Wine, treats and glitter tattoos

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Fashion Forward was a fabulous night full of treats and promotions!

On Oct. 4, the fashionistas of Saint John gathered in Market Square for a celebration of all things fashion. Fashion Forward was an evening event highlighting the shops of uptown Saint John. When I arrived at Market Square for the kick-off, I was greeted with a map of all of the participating stores, a catwalk of models wearing things I can only dream of affording, a chocolate fountain, and free wine. The organizers clearly read my mind; Thursday is basically Friday, and wine helps me spend money irresponsibly. I grabbed a free glass of wine and hit the shops.

Although Fashion Forward officially ran from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., keen shoppers arrived before 4:45p.m. to get their hands on a gift bag full of uptown swag. Reserved for the first 100 shoppers, these bags were in such high demand that a Market Square security guard had to guard them! What were the contents of these mysterious bags? They included a treat bag of candy corn, caramels and chocolate, a bracelet from the Butterfly Shoppe, a perfume sample, some advertisements, and my personal favourite item: a complimentary drink ticket for Cougars. If you didn’t get one, be jealous.

Many of the best boutiques in uptown Saint John participated in Fashion Forward. Several shops in Market Square and Brunswick Square participated, including Envy, Je Suis Prest, Baubles and Walsh Luggage. Shoppers also hit the streets of Saint John (King Street, Canterbury Street, Germain Street and Princess Street) to explore the chic offerings of various boutiques. I revelled in funky jewellery, gorgeous shoes, fun dresses, and more free drinks.

My lesson of the night: the casual Saint John shopper might be missing some shopping gems hidden uptown. A couple of great consignment stores, SoJo Boutique and Exchange at 45 Canterbury St. have unique pieces from labels that would never grace the racks of your typical Saint John store. I also discovered Heartbreak Boutique at 80 Princess St., which offers unique retro clothing and fun accessories which would make great gifts.

There were great promotions and giveaways all night as well as fun demonstrations being offered at various locations. There were appetizers from the Ale House at Samuel and Co. and Churchill’s provided appetizers for Manchester Shoe Salon. I filled a treat bag with candy at The Butterfly Shoppe and sampled homemade pumpkin donut holes at Silver Daisy Designs. A makeup artist at Heartbreak Boutique was transforming shoppers into pin-up girls, while Made You Blush cosmetics offered free glitter tattoos at Silver Daisy Designs. I couldn’t help myself; in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I got a festive sparkly orange bird under my collarbone.

Two weeks later, I will still have an orange glittery bird on my chest. Thanks Fashion Forward, for a very memorable evening.