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Three Minutes With

September 26, 2012

Three Minutes With: Rachel Roy

The always lovely designer—and repeat Project Runway guest judge—Rachel Roy visited our Seattle Flagship Store last week to meet and mingle with lucky shoppers. There was a lot to celebrate, including the launch of her Rachel Roy Dress Salon (check out the gorgeous lookbook) and her new shoe line. What better time to do a little Q&A and get the dish on her inspirations and must-have item for fall!

Tell us about your new dress collection and the inspiration behind it.
Beauty, strength and effortless elegance inspired the new collection. The dress, to me, is about the ease of putting on one singular piece and making that your statement. It’s a collection of dresses that flatter, fit and move with each need in a woman’s busy life. I love that feeling of strength balanced with feminine silhouettes, and wearing a great dress can make you remember what is beautiful about life.

What do you look for in a great dress?
The feeling of elegant, sexy confidence. When you put it on, you know.

Is there an overall theme that ties your collections together?
My goal is always to design things that make women feel smart and confident, and there’s always a theme of the effortless and exotic in my collections. I think beauty and style should be effortless and at the same time look amazing, so I try to achieve that through interesting silhouettes and shapes. Exotic touches like print mixing and fabric manipulation add interest and depth to the story we are telling with the collections.

Where do you look for inspiration when designing?
Old Hollywood movies have always been an inspiration. I love the strength and glamour of Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn. I surround myself with art that inspires in my home and office. It’s important to me to fill my spaces with canvases, photography and sculpture that tell a story or elicit an emotion.

Describe the woman you envision wearing your clothes.
I design for women like me—working, raising a family, and navigating everything that comes with that. It means a great deal to me when women trust me enough to wear the collection or try something new. Designing, to me, is about helping women express themselves, and when she chooses to wear something from my collection and feels good in it, then I’ve done my job.

Do you have a favorite new trend or must-have item for fall?
A dress! It’s that one piece that’s always flattering and that works perfectly with anything from a leather jacket to a sweater coat. It’s the most versatile piece a woman can own.

Your blog editor recently heard of an afternoon of workout classes called “Champagne Sunday”—happening this Saturday, September 8, at our King of Prussia store—and had to know more.

Turns out, the force behind this innovative workout experience is Christina Stoltz, founder of Ploome, a Pilates studio and movement arts boutique. Stoltz is bringing our customers an afternoon full of surprises, refreshments, goodie bags and her signature, unconventional classes. We’re talking hula hoops, burlesque-inspired moves and cardio barre routines. No wonder Champagne Sunday was voted Best of Philly 2012: Best Workout by Philadelphia Magazine.

Stoltz also happens to be a fan of the Nordstrom-exclusive activewear brand Zella. So, who better to ask about her favorite pieces and making working out fun than our Philly community Zella liaison?

What do you feel makes Zella special?
Zella is a brand for every woman, designed to fit and flatter all shapes and sizes. It’s fun and functional, with a studio-to-street edge that looks and feels great in the gym and on the go. As a studio owner, nonprofit director and workout nut, I need clothing and accessories that meet the demands of my schedule. Zella’s moisture-wicking fabrics, form-fitting cuts and quality designs carry me through the day without stretching, pilling or fading. In Zella, I feel as fabulous working out at 5am as I do teaching class at 9pm. They surely don’t call them ‘Live In Leggings’ for nothing!

What are your favorite Zella items?
I’m bananas for the Zeltek Mid Statement Jacket right now. The colors are rich, vibrant and happy! I can’t tell you how many Ploome clients and REQ.1 participants have complimented me on this coat, and how many have asked to try it on! This is a must for fall. The Live In Leggings and Capris are true time and money savers, as well. They look amazing with sneakers and high boots, and they perform well on long runs and during intense workouts. Most importantly, Zella’s Live In Leggings are work appropriate at both Ploome and REQ.1, its sister nonprofit organization providing support and resources to victims of violence. There’s no need for me to change between classes and meetings!

What’s your personal life philosophy?
Movement matters. After surviving a brutal physical assault and attempted abduction in Central Asia, I felt powerless. I was physically and psychologically broken, far from home and unable to access the resources I needed to heal. My personal recuperation through fitness, writing and art transformed my life. I have fallen back in love with my body and celebrate its strength and beauty through movement every day—I hula hoop, I Skip-It and I smile! At Ploome and REQ.1, I am blessed to share my passion for healing through movement and art and for building creative communities dedicated to personal transformation and social change. I am truly living my dream and am eternally grateful for all of the support and kindness our Ploome clients and REQ.1 participants have shown!

What are your favorite ways of making working out fun?
I love to create funky workout routines that utilize childhood favorites, like hula hoops, Double Dutch ropes and Skip-Its as fitness props to advance my clients’ workouts. Your daily workouts should be fun, and the people with whom you share a group fitness class should feel like old-time friends! It’s amazing to watch my clients’ faces light up as they push themselves through challenging classes that blend playful movement with traditional strength and resistance training. The studio is always full of laughter. Inspired by my clients and the good times we spend together, I have created some of my all-time favorite workouts (Bottoms Up Booty Camp, Wunda Barre Apparatus, and Armed and Dangerous Mat, to name a few!).

Join Christina this Saturday, September 8, from 2pm-5pm for Champagne Sunday. For more information, or to sign up, contact our King of Prussia store at 610.265.6111.

Also, read more about Ploome’s mission, to celebrate body diversity and promote social responsibility. Through the revenue generated from its fitness programs and community fundraisers, Ploome provides programming and financial support to REQ.1, its sister nonprofit organization. REQ.1 empowers victims of violence to transcend trauma and heal through movement and art.

Images by Joe Perri Photography

New York native and Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet dishes on her fall inspirations.

What’s your favorite upcoming trend for fall?
Metallic bottoms! Cargos and leather too!

Name one article of clothing every woman should own.
High heels. Really high heels.

If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be doing?
Color therapy. Or interior design. I love designing–it can be a room, a shoe–anything! I just love making pretty things.

What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Girl Talk and Big In Japan!

Are there any trends you hope never go away?
Sexy pants!

It began with a pair of jeans for this New York-based duo, but as Marcus Wainwright & David Neville share, rag & bone has become their way of life.

What are your favorite trends for fall?
David: Monochrome will be big this fall, and we’ve got a great arrow print, which was inspired by the photography of Malik Sidibe. Opulence is another big theme, and rag & bone’s fall/winter collection was actually inspired by faded colonial grandeur, which is reflected with plenty of rich bronze and floral tapestry.

Name one article of clothing every woman should own.
Marcus: A tailored blazer.

Are there any trends you hope never go away?
David: Urban utility.

If you weren’t fashion designers, what would you be doing?
Marcus: David likes to think he’d be a professional golfer, but he’d probably still be working in banking. I’d be miserable doing something else. I don’t think either of us were really cut out for corporate jobs!

What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Marcus: I’m listening to mainly show-related stuff: Air by Doom, Give Up the Ghost by Radiohead, Bloom by Radiohead, Codex by Radiohead, Cloudlight by Eskmo, Every Day by AFX

Bangkok-born designer Phillip Lim opens up about his latest inspirations.

What’s your favorite upcoming trend for fall?
Duality—the idea of having something that can be like armor, something that can transform with what the day brings.

Name one article of clothing every woman should own.
A good coat.

Are there any trends you hope never go away?
Dressing up!

What’s the last article of clothing you purchased?
A lightweight silk tuxedo—not sure when I’ll wear it, but I know I will at some point.

If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be doing?
I haven’t really thought about it. I love making clothes, so why would I want to change?

What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Kavinsky and The Bones of J.R. Jones.

Kenzo Creative Directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (Opening Ceremony founders) chatted with us about their fall 2012 collection, favorite cities for fashion and their ultimate style tip for women. Check out what these fashion darlings had to say.

Image by Gregory Harris via Interview

Who is the Kenzo woman?
When we design a collection, we don’t picture a specific individual or type of person. Instead, we always want to design for all kinds of women, for all occasions. Within the FW12 collection, we focused on different stories for women, whether it’s a woman getting ready to go out in her chicest outfit, or going for a casual lunch date with friends, so that within the collection there were pieces that worked for every woman and every story.

What were the inspirations for your Fall 2012 collection?
This collection was inspired by interiors. There were sharp lines that evoked the sharp corners and linear elements of an interior landscape together with the softer curves and accents that make a home. The prints for this collection are very special to us. One is a hand-drawn marble print, and there are also fruit prints designed exclusively for us by Spanish art director Juan Gatti that were a play on bowls of fruits as home accents.

If you could give a woman just one style tip, what would it be?
Wear something that you are comfortable in. You could be wearing the latest trend, but if you aren’t comfortable in it, it won’t look good. To us, the most fashionable thing you can do is to look like yourself and embrace your individual style.

