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Fashion's Night Out: Finally, L.A.'s Guilt-Free Excuse to Shop

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If you're already tired of hearing that rhetorical question, "What recession?" surfacing in your conversations about that little thing called the economic crisis, you'd better buy some fancy earplugs. During the international Fashion's Night Out event, L.A. fashionistas came out of hiding to boost the economy in their Louboutins and Manolos.

Over at Neiman Marcus, scores of botox-faced shoppers enjoyed mini bottles of champagne and NYC-style cheesecake and hotdogs as models strutted their stuff down the runway to showcase couture evening gowns hardened with cropped leather jackets. At Robertson Boulevard's tough chic Rock & Republic store, a younger crowd of customers were wristbanded for a nightclub feel as CEO Michael Ball DJ'd, and giveaways of black leather bags, leggings and make-ups marked the top of each hour. R&R also showcased their limited edition FNO legging, a skin-tight black number with metal studs running along the sides for a punk edge, available for just under $180.

A few doors down from R&R at Moods of Norway, the air became a little more relaxed, a bit less pretentious and a whole lot more fun. Shoppers enjoyed free drinks, tasty waffles and up to 75 percent off everything in the store, which boasted an interior apparently designed by a hip, ski-loving Norwegian granny.

The trophy for the biggest hipster-slash-fashion-slave party of the night went to Fred Segal on Melrose, which hosted over 30 workshops, designer meet-and-greets and other events throughout location’s different stores. Among the happenings included Fall Out Boy bassist-turned-designer Pete Wentz introducing his latest Clandestine Industries line of clothing (with singer/actress wife Ashlee Simpson in tow) as Paige Geller of Paige Premium Denim schooled shoppers on how to customize their jeans with items like a cheese grater and sandpaper. The masters of Maison Martin Margiela hosted a mugshot-style photo booth, except with a European backdrop in the place of cold iron bars; customers gawked at their seriously cool dress pieced from shards of vinyl records, along with a seriously strange jacket made of blonde wigs. Local indie band and LAist fave Red Cortez (photos from last month’s show, LAist Review, #2) played upstairs, and the Coolhaus truck sold tasty treats outside.