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Behind the Scenes

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

Call it fashion’s unofficial kick-off to the Holiday 2014 party season: Topshop and Topman celebrated the opening of their New York City flagship on Fifth Avenue with a heck of a bash inside Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall. As exclusive Topshop partners, Nordstrom was only too happy to help our friends celebrate. Here’s our inside report on the very good time. 

Everybody Loves Sir Philip: Pictured here with Poppy Delevingne and Ciara on his arms, Sir Philip Green—Topshop’s parent-company owner—took a minute to give a shout-out to Pete Nordstrom and the rest of the company for a successful and stylish partnership during his welcome address.

Bey in the Place To Be: On the heels of the other big Topshop news—the announcement of the Topshop X Beyoncé-partnership, that is—Queen B dropped jaws as she quietly slipped into the party wearing this sparkly Topshop number.

Sister, Sisters: Among the celebs in attendance was this pair of chic sisters: Poppy and Cara Delevingne and Nicky and Paris Hilton.

Party People, All Night Long: Leave it to Cara Delevingne to get things started on the dance floor. Live jams from Jessie J (pictured), Nick Jonas and Lionel Richie (yes, the very; he and Sir Philip are buds) rocked the house—er, the train station.

Keep On Babin’ On: But of course the fashion was on point. From left to right: model, mom and art director Julia Restoin Roitfeld, British model Jourdan Dunn and New York City-based model and DJ Harley Viera-Newton exemplified the turned-out turnout.

Nordstrom & Co. On the Scene: Brandy Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, Nordstrom’s Topshop Director Deniz Anders, Sir Philip Green, our gal Olivia Kim, model Cara Delevingne and Nordstrom Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager Tricia Smith

Images 1-5 from Topshop’s Facebook
SHOP: Topshop and Topman

On the short list of things based in Seattle: Nordstrom, and director Lynn Shelton. Okay, so that’s the very short list, but the geographical coupling is a recently significant one. While the movie industry churns on in Los Angeles and New York, the Cannes-featured, Sundance Special Jury Prize-winning filmmaker stays put. Her most recent must-see, Laggies, takes place in the Emerald City—and, in part, at Nordstrom. We spoke with Shelton about shooting the upcoming film in her hometown, and we dished leading ladies, fashion choices on-camera and off, and those ever-natty Mad Men.

THE THREAD: Okay so, Half-Yearly Sale? New shoes? What brings Keira Knightley and Chloë Moretz’s characters into Nordstrom?
Lynn Shelton: There’s a little scene at the beginning, where they’re in the store’s entryway with a couple of guy friends, [but the main scene involves] Keira’s character going with Chloë’s to find prom dresses. The scene ends up being very dramatic; Chloë ends up storming out.

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Pop-In@Nordstrom Welcomes I.T: We collaborated with Hong Kong fashion collective I.T to bring brands izzue, :CHOCOOLATE, Mini Cream and Aape by A BATHING APE to the U.S. for the first time.

Bringing a Hong Kong phenomenon stateside for the first time ever isn’t easy. After months of planning, just when we thought everything was a go—our boat-load (literally) of high-low HK fashion got hung up in customs!

It was all worth it, though. In the words of Pop-In@Nordstrom curator Olivia Kim, “I.T is one of my favorite things about Hong Kong—aside from the food and frenetic energy. When I went to Hong Kong for the first time, I fell in love.”

We think you’ll love I.T, too. Shop online and at selected Nordstrom stores starting today—and keep reading to go behind the scenes at our Seattle photo shoot (to which the clothes arrived just in time).

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Amanda Wheeler is a writer for Nordstrom’s creative print initiatives; she shared a day in her life with us, and we’re in turn sharing it with you.

What happens behind the scenes of an average plus-size photo shoot? When buzzed-about models Candice Huffine and Philomena “Phil” Kwao are concerned, nothing is average. Here’s the inside track on October’s Encore campaign, complete with outfit tips from both high-style gals and all the best fall looks.

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Model Pauline Hoarau in Haute Hippie, shot recently in Chelsea, NYC, by Angelo Pennetta

The photographs in our fall Labels We Love spotlight features the amazingly bold, graphic multimedia paintings of artist Holly Miller. Born in Buffalo, NY, and raised in Rome as the daughter of an American journalist, Miller now calls Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, home. We caught up with her in the studio as she prepared for a few forthcoming exhibitions of her work.

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We invited a handful of our favorite NYC Instagrammers to collaborate with us on our fall trend accessories and shoes campaign. They joined us at an Instameet-style shoot in the Big Apple because, party! We filled the studio with next season’s shoes, handbags, jewelry and hosiery, and let them do what they do best. It was a photo shoot match made in heaven, and we’re in love with the results. It’s a little bit of catalog and little bit of Instagram. We’re calling it Instalog! Here’s our partnership lineup:


Sara Zucker @SARAZUCKER | Laurel Pantin @LAPANTIN


Liz Eswein @NEWYORKCITY | Alice Gao @ALICE_GAO


Rachel & Nicole Effendy @RACHELETNICOLE | Madeline Poole @MPNAILS


Susan Joy @SUSANJOY | Anthony Danielle @TAKINYERPHOTO


Jessie Artigue @STYLEANDPEPPER | Hilary Rushford @HILARYRUSHFORD


Caroline Harper Knapp @HOUSEOFHARPER | Getting the shot behind the scenes.

Check out the fresh perspectives of our 11 featured Instagrammers in our fall handbags, jewelry, boots and hosiery shops.

Jeff Powell

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Art, nature and the human body were inspirations at Osklen today, where hairstyles took central focus backstage.

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We’re accustomed to seeing polished and refined from Narciso Rodriguez, so it was a dramatic surprise to see a bit of punk and edge in the makeup Dick Page planned for the show. Inspired by Debbie Harry, Page used versions of eyeliner as the wow factor—including pencil, cream, liquid and, of course, mascara.

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The liner was a wedge shape on the outer lid, and when models opened their eyes there was a bit of transfer on their eyelids. Page let it be, and allowed a more lived-in look. When we asked how darkly to apply the liner, he replied “keep going until you can’t see anymore.” Noted!

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This was the 8th and final show for Deborah Lippmann, and she went out with a bang. Her last nail look was a matte camel color—a color she described as a “weird, cool camel.” The concoction consisted of a base coat, two coats of Terranova, dried after 1-2 minutes, then finished off with Flat Top, a mattifier.

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The completed look left us in agreement with Page on this quote about his makeup inspiration: “Debbie Harry on her worst day is cooler than us on our best day.” Touché!

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We can’t think of any designer who is more known for sheer romanticism than Vera Wang. Her spring/summer ’15 collection was the exact representation of that—from fashion to makeup and nails.

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