shops here at Fashion Island. Jake Spade, Elie Tahari, American Rag, and Vince were a few of the shops to provide for the show going along with proverbial favs in the fashion world Manolo and Oscar de la Renta. The show was hosted by celebrity stylist Melis Kuris, who did a good job of making it entertaining.
After the show and a few chotchkies, we headed out into the lanes of shops staying open and providing discounts, drink, and food for the night. Cupcakes seemed to be the food of choice by many as they are always in season nowadays. That didn’t stop anyone or everyone from enticing customers in with libations.
Most of the shops participating had champagne, beer, wine or something with more of a kick. One of the cutest and most friendly bunch was the staff at Ecco with their cider and chocolate. Sorry I’m a sucker for chocolate. Once they got us in there we were had, in a good way. They are a great show and would recommend them to anyone, especially the Track 5 for men. I’ll be back for a pair.
A stop was made at one of my favorite places Original Penguin. The self styled modern vintage, as the staff told me is very indicative of Italian lines with sports comfort. I have to admit I have shows form here and after this evening a great hat to go with my cigars. The staff was great and very helpful. Their one mission for the night was that everyone just has fun. Well it showed as I walked out with my new hat on my head.
After walking around and seeing some of the shops I headed over to Neiman Marcus for their “Art of” presentations. From Fashion to Gastronomy Neiman Marcus was in full swing on the second floor. We just missed the beginning of the fashion show that wrapped itself around the escalator atrium but that did not mean we missed anything by a long shot. Some amazingly gorgeous designs were coming out from behind the black cube. From everyday wear to a night at a ball the models came our one after another each time betting more and more elaborate with the fabrics and patterns. The shoes were stunning as, because Alex has educated me well, Manolo, YSL, Louboutin, and Choo made each choice outfit stunning. All this finished off by the designer of the hour Oday Shakar.
After the show it was back out to the shops to take a closer look at some of the stars. From Trina Turk to Ella Moss, from True Religion to Lucky Jeans, every taste in fashion was available to see. Betsey Johnson had the best “out there” factor in their ballet meets grunge meets punk look yet still very effective and well arranged. American Rag was the eclectic of the bunch mixing and matching so many styles it could be a sensory overload to some. What stood out was the group from Obey printing shirts on the spot. And setting a new trend in comfort and fashion is Athleta, a yoga feel with everyday appeal. I know many a woman I am going to recommend this place too.
It was much to see and little time to do it. Even our four legged friends had a little show of their own at Muttropolis and the Doggie Fashion Show. As cute as some of the dogs were I will stick to just a collar for my dog.
It was a great time and as I said a short one. It might be fun for Fashion Night Out to think about making this a longer event by having several nights over the course of the summer to allow more people to come out and see what is happening in the fashion world. Expecting someone to see it in one night is tough and spreading the nights would allow more of a way to get more people interested in fashion. It’s not always about what’s hot but what is you.
So the next time you are out in a mall or outdoor shopping spot take a little more time and look at how things are made and whether it is for you. Dress to your comfort and not to someone else’s. Your clothes should reflect who you are. Have fun and be daring. It worked for my father. Hell some of the fashion I see today he was doing back in the 70’s-80’s. Just goes to show you how fashion sensed he is.
Follow my entertainment adventures throughout Southern California on Twitter @SCThrillsMarc.