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In this new series, we talk to artists and designers about their most personal works and the projects that are closest to their hearts.
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How does an aspiring fashion photographer who shoots Santa photos at Nordstrom to make ends meet transition to award-winning fine art photographer in just five years? For Santa Fe–based Zoe Marieh Urness, the journey has been a storied one. Since April of this year, Urness, who is Tlingit and Cherokee, has been traveling the western United States, shooting the ceremonies, dances and regalia of Native Americans for her ambitious photo series, Native Americans: Keeping the Traditions Alive. Using her art to help preserve the traditions of indigenous people, she produces photos that serve to connect the old ways to the modern-day realities of the Native world.

The importance of passing on tradition through storytelling, dance and song is deeply ingrained in Native American life, and Urness has managed to not only participate in this sacred heritage in a stylish and contemporary manner, but through her diligent documentation is sharing the ways of those whom she honors with a wider audience. Gaining traction largely through word of mouth, the series has grown organically and exponentially as one subject leads Urness to the next, and what began as a solitary endeavor has blossomed into a communal effort, unconstrained by tribe or borders.

We spoke with Urness about Keeping the Traditions Alive to get a deeper sense of the adventures she’s encountered, as well as how this endeavor has impacted her personally.

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November 26, 2014

Black Friday Sale at Nordstrom

The turkey’s chillin’, the boss is outta town, and here’s more good news: you can shop Black Friday deals online a day early—on Thursday, November 27. And TGIF: on Friday, November 28, nab an additional 20% off selected sale items when you shop in store.*

Black Friday Sale at Nordstrom.

Shop: Clothing | Shoes | Handbags & Accessories 
*Does not include price-matched items, items purchased online for in-store pickup or designer collections. See details.

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Our chefs, Wit & Wonder Gifts team and blog editor take the stress out of planning a full-course menu that’s memorable (in a good way) and won’t keep you stuck in the kitchen all night. In a special What’s Cooking series, we’re serving up six perfectly paired, delicious recipes and inspiration for holiday entertaining—from drinks and dessert to décor and gifts.

Nordstrom recipe for triple chocolate cheesecake with Maker's dark chocolate and mint; photo by Jeff Powell.

After cocktails, a salad, side dish and entrée…finally, dessert! And it’s more than worthy of capping off the impressive dinner menu. After making this rich and fudgy cheesecake at home to photograph, I brought it into the office to share with my cohorts in digital creative. I’ll let just a few of their unsolicited email responses speak for themselves.

“it’s SO GOOD!” -Tina R., Senior Designer

“Wow. Superb. Truly delicious. And I’m not even a cheesecake guy!” -Andy C., Creative Director

“Best. Cheesecake. Ever!  Wow!!” Corinna H., Web Designer

“Oh wow, that is so delicious!!” -Jamie K., Copy Manager

“And it was DELICIOUS!’ -Amy B., Creative Director

“!!!!!!!!!!” -Justin A., Senior Editor

Nordstrom recipe for triple chocolate cheesecake with Maker's dark chocolate and mint; photo by Jeff Powell.

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What is it like growing up in the fashion industry? Ask Nicky Hilton. A lifetime of Fashion Week front rows, strutting the catwalk and red carpets and eventually designing her own collections made Hilton a connoisseur of clothing. Having never employed a stylist, Hilton climbed her way up the best-dressed lists all on her own, trusting her own sartorial moxie to get her there. Now Hilton passes her secrets along in the form of a new book called 365 Style, which details her special formula for developing a signature style.

Hilton visited our Bellevue Square store on November 14 to give fans the inside scoop on her new book and answer a few of our burning questions. Here she gives us a crash course in personal style, including her five must-have items of the moment.

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We like the holidays around here. We really, really like the holidays. So as we get this week started, visions of canned cranberries and not-quite-traditional sing-alongs are doing the Running Man in our heads. Seriously, it’s a little distracting. Here’s what we’re looking forward to dragging out of the hall closet this weekend, plugging into the DVD player and more …

Lauren Ireland, Print Editorial Director: Music: Nick Drake’s Time of No Reply is quiet and soft—a gentle snowfall in musical form. Pinetop Seven’s Rigging the Toplights is eerie, beautiful, atmospheric; it’s just right for a hushed, wintry walk. And this sounds strange, but Black Sabbath’s eponymous album perfectly captures the winter landscape. It’s a gorgeous (if dark) cold-weather album. Books: I reread Donna Tartt’s The Secret History every winter. Its austere, mysterious atmosphere always gets me in a snowy mood. The Once and Future King is a warm, festive, fire-lit modern re-telling of the Arthurian legend. Movies: Edward Scissorhands is a spooky, quirky, wintry romance. For anyone who has seen enough of Love Actually. Finally, Scrooged. It’s exactly right for a humbug like me.

