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Culture Map is everywhere Nordstrom is, mapping out the best in arts, events and happenings.

Let’s say we gave you five minutes to make a list of pop music’s most fantastically styled artists, and then another five minutes to pair those artists in the most imaginative and/or improbable ways possible.

How long would it take you to get to David Bowie and Boy George?

If you’re in Chicago this fall or winter, the answer is probably “not long.” The city’s Museum of Contemporary Art is about a month into a three-and-a-half-month exhibit called David Bowie IsThe show stops here, there and everywhere as it winds along, bringing in all manner of rock bands and pop artists to take their spin on the Man Who Fell to Earth. As in: On November 7 none other than Boy George, the eternal Karma Chameleon, gets behind the decks and soundtracks a one-night transformation of museum to nightclub.

Nowhere near the Windy City? MCA’s Bowie Tumblr is a not-bad substitute.

Image of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover from 1973 via MCA Chicago
Boy George image by Indira Cesarine via MCA Chicago
See upcoming events at Nordstrom Michigan Avenue in Chicago; for events at a Nordstrom near you, see our Stores & Events pages

October 29, 2014

Hump Day

It’s all downhill from here, friends—in a good way.

Just wondering: when did you last watch Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton starring Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, and yeah, the director’s daughter Sofia? Her brief time on-screen as Lane’s little sister is a reminder that you just never know who’s going to go on to inspire Marc Jacobs, get their very own Louis Vuitton style, and craft epic, color-washed films about midwestern adolescents and lovelorn young adults who turn to karaoke in times of need.

Like a lot of memories, some of the details are foggy. These images are from sometime around 2000, when Oscar de la Renta visited our Seattle flagship upon the launch of one of his fragrance collections. The snapshots of the designer and our employees were taken at a luncheon that preceded an in-store appearance.

And while the date of this particular moment is lost, what remains—what will always remain—is how the designer made us feel.

“Mr. de la Renta was the consummate gentleman in the industry; he understood how to make women look and feel beautiful. His work created a visual fantasy of sorts, but always with a nod to realism so you could be confident and enjoy the moment. His work was never confused with any other designer as it had a true signature: subtle but always recognizable in shape, pattern, color and construction. He also was one of the first brave American couturiers to explore beyond evening into sportswear, although he was always known for his beautiful evening pieces. The definition of couture was in transition in the ’80s; the French previously owned the category, but Mr. de la Renta gave credibility to American couture and elevated it, not just in terms of the quality of his collections and his construction, but also because he was so charismatic and charming.” —Sue Patneaude, Executive Vice President, Designer Women’s Apparel (retired)

“What I remember about meeting Oscar de la Renta in 2002 is his smile and quiet elegance.” —Kylie Allensworth, Internal Communications Director

“Mr. de la Renta was the first guest designer to come into the Jeffrey Fashion Cares fund-raiser in Atlanta. He was amazing that night with all of his fans; he was such a gentleman in every way.” —Jeffrey Kalinsky, Vice President, Designer Fashion Director

“What’s amazing about Oscar is that his reach went beyond his own collection. He had such influence on and was such a positive role model for American designers. Not that they ever tried to be him, but he was so well thought of. The biggest compliment to him, and to the business he built, is that women wear his clothes because they make them feel beautiful and feminine; his brand can continue because there is such a strong sense of what Oscar de la Renta stands for. We just had a big luncheon for Oscar de la Renta clients here in Seattle. He was not here for that, but his business has never been bigger or better. Even though the brand has been around since the late ’60s, it remains relevant, and I think that says something.” —Jennifer Wheeler, Vice President, Corporate Merchandise Manager, Women’s Designer Apparel

Image via New York Times

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.

I understand you really lobbied to get the film shot in Seattle.
We’d been talking about Atlanta and L.A. and all these other places. As a Seattle-based filmmaker, I get special satisfaction out of things being really geographically specific. When they’re at the Northgate Nordstrom, that’s exactly where they would’ve gone for prom dresses. Later, they crash a car near the mall and end up at the North Seattle Police Department. It was so wonderful that Nordstrom let us shoot there. That’s the mall I grew up in. We went there all the time.

