‘Hors D’Oeuvres May Be Passed’: An Introduction to Fashion’s Night Out

It has finally arrived: The Greatest Night of Your Life.

Sept. 10, 2009, a date sure to be inscribed in history’s hallowed yellowed pages as the most gloriously resplendent festival of commerce that e’er we did see, a date to be celebrated with reverent heavenward gazes and open wallets by our children’s children. Fashion’s Night Out!

(We assume, of course, that when you imagine the Greatest Night of Your Life, it involves shopping at 10 p.m.)

What, for the uninitiated, does Fashion’s Night Out (/GNoYL) entail? Let us refer to the event’s official site, where we encounter an oddly speculative tone:

“Champagne may flow; hors d’oeuvres may be passed. Rumors of musical performances, downtown barbecues, shoe capsules, limited-edition rings, and sweepstakes abound. Apparently there will be makeovers, brow bars, and haircut stations at sundry spots, too.”

“May flow”? If you are leading us on, Anna Wintour, we will be sorely displeased.

The bottom line: Lots of stores will be open extra-late, and some of them will have special activities or famous people, or famous people doing special activities. This will promote a warm feeling of consumer confidence. It will make shopping “fun again,” the FNO PSA tells us, echoing a late-’90s Old Navy tag line.

Suddenly the fashion industry, instead of cultivating an aura of exclusivity, is our rah-rah camp counselor. And their lack of self-awareness is so pure-hearted, so totally innocent, as to be almost endearing. There seems to be no sense that the purveyors of $700 shoes might not be the recession’s most sympathetic victims.

“To put it bluntly, if people don’t shop, people lose their jobs,” said designer Vera Wang at a FNO press conference.

 In a similar spirit, anyone who wants to drop by our apartment with 20 bucks is more than welcome to come support a worthy cause. But come after 11: First, we’re braving the crowd at Barneys. ‘Hors D’Oeuvres May Be Passed’: An Introduction to Fashion’s Night Out