Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, London 2011

On Thursday 8th September, scores of stores along London’s most iconic shopping streets opened their doors to hundreds upon hundreds of devoted fashion followers and shoppers for Vogue’s Fashion Night Out 2011.

For those ultra-keen fashionistas prepared to brave the fast-growing crowds there were goody bags to be won left, right and centre- though this would most certainly have involved a careful pre-planned route and acceptance of inevitable toe stamping.

For my pals and I we took the mooching approach, enjoying the wonderful atmosphere and sights that London’s West End had to offer. Starting our evening at Mount Street, Marc by Marc Jacobs was our first port of call, and what a warm welcome we received. First to enter at 6pm on the dot we were greeted with a glass of champagne. Feeling like quite the VIPs, we proceeded to browse the rails like quite the sophisticated shoppers- that was, before we spotted the bargain bin of denim shorts for £10. With a few high-pitched shriek’s of delight in unison, our cover was blown, and with it, our relaxed approach to the night departed- mission ‘freebies’ had officially begun.

Next stop: Net-a-Porter. The e-tailer showcased its new concept- the Window Shop, and quite awe-struck I was too. Using image recognition technology a pop-up shop window was digitally projected. Visitors were able to download an app on their iphones (or use the ipads provided by the company) which enabled them to focus in on any garment in the window.  The app allowed the user to purchase the items displayed on the device, or even potentially win them. “Yeh right” we thought, like anybody is actually going to win that McQueen clutch or delicious Proenza Schouler Satchel- And like a cruel twist of fate we were proved wrong, as the girl right next to me (who used the ipad straight after me I might add) actually won the £1,250 turquoise satchel that dreams are made of…Jealous, does not even come close. Despite this momentary (who am I kidding even now I pine that it could have been me) breakdown, as I cursed her lucky stars, the concept itself was undeniably a fantastic step forward in bridging the gap between the world of retail and online.

MULBERRY! The best of the night in my opinion and definitely worth the queue (perfect people watching time). With a DJ, dress up section with woodland themed masks and photographer, face painting, fortune teller, prize giving every half an hour, goody bags complete with Clarins moisturiser (ooeeer!), mojitos, mini pies and not forgetting celebrity guest- Brix Smith-Start (and her pug!), Mulberry really did pull out all the stops to produce a fantastic night of fantasy and fun.

As we made our way down New Bond Street, the atmosphere was electric from DJ Mr Hudson blaring out tunes in Louis Vuitton to people queuing to bowl on the street for a chance to win gorgeous Hermes scarves.

The night was most certainly a roaring success, allowing people from all walks of life to enter the world’s of luxury, high-street and boutique fashion. If you didn’t have the money to purchase on the night it didn’t matter, just seeing what the stores had to offer, sipping on their free cocktails and admiring the fantastic street fashion London has to offer was well worth a wander. I’d recommend this event to any fashion lover. Be it for a girl’s night out, a cheeky discount shopping trip or the ultimate style stalk,  Vogue’s Fashion Night Out 2012 is most certainly an evening not to be missed.

And so to end on a word of advice for next year- NEVER give the Net-a-Porter ipad to a stranger (and perhaps take flat shoes- Luis Vuitton stairs are pretty treacherous).

Amy Francesca Mitchell

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