So the Vogue Fashion's Night Out hits Sydney tomorrow from 5pm. It's the third incarnation of the now annual shopping extravaganza and it seems to just keep getting bigger. Nearly every shop in town is hosting some type of "event" although there is considerable range in there quality of events on offer. For us mere mortals with only 5 hours to shop, sip and soak up the glossy atmosphere, how to prioritise? Which are the events that are REALLY worth attending, and when? Never fear, in an attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff, the silk from the polyester, I present my guide to the best of VFNO Sydney!
1 - Get your game plan sorted
Generally speaking there are three types of benefit on offer to shoppers at this year's VFNO: the blanket discount (10%/20% off all stock etc) the gift with purchase (eg. spend over $200 and receive a free $50 gift card) and the party (free cupcakes/giftbags/photoshoot/manicure/DJs etc). If there is a particular item you have been eyeing off for a while, it is well worth checking out what that store is doing - if you can pick up a 15% discount on an item you were already going to buy it is definitely worth dropping in on Thursday night. However, if half of Sydney are going to be crammed into that postage stamp boutique, it might not be the best time for an extended fitting.
If, like me, you haven't got much of an agenda, it is essential to determine who is doing the best freebies. Read on.
2 - Get in early
So, a number of places are doing special things for the first few shoppers in the door/who make a purchase. He's my pick of the places to head early to maximise your goody bag action:
Forever New: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/forever+new,71
Other freebies worth capitalising upon:
Free manicures at One Teaspoon: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/one+teaspoon,127
Champagne and gelato at Dinosaur Designs: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/dinosaur+designs,195
More champagne and luxury perving at Miu Miu and Prada: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/miu+miu,35 and http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/prada,33
Fortune readings at Christian Louboutain (but really, on VFNO that really can't be too difficult?! my prediction - a big credit card bill):http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/christian+louboutin,89
For those not wanting to venture into the city, there will be cupcakes at Nicola Finetti on Oxford Street: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/nicola+finetti,47
3 - Time your approach
The strategic celebrity appearance is also a big thing at this year's VFNO. If you have had your fill of goody-bag grabbing and are ready to chill out and soak up the atmosphere, head to these places to enjoy some sweet beats:
The theme of VFNO this year is 'fashion meets music' and the line-up doesn't disappoint - I'll be hanging out for Megan Washington at 5.20pm:http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/coverage/fashion+meets+music,19409
Enjoy some sweet cocktails in the belvedere bar in Pitt Street: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/belvedere+pop+up+bar,305
Matthew Whitehouse from The Heartbreaks will be DJing at Burberry: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/coverage/fno+party+with+burberry+,19581
If you know who Brittany Cairns is, you might want to stop by Diva on Pitt Street: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/diva,235
Or if your facebook profile pic needs some updating (as does mine!), barge to the front of the queue at these spots to get a snap with someone famous:
Mingle with the models at Leona Edmiston's store in the Strand Arcade, where you can meet Leona herself, instragram it and when you post it anywhere with the hashtag #LEONAEDMISTON you'll get 20% off: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/leona+edmiston,393
Zara will be styling and photographing: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/zara,41
The Victoria Room (in conjunction with Sambag) will be hosting various members of the Australian Ballet, smashing Hendricks cocktails and all-around good times:http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/the+victoria+room+tea+salon,155
4 - Are you feeling lucky?
As well as the myriad little treats, there are also some serious prizes up for grabs this year. A lot of them involve liking various products and brands on facebook, so make sure your phone is on hand and fully charged!
Win a $2000 shopping spree thanks to Belvedere - all it takes is a like: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/coverage/win+a+2+000+shopping+spree+thanks+to+belvedere+vodka,19625
2x $500 voucher giveaways at Ginger and Smart (plus 15% off everything for the plebs): http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/ginger+smart,83
$1000 wardrobe at Oroton: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/oroton,231
A Burberry trench (to be drawn by the Editor of Vogue herself, Edwina McCann): http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/burberry+,85
Lucky dip at Fleur Wood: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/fleur+wood,97
$1000 Gift certificate at Willow: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/willow,153
5 - Barganistas unite
The following are the stores doing straight-up discounts on Thursday, no messing around:
50% off "selected styles" in Jimmy Choo (query the meaning of 'selected' but totally worth a look): http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/jimmy+choo,489
30% off new season in sportscraft: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/sportscraft,369
Blanket 20% off in all Mimco stores (and online!): http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/mimco+westfield,273
20% off everything in Bettina Liano + an extra $30 off jeans: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/bettina+liano,227
20% off all stock in the MyCatwalk pop-up store in the Strand Arcade: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/mycatwalk,455
20% off at Metallicus - a good time to stock up? http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/metalicus,285
20% off at Jayson Brunsdon: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/jayson+brunsdon,49
20% off at Peeptoe: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/peeptoe,185
20% off at Ted Baker: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/ted+baker,187
10% off everything at Belinda: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/belinda,53
6 - One night only
Limited edition is always a big thing in fashion, so naturally it is huge thing on Fashion's Night Out. For those who love a little exclusivity, the following items will only be available for purchase on Thursday night (and then in the bargain bins on Friday… lol, jokes… they wouldn't do that, would they?!).
Get inked with a limited edition Vogue Tattoo - talk about being a brand slave! It is for a good cause tho, with all profits going to Murdoch Children's Research Institute:http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/coverage/catherine+mcneil+wants+to+tattoo+you,19619
Ballet fans head directly to Sambag, who are releasing a limited edition swan lake collection to celebrate 50 years of the Australian Ballet - and there will be canapes and other good things too:http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/sambag,87
Custom creations at Peeptoe: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/peeptoe,185
Head down to ASOS shop for all things insta-fashion… that's right, the ASOS shop - for VFNO only and right in the middle of Martin Place: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/asos,149
Bottega Venetta are pre-releasing a range of eco-friendly bags, if you're into that kind of thing: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/bottega+veneta,45
7 - If you love it, buy it
Fashion is, and always should be primarily about having fun. No matter if it's on sale or not, no matter if you get a gift with purchase or not, no matter if it is exclusive or not, if you see something you love, that’s fits you and makes you feel great - buy it. It's as simple as that. Worry about the credit card bill later, or at least that's what I predict Louboutain's fortune reader will tell you...