Style is often as definitive as location. What’s the style like in Laggies?
It really is all about the characters. I’ve never made a film that had a different objective than this, but this is a film where I wanted the characters to feel real. It was like the apartments and the houses that these people lived in were real, too. This was not aspirational living like in some films, where characters have a simple job but they live in a crazy mansion. Keira’s character was floating along. She wears outfits that she doesn’t stick out in—though trying to make Keira Knightley not stick out in a crowd? That’s a tall order. To be not supermodel gorgeous, but instead like a real human being, she really dressed down.

Chloë’s character is 16 years old. She has a very retro vibe. She listens to ’70s music. We had her in flare jeans and some vintage pieces, like old leather jackets. She’s an au naturale girl. We had fun with her in terms of her having that kind of teenage experimentation. Every day she wore something a little bit different.

So you had Keira Knightley, this amazing personality who’s known for her style and grace, but you needed to dress her down. Way down.
Yes! One of the outfits was a white T-shirt and Levi’s. We had her playing around on a skateboard. Kind of tomboy-ish. There’s also a scene where she goes to her friend’s wedding brunch and wears a navy cardigan and a plain little skirt with little flats, an iconic look. Also, her dad’s a tax accountant, and she takes a temporary gig as his sign twirler. The uniform for that is white jeans and a white shirt and white Keds. Her hair was back. She looked very natural, a no-makeup look. We had her on the street, right on the corner. Cars were just going by her. Not a single person noticed it was her.

What was her style like on-set? Tell us she at least showed up in some great pieces?
Keira likes to dress up. She definitely obviously does an incredible job of that when she does it. But I’ve got to tell you, more often than not she would come to set in baggy overalls and a T-shirt, and that was adorable—I mean adorable. She can just pull anything off. She is one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. When it’s not dress-up time, she wants to be comfortable. She does have those opportunities to really go over the top—for galas, on set—but she’s somebody who just really likes to be comfortable and is comfortable in her own skin.

As for Chloë, jeans and jackets and funkiness were her personal everyday look. She had a lot of opinions about what her character would wear. Chloë was similar in a lot of ways to what her character, Annika, is like.

Let’s switch platforms. You’ve done some television, too; what was it like directing an episode of Mad Men, when work becomes this impeccably and specific well-dressed environment?
It’s a total time capsule. You’re thrust into this whole other era. And then, just on the other side of their acting space, you’re looking at this crew of people wearing hoodies; fifty people just on the outside of the frame who all look casual. It’s very funny to be in those extremes.

What about with New Girl?
Zooey [Deschanel]’s look on her show is so awesome. Her character, Jess, definitely has a style, but it includes a lot of really fun, playful looks. She can be sexy, but she can also be in flannel PJs with little cherries on them. You’re always looking to see what’s next.

I also directed episode four of the current season of The Mindy Project. Mindy Kaling is really into fashion. She has really specific ideas about the things she wants her character to wear. I got to see her Emmy dress before she went on to present for the Emmys and had a lot of conversations with her about that dress.

And what about your own look? What are you craving for the fall season?
I always want new boots. That’s an obsession for me, along with the other 90 percent of women in this country. And I definitely need a new coat, too. There are a lot of things that I covet, for sure. I keep having different premieres and red carpet events to go to!

—Bibi Deitz
Laggies film stills shot on location at Nordstrom by Barbara Kinney
Laggies opens nationwide on October 24.

Frame Denim and Nordstrom joined up to make a big splash back in January, when leggy women everywhere scissored into the Pop-In for the Karlie Kloss-designed capsule collection as well as an expanded selection of Frame goods that included white denim overalls and rad shirts and jackets. Suffice it to say the whole denim-on-denim look went next-level.

The Los Angeles-based, Los Angeles-made line continues to chicly assert itself as a go-to for the kind of girl who fancies a pointy flat and a simple black t-shirt with her slim-fits. The kind of girl, that is, who fancies Hanneli Mustaparta as the ultimate style icon.

