06 September 2012

London Fashion's Night Out, 2012 Edition

Last year, I went to London Fashion's Night Out for the first time. I had a good time, bought a few things and got quite a few freebies but my fun was somewhat curtailed by my pre-New York shopping restriction and my inability to drink. This year, I didn't have any such restraints and I brought a two friends along for the ride. We took a similar route to the one I took last year--starting at Kate Spade in Covent Garden and then working over to Regent Street and Oxford Street. I had such a hectic day at work that I didn't really have time to look on the FNO website to find out the best freebies and experiences on offer and being with other people meant I was bolder when it came to asking for things but that we took longer to move around and by the time we reached Oxford Street, soon after 9 pm, things had started to shut down.

C-wise from top left: Chanel vending machine, Juicy Couture cocktails,
ice cream at Kate Spade, Bailey's hot choc, scarf styling at Liberty.

We still had a great time, but most of the freebies we acquired were of the liquid nature--plenty of glasses of prosecco, assorted cocktails, a Bailey's-spiked hot chocolate with marshmallows at a Ralph Lauren Rugby-style men's clothes store and even a refreshing OJ. We nabbed an ice cream at Kate Spade but were a little disappointed to find that the fish and chips on offer at Ted Baker were actually made of chocolate! I also picked up a few beauty and fragrance samples from places like Sanctuary Spa and Juicy Couture (NB I wouldn't normally enter Juicy, but they were handing out Cosmopolitans).

I didn't buy very much tonight. First, there was a grammar geek's dream pair of earrings from Kate Spade--well, I would have preferred a semicolon and an em rule, but I thought a question mark and an exclamation mark were pretty cool too. The 20% discount didn't hurt either. In Anthro, apparently if you arrived early enough and were willing to donate enough money, you could have the opportunity to marble your own custom scarf--with expert guidance, of course--but I had to settle for a glass of Prosecco and a pre-made scarf. The one I picked up was in a pretty, deep teal with white dots. I thought it was fairly good value at £38 (minus the 20% discount) but it actually came with another scarf in a shimmery silvery colour. I don't wear much silver but it might be nice for glamming up an outfit for the evening; plus the two scarves look good when they are wrapped together and worn as a pair. I also got a free Anthro tote with my purchase. I was almost tempted by the petite black trench coat in Banana Republic, but they weren't doing discounts and I'm pretty sure that if I'm patient enough, I can get it for cheaper than £125.

My Anthro scarves, Kate Spade earrings and assorted freebies

I spotted a couple of other fun things. At the new Chanel beauty store in Covent Garden, we saw people queuing up in front of these Chanel "vending machines," which were offering the brand's new "Twin-Sets" in which you get a nail varnish and co-ordinated lipstick in seasonal colours. People were coming out of the store with giant tokens, which they were putting into the machine, before receiving a mini Chanel bag, and we hoped (foolishly, of course) they might be free, but sadly, they were full price, so we gave it a miss. We also just missed out on getting a free manicure and styling session at Liberty, unfortunately.

I will definitely go to FNO again next year, and I think I have converted my two friends. Next year, unless work gets crazy again, I will try to do a little more research and plan ahead, to avoid missing out on some really cool things.

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