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Shop 'Til You Drop: Your Guide to 2012 Fashion's Night Out

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Fashionistas and friends are gearing up for the 2012 Fashion's Night Out, an epic, citywide party that will take over Los Angeles (and thousands of cities worldwide) Thursday, September 6, starting at 6 p.m. Retailers across town will keep their doors open late, mark down prices on stylish looks, pour drinks for guests, and give away free loot to those willing to brave the crowds. How to maneuver yourself on the fourth anniversary of this event? We put together a neighborhood guide to help you strategically plan your night. There are hundreds of stores participating, so don't forget to check out the complete list of events in L.A. on FNO's website.

Downtown Santa Monica and Santa Monica Place will host games, sales, and giveaways galore during FNO. The Puma store will set up ping-pong, foosball, and air hockey tables outside the shop, as well as a photo booth. Steve Madden, Charles David, Juicy Couture, True Religion, L'Occitane, Swimspot, Ted Baker, and other retailers will give away free gifts with purchase. Grab a complimentary refreshment or a few hors d'oeuvres while you shop at Diesel, Kenneth Cole, Babette, Lorna Lane, and many others along the Promenade.

West Hollywood throws FNO's official after-party this year at The Standard Hotel from 10 p.m. to midnight. Though guests don't need to RSVP, it's suggested that you arrive early to get in and score a free drink from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Before that, shop at Christian Louboutin while listening to a musical set by artist Daisy O'Dell, or visit DASH Boutique for music, snacks, and a "black carpet" photo booth. Kelly Wearstler will be doing complimentary nail design applications, and John Vavartos will serve cocktails sponsored by Patron. Hit the candy bar at Makeup Mandy and get free party lashes with any purchase.

The Beverly Center will kick off the evening with a video address by Mayor Villaraigosa at 6:30 p.m., as well as visits from "Pretty Little Liars" star Lucy Hale and West Coast Vogue editor Lisa Love. Stick around for two fashion shows, the first at 7 p.m. featuring styles from Lacoste, Macy's, and others, and the second at 9 p.m. showing off fashions by Forever 21. More than 100 stores throughout the shopping complex will have snacks, drinks, deals, or DJs spinning tunes. Parking at the mall is free from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. in honor of the event. For a complete list of participating shops and plans, visit the Beverly Center events page. Also, walk right down the block to Loehmann's for a designer sample sale, drinks, and music.

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Rodeo Drive threw a top-notch, circus-themed celebration in 2011, complete with a Ferris wheel and stilt walkers, but in light of economic times, stores along the iconic street will host their own in-store events this year. Though shoppers should expect a tamer evening, perks will still be plentiful. Nibble on chocolates while eying jewelry at Harry Winston, or visit the Porsche store on Wilshire Boulevard for a live DJ and runway show plus an open bar. A Pea in the Pod will thoughtfully serve mocktails and sweet treats for expectant ladies, while those in need of adult beverages can sip one at Stuart Weitzman or Neiman Marcus. Bottega Veneta will introduce a new line of eco-friendly handbags, and both Prada and Miu Miu will give a percentage of the night's proceeds to P.S. Arts, a non-profit that strives to bring arts education to underserved schools.

Robertson Boulevard is a big fashion hub; if you haven't perused the stores along this street, FNO is a good night to do it. Alice + Olivia will embrace all things girlie, screening classic slumber party movies and hosting braid, manicure, and charm bracelet bars. BCBG Max Azria will have guests compete in a style contest via Instagram, and the winner will score a $1,000 BCBG wardrobe. Kitson will host BleuLab's "Make Jobs Not War" cocktail trunk show, and food trucks will line the street to satisfy hungry shoppers. Tired from the weight of your purchases? Starline Tours will be giving mini bus tours up and down the road, dropping you off at other shops and giving riders a brief history lesson on the neighborhood as you travel. To top it all off, Mayer Hawthorne is scheduled to perform in the middle of the massive block party.

Abbot Kinney will be bustling with taco trucks and boutique patrons in search of great deals and eats. Shop at Pamela Barish while sipping champagne, or shop for beautiful accessories at Mona Moore and have a cocktail or two to celebrate the shop's new installation by artist Allie Pohl. Swedish sportswear store GANT Rugger will also stay open late to serve drinks to shoppers and will be raffling off a $1,000 shopping spree.