If watching the Super Bowl is more about the commercials than the game, and the Kentucky Derby more about the juleps, Fashion’s Night Out has become more about attention-grabbing events than the actual act of, you know, buying stuff. Here’s our guide to the best of the evening, from Shipley & Halmos’s creative use of foam to the best place to cadge free lobster rolls and a whisky-fueled debate on what may be the most important topic of our era.
Best Use of Novelty Foam Hands Outside of A Stadium: Shipley & Halmos
Stunts cooked up purely to get media coverage are part of the fun of Fashion’s Night Out, and ever-clever Sam Shipley & Jeff Halmos have done our favorite this season. Pick up their FNO Survival Kit, stocked with a $5 Metro Card, water and snacks (don’t FNO on an empty stomach), and a giant, “We’re #1″-style foam hand for hailing taxis (then use it to indicate your approval from the front row at Marc by Marc).
Best Opportunity to Yell Out “Come On Down!”: Odin
While you could head to Bloomingdale’s for some Fred Perry Skee-Ball, the better money is on Odin’s outpost on Lafayette. There you can indulge your Price Is Right fantasies (Barker era, not Carey) with a classic game of Plinko. No toasters or Jet Skis are up for grabs, but you can win items from Billy Reid, Burkman Bros, and Florsheim by Duckie Brown.
Best Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: Jack Spade
Leaving your cell phone in a bar is probably the closest you’ve come lately to a scavenger hunt, but you can brush up on your detective skills with Jack Spade’s Soho/West Village three-man team challenge. Winners get $200 to spend at the store, per person.
Best Dinner and a Night Out: Helmut Lang
This triple-play could very well be the highlight of FNO: Helmut Lang’s Mercer Street store is offering lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster, Champagne and beer cocktails from the craft drink purveyors at Death & Co., and a performance from SXSW favorites Best Coast. Rumor has it some clothes may also be on sale.
Best Opportunity to Get a Talented Designer’s Name Wrong: Gant
Meet the designers behind Gant’s most fashionable lines when Michael Bastian and Gant Rugger designer Christopher Bastin make an appearance at both the Prince Street Rugger and Fifth Avenue flagship locations, respectively.
Best Alternative To Getting A Shindig Invite: Billy Reid
Reid’s annual weekend-long event in Florence, Alabama is an extravaganza of music, food, drink, and Southern hospitality, all of which you’ll find at the designer’s Bond Street store this evening. Food truck Mexicue will provide BBQ-meets-Mexican; Buffalo Trace the bourbon; and Keegan DeWitt, Cory Chisel, and Shelly Colvin the tunes.
Best Whisky-Fueled Debate: Bergdorf Goodman
We’ll be interested to see which side the legendary Glenn O’Brien takes when he leads a discussion of the most important issue of our time: Going clean-shaven vs. wearing a beard. The Macallan will be providing the Scotch, so this could get heated.