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Our chefs, Wit & Wonder Gifts team and blog editor take the stress out of planning a full-course menu that’s memorable (in a good way) and won’t keep you stuck in the kitchen all night. In a special What’s Cooking series, we’re serving up six perfectly paired, delicious recipes and inspiration for holiday entertaining—from drinks and dessert to décor and gifts.

Nordstrom recipe for easy Peppercorn-Crusted Lamb Chops with Sriracha & Fig Jam; photo by Jeff Powell.

The beauty of this recipe is in its serious simplicity. From start to finish, you’ll be done in well under an hour—with minimal effort—and have two gorgeous racks of lamb to show for it. To complement the lamb chops, an unexpected combo of Sriracha and fig jam create a one-step sauce that’s a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot easy. Plated up and accompanied by those Gratinéed Brussels Sprouts, these peppercorn rib chops make for a main course that will leave you with a table full of happy guests and compliments to the chef.

Nordstrom recipe for easy Peppercorn-Crusted Lamb Chops with Sriracha & Fig Jam; photo by Jeff Powell.

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Since The Velvet Underground quietly disintegrated in the early ’70s there have been numerous reissues and special collections of their body of work—from their now-groundbreaking first album featuring Nico (with a Warhol-designed cover) to their last studio album, Loaded, a disc chock-full of grooving pop hits. Their parent label, Universal, has made good use of whatever demo tracks, behind-the-scenes photos and anecdotal tidbits they can wrangle to create sets that are a collector’s dream. And there are some pretty rabid VU collectors out there.

Next week, the third Velvets release (commonly referred to as The Grey Album) gets the deluxe reissue treatment. It’s a lovely record, and the first where the band shifted from a dark, dirty NY-art-scene feel to tunes that were more melodic and melancholic. The band also shifted members: Welsh music prodigy and viola player John Cale departed and a young bass player from Long Island named Doug Yule signed on.

Historically, Yule hasn’t really been one to do tons of interviews, but since he happens to be this writer’s father he kind of had to grant us one (thanks, Dad).

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Our latest Pop-In Shop—GIFT & GOhouses sleigh-loads of gifts as unique as the loved ones on your list.

How unique, you ask? Think leather harnesses favored by Lady Gaga, blacked-out Rolexes customized exclusively for us, and 14-karat emoticons worth 1,000 words.

Keep reading for insights from Olivia Kim (Nordstrom’s Director of Creative Projects, Pop-In curator and resident wrap artist) on the treasures she hopes to find nestled under her Christmas cactus this holiday season.

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Seattle, it seems, loves a good jersey dress. Or a great American designer. Or an exceptional life storylike The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg.

Or all of the above. The standing-room-only crowd at Elliott Bay Books on Friday, November 14 was likely compelled by a number of reasons, and when a patterned-shirt-dress clad DVF came through the back hallway door and strode up the left aisle all of them coalesced in the form of whoops, yelps and lots of applause.

(left) @lovemooyoung via Instagram | (right) @jamilghores via Instagram

Seattle Art Museum’s Chiyo Ishikawa introduced von Furstenberg and our own Laura Cassidy, editor of the Thread, and the two began a 15-minute open dialog concerning literary aspirations (hers were simple: to tell her mother’s story, but she realized that to do so required telling her own), character studies (the memoir is studded with stars playing really interesting parts) and civic duties (she gave us a few tips on how to get a Seattle version of New York’s Highline: in short, demand beautiful public space and don’t give up).

The mic then went to the room and the most Tweeted and Instagrammed moment emerged: a fan asked the designer what her favorite part of being a woman was and DVF answered, “That I’m not a man,” and bent in half in laughter at her own joke.

We’re a biased bunch of writers, sure, but for our money, we loved it when she called herself a femmmmmmminist—that’s a feminist with lots of M’s, as she explained. And we really loved the time she compared a writer’s breakthrough moment to an orgasm. What a gal.

We spent a little time with DVF offstage and behind the scenes before all of that went down, and took the opportunity to shoot the first in what we hope will be your favorite new video series. Check it out here.

SHOP: DVF

Eliza J Metallic Tulip Dress

Eliza J Metallic Tulip Dress

Office functions, galas, family gatherings, friendly get-togethers—between now and the new year there are a lot of parties coming. Bring ‘em on. We love a good party; it’s an excellent excuse to buy a new dress. Win, win! If you’re of the same mind, head over to our dress trend guide. It’s full of metallic minis, lacy LBDs and all manner of other beautiful frocks.

Shop: Our Party Dress Guide

Vince Camuto Sequin Scuba Shift Dress
BB Dakota Lace Fit & Flare Dress | Vince Camuto Scuba Shift Dress