The first thing you should know about Fashion’s Night Out Beverly Hills is that at first glance, it’s very unclear what the point is. At least in New York, Fashion’s Night Out kicks off New York Fashion Week, a legitimate event in the world of couture. With nothing similar to peg it to in L.A., it frankly seemed a little…random.

But it didn’t take this blogger too long, wandering the festive few blocks of Rodeo Drive that were cordoned off for the event last night, to realize that there is no big secret to understanding Fashion’s Night Out: it’s just about shopping. A whole night of shopping. Shopping in stores that, in theory, one could access at any time. That’s it. There’s no poignant philosophy, no tie-in to a national holiday, no money for charity, not even, really, a major company behind-the-scenes that stands to make gains, except, of course, the participating stores.

Once I’d accepted that fact, the event took on a whole new sheen. It became a fun and festive evening, complete with all the characters you’d hope to see ambling the streets of Beverly Hills: the young models, the middle-aged plastic surgery queens, the husbands with dyed hair and crisp white button-downs, the occasional high-fashion gay man who picks out all the clothes for the aforementioned inhabitants of the city (yes, Beverly Hills is its own city).

And I did learn a few things. Here they are: