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Fall for Fashion 2011
M Penner
The city's stylish side

Shop 'til you drop: It's Fashion's Night Out at The Galleria and all around Houston

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The Simon Fashion Now show starts at 9 p.m. leaving plenty of time to check out all the other parties. Photo by Heather Staible
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2011 navy and pink tote bag, $50, www.fashionsnightout.com Courtesy of Fashion's Night Out
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Wonder if this guy will make the FNO rounds at Saks again this year? Photo by Heather Staible
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2011 women's long sleeve T-shirt, $30, www.fashionsnightout.com Courtesy of Fashion's Night Out

Who cares about whether or not you can wear white after Labor Day? The real focus is on Thursday’s Fashion’s Night Out. Initially created by Vogue editor Anna Wintour to get people in New York shopping again, the event has spread across the nation to become the unofficial kickoff of fall fashion. 

The night is studded with parties and events, so navigating the scene is as crucial as choosing the right pair of shoes. Here's what's going on around town:

The Galleria is the epicenter of FNO fetes, with the whole complex buzzing with fashion shows, shopping deals and parties. The night’s events lead up to the Simon Fashion Now fashion show at 9 p.m. on the ice rink. If you didn’t score tickets on the rink, claim a cushy spot around the upper levels of the rink and view fashions from such Galleria stores as Jimmy Choo, Neiman Marcus, St. John, Fendi and CH Carolina Herrera.

There are plenty of places in the mammoth fashion center to celebrate the stylish night, so take the opportunity to check out stores you haven’t explored before. It’s worth spanning both sides of the mall to check out the parties at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus (I still remember last year’s hot topless male model with a Texas flag painted on his chest at Saks and the throngs of fun girls at Neiman’s makeup counters).

 It’s worth spanning both sides of the mall to check out the parties at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus (I still remember last year’s hot topless male model with a Texas flag painted on his chest at Saks and the throngs of fun girls at Neiman’s makeup counters).

 Include a stop at the Hidalgo Macy’s too, perhaps around around 7 p.m., where stylist extraordinaire Lenny Matuszewski and I are hosting a fashion show, highlighting fall’s best looks, beauty and hair trends, a red carpet where shoppers are the stars, music by DJ Chepashot and a bubbly bar.

My heels will also be making a few stops throughout the evening starting at Chanel, where I'm hoping to pick up one (or three) bottles of the super hard-to-find fall 2011 metal-colored nail polishes. Fendi is showing a Karl Lagerfeld photo exhibition and BCBG Max Azria is unveiling a new fragrance, complete with champagne, gifts-with-purchases and other goodies.

Fashion never sleeps, but just in case you need a second wind, pop by CultureMap’s Style Stop across from Sephora, grab a bevvie from our bar, check out our DJ and talk fashion with CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh before he jets to New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (with full reports starting Saturday).

Most stores in The Galleria are holding some kind of promotion for FNO. Click here for a complete list.

Of course, The Galleria isn’t the only spot reveling in FNO.

Market Street in the Woodlands is hosting “50 Fashions for Fall” showcasing looks from SOHO Boutique, Hemline, J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer and a other center retailers. The free party starts at 6 p.m. with a jazz concert by Joseph Vencell in Market Street’s Central Park, followed by a fashion show at 7 p.m.

Other notables holding FNO parties include Uptown Park, where M. Penner and Elizabeth Anthony/Esther Wolf are introducing new fall collections, M. Penner is offering Caswell-Massey's Onyx Natural Bath Soap with any purchase and Carrie Ann Boutique is serving champagne, shopping discounts, informal modeling and live music.

Elaine Turner is holding bashes at both her Rice University and City Centre stores from 6-9 p.m. with champagne, wine, noshes, 15 percent off discounts and the opportunity to preview Kendra Scott’s new jewelry collection.

Haut Chocolat, the women's clothing store in River Oaks Shopping Center, is celebrating FNO from 5-8 p.m., with wine, champagne and 10 percent off regularly price merchandise.

It’s also worth checking out the official FNO site for the evening’s official collection (because a night of merriment HAS to have its own selection of clothing and accessories) and to check out how cities around the world are celebrating.

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