The model, blogger and street style frequent flier kicks off Frame’s #GIRLSINFRAME video campaign. To see the rest of the series—for barefoot dance party grooves, low-key/high-style outfit tips and general mood-boosting—plug in your earphones and …

READ MORE

Our Zella PRO expert instructors are ready to get you going with inspiration, info and tips on staying fit and healthy. Missy DeWalt—a Pure Barre instructor in Orange County, California—gives us seven easy steps to living a healthier life that you can start right now.

Studies show that it can take anywhere from two weeks to a year for a new habit to become part of your automatic behavioral response. However long it takes to make changes to your lifestyle, one thing is certain: if you don’t start today, a year from now you’ll wish you had. Here are seven of my favorite simple steps that you can take toward a healthier and happier future. Start today and that lifestyle is even closer.

READ MORE

 

Olivia-Kim-Nordstrom

Shoppers and style-watchers of a certain stripe—analytical, business-minded—count The Business of Fashion among their daily go-to’s. The site’s name says it all, and editor/founder Imran Amed delivers on the daily. Yesterday, BoF’s Kate Abnett interviewed our own Olivia Kim for the Careers/Role Call section of the online publication; may we recommend perusing the whole slew of mover-and-shaker Q & A’s?

And, for that matter, Olivia’s blog, and the Pop-In@Nordstrom shop, for which she has become so darn beloved.

 

Our complimentary bra fittings are usually shenanigans-free (and you leave knowing your perfect size), but The Ellen DeGeneres Show usually isn’t behind the scenes with hidden cameras setting booby traps. Kudos to our Fit Specialist Serena, who handled this situation with aplomb.

Through October 26, for every bra purchased online from participating brands, Nordstrom and that brand will donate $2 to the Young Survival Coalition, a nonprofit supporting young women with breast cancer.

Circle up the bookworms; here’s this month’s trio of newly released and/or otherwise timely tomes.

not_that_kind_of_girl

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

The New York Times describes this brand-spanking-new release as “a kind of memoir disguised as an advice book, or a how-to book in the guise of a series of personal essays,” and while some might find it hard to stomach the aforementioned from a gal who has yet to hit her thirtieth birthday, well, maybe they of the raised eyebrows are the reason the word “learned” is in quotes on the cover. (Would the more accurate tagline “A young woman tells you what she’s learning” move as many units? Rhetorical.) Bottom line: we as a culture-watching unit seem rather unable to look away as Dunham bares all on her television show and then transforms herself into a sort of chic Everywoman for the red carpet, but all of that is largely due her wit and humor. Consider Girl the written equivalent of full frontal nudity.

women_in_clothes

Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton

Yes, this editorial dream team hits several key modern and classic intellectual reference points from the New York Times (Shapton was an art director) to McSweeney’s (Julavits is a co-editor of The Believer), but it’s that “& 639 others” that really makes this a power squad of voice and perspective. Just about every page in this hefty 528-page crowd-sourced, globally inclusive essay collection/voyeurism vehicle reads like the best dinner party conversation you’ve never had—unless of course you’ve already chatted with Kim GordonRivka Galchen, ex-pats, octogenarians, and digital natives about clothing swaps, corsets, self identity, and the sex lives of ducks.

100_football_shirts

1000 Football Shirts by Bernard Lions

Look, as far as we’re concerned, you can’t take the sport trend too seriously. In prep of the next big game day (football, soccer, ping pong?), fire up the buffalo wing sauce, grab a key spot on the sectional, and then open up this bad boy and get the visual score on 100 years of vividly iconic team looks from 100 countries—all while wearing our aesthetically “athletic” Marc by Marc Jacobs Motocross Uprising Dress perhaps?

October 13, 2014

Monday, Monday

susan sontag
Four days until Friday, friends.
Here’s an Annie Leibovitz picture of the great thinker, author, and activist Susan Sontag—in a bear suit.