Usually, we at UnBeige devote September 10th to celebrating the birthday of Georges Bataille (he would be 112 this year), but this year we’ll dispense with the eye-shaped gâteau to take part in Fashion’s Night Out, a Vogue-sponsored global initiative “to promote retail, restore consumer confidence, and celebrate fashion.” Surely Bataille, who had much to say about consumption and festivals, would have approved.
“It was an idea that was generated during the [fall] Paris collections in response to the tidal wave of negativity and uncertainty that Anna Wintour perceived among people in the industry and among her colleagues in retail,” explains Sally Singer, Vogue‘s director of fashion news and features. “She called a meeting of all the major editors of Vogue—for all the major editions of Vogue around the world, of which there are about a dozen—and said, ‘Let’s get people out and about, and if not shopping, then at least enjoying the pleasure of stores.'”
Stateside, the Fashion’s Night Out fun will also usher in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which will pause the opening-day Bryant Park action to allow for celebrations at stores throughout the city. The list of participating designers and retailers is vast, but among the events we’re most looking forward to is the bash at Barneys, where Simon Doonan and his team have lined up events including a book signing with Ruben and Isabel Toledo, trunk shows from Barbara Tfank and Zero + Maria Cornejo, and appearances by Narciso Rodriguez, Thom Browne, and Jonathan Adler, who Doonan promises will actually be throwing pots in the store (live-action potting!). A few blocks away, Assouline is keeping its sublime bookstore at the Plaza open late, serving champagne, The American Fashion Cookbook, and a scavenger hunt based around the tasty tome. Down in Soho, Michael Kors has recruited Billy Norwich to draw caricatures of guests, while famed photographer Arthur Elgort will be snapping away at the Dior flagship on Fifth Avenue. Smile and say “Galliano!”