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The Lucky Shops Juggernaut Returns With a Vengeance

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The shopping behemoth that is Lucky Shops is upon us once again and its inaugural VIP shopping evening kicked off last night with a bang. Dolled-up shoppers were excited and tenacious, fueled by an embarrassment of discount riches, free cocktails and a possible sight of Dan Humphrey's former on-screen girlfriend Hilary Duff and a really-cute-in-person Nate Berkus.

The sale boasts a mix of established and up-and-coming apparel, footwear, handbag and accessories designers offering up to 70% off of retail prices. Thirty minutes into VIP night, the shoppers were already getting grabby for the goods. Seasoned shoppers will notice a bit of sample sale redux, and some sale prices still put a hefty dent in the wallet, but here's a rundown of what we found.

The HSN Boutique, which features exclusive collabs like Matt Bernson Special Project and LP by Linea Pelle, was hopping. Definitely take note of the $49 dress rack at the HSN boutique which features collabs with Thread Social, Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan. We even ran into Lucky's new editor-in-chief Brandon Holley checking out the scene and willing to impart some shopping wisdom. "I love to go to Bergdorf's around Thanksgiving when everything is reduced and no one's there. And it's amazing—hit that fifth floor and it's great," she says about her holiday retail strategy. "Yes, yes, go Wednesday before Thanksgiving."

Significant deals can be found in the various handbag and shoe designer offerings, too. To topline the deals: Diane Von Furstenberg has lots of blinged-out bags ranging from $195 to $350 and Kooba is in the house with bags on tap starting at $125 for the Daniela bucket bag to $295 for the Jayden satchel.

Speaking of sample sale redux, Botkier's stand is similar to their sample sale modus operandum with picture charts scattered throughout the stand. Prices range from $125 for small pouches to $400 for the largest bags. There was gridlock at the slightly more spacious Rebecca Minkoff section with prices ranging from $90 for the BF pouch to $595 for the hefty Rapture satchel (which looked pretty glam in cerulean blue. Foley & Corinna had Mid City totes (amongst others) for $250 and $300.

As for shoes, amongst the discounts, the most memorable were deals at Pour Le Victoire (booties $200 to $250) and Kelsi Dagger (boots $140 to $300). We were also kind of loving the girly variations on oxfords and wingtips from Tracy Reese ($149).

The apparel options are seemingly never-ending. Vena Cava was on hand again, with repeats from their last sample sale (like the Surf's Up black belted maxi dress that was $175 at the sample sale, but $275 here). They did, however, have a couple Viva Vena racks and we admired a cropped grey and v-studded sweater for $99 (from $124) and an olive green cape for $519 (from $649). Shareen Vintage offered a nicely edited collection of vibrant colored and patterned frocks from what looked like $58 to $175.

Other popular labels amongst so, so many: Alice + Olivia disco-ball sequined party dresses ($229), Tucker vintage-y print dresses (around $115 for spring and $270 for fall), Foley & Corinna dresses ($130 to $150), Steven Alan (men's and women's shirts starting at $75)—we could go on for days. Oh! And those "exclusive" tees from the likes of Alexander Wang et al were perhaps not so exclusive after all since they're also available for $40 for one or $60 for two (originally $45).

The Jeanious Bar is on hand again with denim lines including Citizens of Humanity, Goldsign, MIH, AG and DL1961 (all $100). There is a fitting area for denim only, but sadly, no on-site tailoring this time around.

Also don't forget to check out the Free Arts NYC "Shopping From the Heart" booth with designer items, plus gently used pieces from Mary Alice Stephenson's closet. We noted a Malandrino peasant blouse for $50 and an ornately architectural Junya Watanabe jacket for $175. One hundred percent of proceeds benefit Free Arts NYC.

We feel like we just wrote a novel, but we barely scratched the surface on this juggernaut of a shopping extravaganza. Staffers are thankfully handing out maps of the event; don't forget that other than the Jeanious Bar, there are no dressing rooms. For ticket and pricing information, click here. To sum it up, if you decide to go, allot a good chunk of the day to browse, quaff a cocktail or two for fortification, and make sure to have your credit cards (and elbows) ready.
· Above the Fray: Lucky Shops Supersizes It [Racked]
· Above the Fray: Girls Heart Dresses at the Vena Cava Sample Sale [Racked]
· Lucky Shops 2010 [Official Site]

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