The good news: Fashion’s Night Out, the sprawling evening of shopping and partying created by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, is growing to elephantine proportions in its second official year in Boston. Fashion’s Night Out Boston takes place Thursday, with most stores beginning their parties and events at 6 p.m.
The bad news: Finding all of the evening’s shopping activities requires the sleuthing skills of Nancy Drew. Sadly, there is no central website collecting everything happening, nor is there an official list. But with enough investigation — and perhaps a spreadsheet — you can patch together an incredible evening of shopping.
Fashion’s Night Out began in New York in 2009 as a way to coax recession-weary shoppers back into stores with the help of discounts, limited-edition products, celebrity appearances, and performances in an effort to bolster retailers. It has expanded to 18 countries. In the United States, there are 4,500 events.
To find Boston-area FNO events, start by looking at the official website for the night, www.fashionsnightout.com. Here, you’ll find a list of Boston stores that have officially registered to take part. The problem, however, is that there are dozens of places with activities happening that are not listed on the site. With much of the action taking place on Newbury Street, you can find easy-to-read listings of additional events on the Newbury Street League website, www.newburystreetleague.org .
From there, you can find updates on parties at the Newbury Street League’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Newbury
StreetLeague. There are also more listings on Fashion’s Night Out Boston Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FashionBoston. Besides Back Bay, many Boston neighborhoods are participating in FNO. The fashion-forward South End has pulled together a themed night called Red Light District (look for details at www.southendbusiness
.com). You can track the action live on Twitter by searching #FNOboston.
In the event that you don’t have time, or are simply feeling too lazy, to play the role of Sherlock Holmes, here are a few FNO highlights that we’ve pulled together. Please note that this is in no way a complete list, but instead just a handful of parties that piqued our interest.
Newbury Street Fashion show: For a second year, Newbury Street will be closed to traffic. The center stage fashion show starts at 6:30 p.m. outside of Joe’s American Bar & Grill and features fall looks from Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ted Baker London, M. Miller, G2O Spa, Britt Ryan, Firas Yousif Originals, and Vibram FiveFingers. Most stores on Newbury are participating. The show starts at 181 Newbury St.
Copley Place fashion show: The runway action starts at 6:30 p.m. (doors at 6) with a show spotlighting fall fashion by Neiman Marcus, followed by a multi-retailer show featuring looks by Jimmy Choo, Wolford, Vince, and Elie Tahari. 617-262-6600, www.simon.com, www.
Designer cupcakes: Sweet on Newbury Street has partnered with local designers Daniela Corte, plus Michael De Paulo and Tonya Mezrich (mike&ton), who have created limited edition designer cupcakes for the evening ($4 each). If you’re craving an edible stiletto on a pastry, this is your stop. Many businesses are handing out bubbly for FNO, Sweet is handing out free frosting shots from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 225 Newbury St., 617-267-2253, www.sweetcupcakes.com.
Flower tutorials: The common theme along Newbury is DJs, blowouts, and blouses. Winston Flowers celebrates in its own way with designers hosting tutorials on how to make chic arrangements and how to care for fashionable plants in your home. 131 Newbury St., 617-442-0660.
Fashionable Parties: Local rising star DJ Brent Covington spins at the FNO closing party at the Estate from 8-11 p.m. Drink specials from 8-9 p.m. 1 Boylston Place, 617-351-7000, www.theestateboston.com.
European-inspired fashion line Scott Jame