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A Very Skewed, Sassy Perspective of Fashion's Night Out

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We're big fans of the "eat dessert first" approach to life, which is why our first stop of the evening was the Christian Louboutin boutique on Robertson. Even very early, at 6:30, throngs of gals crowded into the boutique to drink high-end vodka and snack on -- wait for it -- Chex mix (but it was really good Chex mix), get a wild Frederic Fekkai hair makeover, and have outlandish false eyelashes glued on. It was quite a fashion show, at least from the ankles down, with most of the women teetering around on gi-normous platformed Loubs. (Of course those who worked for Loub in some professional capacity had the best shoes: we saw the googly-eyed stilettos, as well as some fierce, spiked silver booties.) But from the ankles up, there was a lot less variety?did we miss the memo about carrying the exact same Chanel bag? We have never seen so many 2.55s in the same place at the same time. You know what we also saw a lot of? Cleavage. Apparently, the side boob trend isn't going anywhere, and from the scene at Louboutin, the front boob look never left. We guess you could call the whole look "femme fatale".

Onto the Phillip Lim party, populated by revelers of a more indie stripe. Here we saw more fashion risk-takers, including one of the ladies behind Dimepiece Designs, looking exceptionally fierce. Unlike the Loubs party, where almost everyone wore the red-soled delights, we didn't really see anyone in Phillip Lim. Fearing that we'd be stuck in gridlock and unable to find parking if we stayed to see Cults, we headed down the street to see what was cooking on Melrose.

Our first stop was Madison where our colleagues at Style Section LA were holding court. We heard the ladies would be on hand to dispense with styling advice, tips and purchase suggestions. If you haven't noticed, we've got a sardonic sense of humor and are sometimes a bit lacking in tact; we asked SSLA's Erin Weinger if she'd told anyone they needed to take a look in the mirror then go home and change. We couldn't get her to admit that she'd probably thought it a bunch; rather, she smiled slyly and said she'd made a few purchase suggestions.

Ms. Weinger's diplomacy would have melted in the face of some of the fashion atrocities at Fred Segal. At least, the Spirit Hoodies were absent this year. The crowd was bonkers. Big attractions included a band playing in front of an RV in the parking lot, and a huge Smashbox Studios picture stage. So many people, including way too many drunk ones. Ditto down the street at Ever. They hosted a performance by Nico Vega, and the small store overflowed with music types -- some looking like they were auditioning for Creed, circa 1998; a few others desperately rockin' the Jersey Shore look.

But seriously, folks: one of the things we kept wondering through the course of the night was how effective FNO was as a retail stimulus. The costs for the parties must have been huge -- which is alright if you're a Phillip Lim, a Vivienne Westwood, or a Beverly Center -- but are the results commensurate with the costs? I.e., are people actually going out and spending money? We saw precious few bags through the night (but we did see a constant stream of jaw-droppingly big transactions at the Louboutin boutique); is the night doing what it's supposed to do? The few retailers we asked were vague and diplomatic about it; another reported that it was not worth it, but that since all of his neighbors were doing it, he couldn't NOT do it. It looks like the genie is out of the bottle for good.
· All FNO Coverage [Racked LA]

Madison on Melrose

8115 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90265 Visit Website

Christian Louboutin

650 N Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 310-247-9300 Visit Website

3.1 Phillip Lim

631 N Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 310-289-0888 Visit Website