Vogue’s Fashion Night Out is an exercise in ostentation. It is an excuse to dress to the nines, strut the streets and if you happen to be in the fashion crowd, get into the most exclusive shopping event of the year.
You can read Vogue’s own, extensive article on it here: http://www.vogue.co.uk/special-events/fashions-night-out detailing both the history of it and the current schedule. This particular site details the London Night Out, which I was sad to have missed, but I did by happy coincidence manage to catch the Florence one.
It was, in fact, one of the things I first noticed upon arriving in Florence. The city was plastered everywhere with the ubiquitous Vogue style posters. Clearly it was not just the fashion set that were getting geared up for it. The whole city was going to revel in it and use it as an excuse (as if the Italians needed it!) to get the slimmest, best cut, most trouser break-less suits out and wander the streets in true Italian sprezzatura* style.
The night is not only, inevitably, to do with clothing based fashion, it is also an excuse for the leading technological, vehicular and just about any other branch of the retail industry you care to mention, to demonstrate their very finest wares. I saw on one street alone an entire stall dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and also an Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione; perhaps the most beautiful car ever manufactured.
The Alfa Romeo 8c Competizioni.
It is not all just glamour and over the top dressing. There is some serious shopping to do for those prepared to wade through the queues and get into the chicest shops around. There are discounts, goodie bags and exclusive merchandise. As well as bars, live bands, clubs and all manner of entertainment set up in, on and around the streets of Florence.
All in all, it’s a great night and a fantastic excuse to get ridiculously dressed up, enjoy the crazy goings on in the streets, listen to some music and generally have a good time. Hell, you might even do a bit of shopping if you really wanted to! Sadly, working on a low cost traveller’s budget, I was not able to indulge, not on that evening anyway.
Here’s how some Florentine’s chose to spend the evening:
For once, I felt underdressed, not having packed for a fashion night out, but felt I aquitted myself reasonably well in my Levi’s chinos and Z Zegna shirt, but hey I’ll let the Italians have it. Anyone else though and I would not be impressed!
* Sprezzatura is an italian term that doesn’t really translate to English, but it’s closest paraphrasing would be something along the lines of ‘sartorial nonchalance’. That is to say, dressing effortlessly well without appearing to have tried and furthermore to have done so without actually dressing perfectly. So, for example the gentleman above’s tie might be considered a little too long by some, but it adds to the relaxed, yet stylish look he’s going for.
Don’t say I never teach you anything!