Photo Tour: Inside Nicola Formichetti’s Spectacular Concept Store

Just like any project that Nicola Formichetti’s name is attached to, his highly anticipated New York concept store has everyone talking. With the help of Gaga/Clemenceau Architects, 50 Walker Street has transformed into a mirrored prism filled with all of the Lady Gaga stylist and Thierry Mugler creative director’s favorite things. Naturally, his favorite things are unlike anyone else’s, from imaginative installations to his new virtual gaming venture with CCP that’s sure to become the next tech tool for fashion. See highlights from my chat with both Formichetti and his muse, Zombie Boy – as well as a bonus video – after the jump.

image Formichetti explains the concept behind the store’s theme: “I wanted to find a medium that relates to all the work that I do. Mirrors fit because they reflect and multiply things – as does my work.”

image The shop also hosts covetable pieces from Formichetti’s Thierry Mugler FW11 footwear collection, which we highlighted here.

image With BOFFO providing him with full creative freedom, Formichetti also used the shop as a platform for up-and-coming designers like Asher Levine. “I’m a hero for the underdog,” he explains. “It’s always nice to share your success with other people.” Above are a few of Levine’s creations. image A collection of Lady Gaga’s costumes. “Whether it’s one of Gaga’s looks or a $20 t-shirt I’m selling at this store, they’re all equally important to me,” Formichetti explains.”

image Delectable vintage Versace.

image Above center: $650 Swarovski-encrusted panda ring sold exclusive at the shop.

image “I’m more of a circus performer,” Formichetti’s muse, Zombie Boy, explains. When I asked which fashion designer he’d like to work with next, he provided a rather loyal response: “I like working with Nicola, so I’ll just continue doing that.”

A series of videos looped on LCD screens at the shop entrance. Watch Formichetti swaying in colored sand below.

Porsche Design Hosts High-End Party for FNO in LA

Last night in Los Angeles, the usual FNO frenzy ensued as stores big and small vied for consumers’ attention all over West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, using all manner of hype. But a dark undercurrent of doubt was heavy in the air at several events, as retailers struggled to convince cash-strapped potential buyers to do more than drink free wine and to actually purchase pricey designer duds. But things are different for the super rich, and so was the scene at Beverly Hills’ Porsche Design retail location just off of Rodeo Drive.

Porsche CEO Juergen Gessler (pictured) even flew in from Germany for the occasion, and he was bullish on his brand (the car company owns a small percentage of Porsche Design) despite still generally gloomy economic conditions for the retail sector in America.

“We’re doing well,” he said as guests drank wine and surveyed the selection of sunglasses, luggage, and jeans at the small store. Guests were invited to check out the orange Porsche Design “P’1820 Scarf,” which was limited to 200 pieces around the world.

The German company’s only L.A.-adjacent location (an Orange County outpost also exists) is somewhat insulated from the recession in that their Beverly Hills store caters to wealthy locals and European tourists who frequent the area. Putting retail outlets in the heart of the world’s top shopping destinations is a strategy that seems to be working out for the burgeoning brand, with high profit margins (some of their sunglasses go for around $400 and jeans sell in the $400 to $600 range). A new Soho location is set to open up on West Broadway this fall, proving to be just the latest example of PD’s ascendant spirit, with stores ringing in profits everywhere from Dubai to Shanghai. There are almost 30 Porsche Design Stores in China alone, one of the biggest markets for the luxury brand.

In North America, Porsche Design is still growing. “We have Miami, Boston, San Francisco and more but we are excited about other cities such as Chicago,” said Gessler. “We had 7 stores in 2004. Now we have over 100.”

So what’s the secret of the design group’s success?

“What’s happening in the market is that you have to show you personality by wearing something with status,” he said. According to the CEO, in a recession, status is everything. “We’re driven by the customer.”

Luckily for Gessler, it seems his typical customer has money to burn…or at least they want to convey as much in 2011.

Porsche Design hosts another FNO-related event at their Dusseldorf location tonight and then Saturday in New Delhi.

The Top 4 Fashion’s Night Out Events to Catch in Both New York & Los Angeles

By now you’ve seen your share of Fashion’s Night Out event round-ups, but let’s be honest – do you really think you’ll have the time and energy to hit up every single goings-on? If you’re like us, then you’ve already learned from FNO’s first and second years that planting yourself at a handful of solid events is all you really need do to fully enjoy the full experience. Plus, September 8 is on a Thursday, not Friday, so it might be wise to take it slightly easy. With that in mind, read on for our list of best-bet FNO events in New York and Los Angeles so you can streamline your party plan.

New York

Who: Opening Ceremony What: Our favorite conceptual retailer is hosting El Mercado de Carnaval de Opening Ceremony – a carnival market inspired by Argentina. The event will feature live performers in designer dudes from the likes of Suno and Proenza Schouler, a Delfina Delettrez mystical booth, a PS1 bag raffle (really!), and a Miss Piggy photo booth. Flyer above and more info here. Where: Ace Hotel – 20 West 29th Street When: 6-10pm

Who: Alexander Wang What: The cool-kid label is hosting a good ol’ talent show, with performers showcasing their talent in front of a live audience. Winners will be selected by Alex Wang and surprise celebrity judges and will be awarded with prizes from the brand’s collection. There will also be a window installation by artist Saulo Madrid with Alkemie Atelier, providing a unique interactive experience for audiences both inside and outside of the store. Where: Alexander Wang Boutique – 103 Grand Street When: 7:30pm-?