What’s next for Kenzo?
We want to push ourselves and Kenzo into the future. Part of Kenzo’s history, and its future, is to inspire people, to make them feel bold, to laugh, to go do something interesting. There is a whole universe to explore with the house, and we’ve only just started a very exciting voyage.

What are the essentials every woman needs in her wardrobe this fall?
Knits are always an important part of a fall wardrobe – knits were an important story in our fall collection for this very reason. They are so versatile, and can really fit any occasion. And of course, fall is a great time to invest in a coat for the season, so we also focused on outerwear. We especially loved the wool coats with the pleated bottom that zips off to become a cropped jacket.

What other fashion designers or innovators  do you admire?
There are so many brands in the industry that we admire for different reasons. We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some of these—for example, Juan Gatti is someone that we’ve long admired in the fashion industry, and we collaborated with him to create the exclusive fruit prints for the FW12 collection.

What is the most fashionable city in the world?
New York will always be a city that inspires us—the street style in New York is unlike that in any other city. That being said, we have been lucky enough to travel to many different parts of the world, and each location has been an inspiration to us in different ways.

June 4, 2012

Donna Karan

Donna Karan spent some time dishing with us about her fall collections, eponymous lifestyle brand and her most important style tip for women—not to mention what every woman needs in her wardrobe for fall.

What kind of woman do you design for?
I design for a universality of women who are urban, creative and passionate. Even if she doesn’t live in a city, she has the sensibility of one who does. This is a sophisticated woman—one who multitasks in her daily life, one who travels, one who always feels like she’s short on time and needs day-into-evening clothes she doesn’t have to think about.

What is the inspiration behind your pre-fall and fall 2012 collection?
We called pre-fall and fall Wo-Man. The concept is about empowering women with a potent mix of his tailoring and her sensuality. To me, style is in the contrasts—strong, soft; light, dark; liquid, structure.

So the objective was to offer her a sharp, shouldered and slim silhouette that could multi-function with ease and sophistication. A great, double-breasted cutaway jacket she can suit up with cuffed pants or a splice skirt. The femininity of a silk bodysuit. A tailored dress that is seduces by flashing just enough skin at the neck and/or leg. A topcoat she can wear over everything. The more pulled-together, the more confident, the more seductive.

If you could give a woman just one style tip, what would it be?
Know yourself, your body, your style, and dress to accentuate the positive and delete the negative. There’s nothing more stylish than confidence.

How has your brand evolved from where it began, and what’s next for Donna Karan?
Evolved is the perfect word because our Seven Easy Pieces philosophy is the same it was when we first began. Yet the woman and her lifestyle have evolved, and so the actual pieces have evolved with her. She’s even more diverse, pulled in even more directions. Style-wise, she’s more flexible, more creative because she’s not an either/or, she’s an “and.” That’s why we’ve opened Casual Luxe, to address her more relaxed side with sophistication.



What are the essentials every woman needs in her wardrobe this fall?
Think in terms of tailoring. A strongly shouldered cutaway jacket—it will modernize everything you own. A pegged or envelope skirt. Maybe a coatdress or jumpsuit. Tailoring feels very new and fresh.

May 24, 2012

Iris Apfel

Our favorite nonagenarian style icon, Iris Apfel is making headlines again. The Boston Globe reports that she’s donating over 600 articles of clothing and accessories (we’re talking the likes of Lagerfeld, Dior, McQueen) to the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.

All 600 enviable pieces were already lent to the museum during its 2009 exhibition, “Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel.” After reading the news of her collection’s permanent return to the museum, we thought it a perfect time to open our treasure chest and relive our interview with Apfel—shot as she as she marked the exhibition’s opening by styling our Nordstrom Northshore windows.

“If you can have one good little black dress and have a lot of accessories, you can change the look of the dress, and you can have umpteen outfits and always look good.”—Iris Apfel

This rare bird of fashion is sheer delight.

“When I think of Spring/Summer 2012, I think of bright colors and lots and lots and lots and lots of prints…Don’t be afraid to be noticed.” –Jeffrey Kalinksy, Nordstrom EVP of Designer Merchandising

Our own fashion kingpin, Jeffrey Kalinsky breaks down his designer essentials for the coming seasons in a way that only he can. Watch our interview, then browse Jeffrey’s Top Picks, a personally curated selection of the items he’s loving right now.

Our Women’s Apparel Trend Director, Adam Moon guides you through this spring’s key trends—and how to wear them—during our February catalog shoot with Tommy Ton.

Check out our Spring’s “It” List to browse and shop all our favorite trends featured in the video right now.