Image Gal contributor Samantha von Sperling shares her night at Armani — and gets heady on FNO!
As I weave up Madison Avenue, throngs of styled-out fashionistas strut their stuff in stilettos or teeter — depending on their level of experience — turning the thoroughfare into one gigantic runway show.
As for the stores themselves, some had done absolutely nothing except stay open late, while others hosted lovely events with music, champagne and hors dΓÇÖoeuvres. And then there were the velvet rope eventsΓÇª
As an image consultant, I get invited to a lot of things during fashion week but for me the coveted invitation is to Giorgio Armani. Of all the events all over town, it is the chicest and most opulent, and the most intelligent, I believe, as far as integrating lifestyle and the arts. At the Madison Avenue location, I share my evening with stars Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett as Vogue‘s contributing editor Adam Green leads them in a lively discussion about their new New York stage performance exploring an intimate look at Martin Luther King as a man, apart from being a cultural and political icon.
I can only describe the feeling in that room as magical. It had everything: all the trappings of the most elegant soir├⌐es; amazing clothes (as always); huge stars in an intimate setting and a discussion that had me so engaged my pulse was racing. I was not alone. There was a collective energy in the room potent enough to rebuild the world, if only the whole world could have shared in it.
Although Fashion Night Out is meant to be an international evening of festivities to bolster the economy through patronage of the fashion industry, I saw very few shopping bags to offset the seemingly endless flow of champagne. Has Fashion Night Out become more hoopla than help to the fashion industry, just part of annual advertising budgets? Perhaps.
But it also makes New York Fashion Week accessible to everyone, a very clever way of engaging the consumer public; the ones who buy into the fashion industry. The fashion houses may make the styles and the media may do their best to manipulate our thoughts about whatΓÇÖs hot and whatΓÇÖs not, but at the end of the day what we wear and how we wear it is still our decision. Having a chance to be a part of that is something everyone should be able to indulge in, at least one night of the year.
photo credit: Maureen Martin