Who: DKNY What: Shoppers who spend $250 or more will receive a free DVD of the brilliant documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, along with a limited edition tote bag. Ever the social media supporters, the brand has also partnered with mobile application Pose to broadcast fan snaps on DKNY’s Facebook page. More info. Where: DKNY Boutique – 655 Madison Avenue When: 6pm-?

Who: Realm Boutique What: Get styled by event hosts Chelsea Leyland, Lissy Trullie, The Man Repeller, May Kwok, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Susie Bubble as you shop Realm’s covetable threads. By the way, Blake Lively stopped by the boutique’s event last year, so who knows who else might roll through. Where: Realm Boutique – 98 Green Street When: 6-11pm

Next: The Best of LA Los Angeles

Who: 3.1 Phillip Lim What: Enjoy a live performance by NYC-based band Cults as you sip on tequila and grub on bites from Vietnamese eatery, Xoia. You can also dig into some serious remorse-free shopping, as all proceeds benefit Silverlake Conservatory of Music. Where: 3.1 Phillip Lim Boutique – 631 North Robertson Blvd. When: 7-10pm

Who: Smashbox Studios and Ron Herman What: The event will feature a pop-up Smashbox photo studio with fashion photographer Diana Koenigsberg offering complimentary photo sessions for shoppers. J Brand is debuting exclusive FNO jean and eyewear label Oliver Peoples is presenting three exclusive frames for the evening. Where: Ron Herman at Fred Segal – 8100 Melrose Avenue When: 6-11pm

Who: Opening Ceremony What: Just like it’s NYC counterpart, the West Coast version of Opening Ceremony is also hosting a night of Argentine flair, complete with fresh empanadas, Solsticio wine, and exclusive FNO merch by Keds, Olympia Le-Tan, Jansport, Pamela Love, and more. OCLA is also partnering with LA shop RTH to create custom leather bracelets stamped with your initials. More info. Where: OCLA – 451 N. La Cienega Blvd. When: 6-9pm

Who: Westfield Century City What: We all know the Westfield shopping center chain knows how to get down, so we’re not surprised that the Century City outpost is hosting a jam-packed FNO this year. The night will be hosted by none other than LL Cool J and will feature live music, food, drinks, makeup and blowdry bars, mini manicures, a fashion show, and a bevy of surprise celebrity appearances. Even the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, is said to be stopping by. Where: Westfield Century City – 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. When: 6-10pm

The Best Beauty Events of Fashion’s Night Out

On September 8, Fashion’s Night Out will once again transform New York into one giant block party celebrating commerce. The lineup of events has just been released on a new and improved site that allows you to navigate and plan for what could easily turn into an overwhelming haul. I’ve cherry-picked a few of the top beauty events to check out, from fun giveaways to stellar appearances by luminaries of the beauty industry. Locations and events are still being added, so make sure to double back for updates.

All Chanel Stores will be giving complementary mini-manicures with the line’s exclusive FNO Nail Colour Collection.

The NARS store on Bleecker Street will host Mr. Nars himself to introduce two products that have been exclusively created for FNO.

Maybelline will set up shop at Ganesvoort Plaza on Little West 12th Street and 9th Avenue, giving away tubes of cult-classic favorite Great Lash mascara, as well as offering mini-makeovers.

New York City’s ultimate beauty resource, Ricky’s is celebrating 20 years by serving cocktails at their 87th Street store and doing free blow outs and makeovers with a Ricky’s purchase.

Sephora’s 119 Fifth Ave. location will have DDF’s creator, Dr. Howard Sobel, in store to do consultations. From 6-11pm.

Nail polish staple Essie will team up with Teen Vogue on Bleeker Street and West 11th Street from 6-10pm to do nails with celebrity manicurist Elle Gerstein, who will give her take on tips, tricks, and trends.

Third Time’s a Charm for Fashion’s Night Out

September 8, 2011 marks the third year of Fashion’s Night Out, and it’s shaping up to be the best year yet. While Vogue’s star-judged Polyvore contest, Alexander Wang’s talent show, and Nicola Formichetti’s pop-up shop are enough to get us hyped for the night already, Modelina notes that a bunch of top models are throwing events, too. Read on for the details.

Erin Wasson will celebrate her new capsule collection with French luxury brand Zadig & Voltaire at Bloomingdales and the first 50 guests to spend $300 or more will receive a Wasson-autographed t-shirt. Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Erin Heatherton, and Lily Aldridge will also be at Victoria’s Secret in the Financial District to take pictures and makeover fans. More model action, right this way.

Styleite also listed a few designer events to note, including Michael Kors acting as a window mannequin at Bergdorfs and Marc Jacobs throwing carnivals in the West Village and Soho.