Inspiration

Makeup artists, hair and wardrobe stylists, and to some degree photographers, creative directors, producers and other crew members are in a tricky position: When you’re readying someone else for the public eye, it’s not necessarily your time to shine. But still… When you’re in the business of aesthetics and design, you’re expected to be an expert at looking good. For example, let’s say it’s your job to beautify Christina Aguilera before she performs during the Super Bowl. Yeah, that happened. And Venice Beach-based celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles managed to pull it off with effortless style.

Wearing: Helmut Lang top, NYDJ pants, Rachel Zoe sandals
Image courtesy Andrew Stiles

We asked this natural beauty, total pro and mom-of-one to tell us all about being California cool amongst the coolest of the cool in this installment of our brand-new interview series designed to inspire and inform that daily conundrum, What to wear to work?

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In partnership with the Seattle International Foundation (SIF) and as part of the Seattle Ambassador program, Nordstrom’s Elaine Raymond traveled to Bolivia last month to work with Etta Projects, one of the nonprofits supported by the foundation. Here, she shares her adventure.

As a marketing specialist at Nordstrom with a heart for world travel, I understand SIF’s motivation to raise awareness of the work being done to alleviate global poverty. And as a Seattleite, I was interested in an organization that gives people access to clean water. Here in the Northwest, we’re surrounded by it. The rain, the Sound, the lakes—but also with clean drinking water from every tap, faucet and hose. It’s easy to forget this isn’t the case everywhere in the world.

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Hiking through a village on Isla del Sol. The island is located on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Image courtesy Chris Megargee.

In addition to clean water initiatives, Etta Projects has sanitation improvement projects and a health promoters program. Simply put, the majority of their work involves getting safe living practicalities, health care and education to families. As often happens when you set out to help others, I ended up learning a lot about myself and the world in the process.

Here are the three things that resonated most.

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Video portrait by Elizabeth Rudge | makeup by Jenny Verador | hair by Eric Wennberg

Legendary drummer, bandleader and fiercely proud Bay Area native Sheila E. was the hardest of hardcore divas in the 1980s. It broke her down. Now she uses music to build people up.

Back when she ran with Prince and his crew, the timbale expert enforced 12-hour rehearsals for her band and gave commands, not suggestions. She had hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and built a lasting work ethic into countless musicians, like Raphael Saadiq who joined her cohort when he was 14. She also became a cold, unfeeling person. She details the transformation in her book The Beat of My Own Drum.

Now that’s all behind her and she’s found the love of music again. You can hear it in her album Icon from 2014 and see it in her music-therapy foundation Elevate Hope. We caught up with her while she was coaching a bunch of young players in Seattle for More Music at the Moore Theatre, teaching them to find their own voices.

We did not talk to her about Prince. We did talk about her dad, Latin jazz heavyweight Pete Escovedo; her godfather, Tito Puente; Krush Groove, the classic hip-hop movie she co-starred in with Run-DMC; and the fact that it took her leaving her family cocoon of supportive musicians to learn about the sexist notion that women shouldn’t play the drums.

Shop: T by Alexander Wang jacket | rag & bone dress

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How you living? If the tail end of your week—or the tail end of your bod, or your metabolism, or your outlook in general—could use a boost, we’ve got just the thing: We’re 15 days into this whole 30 Days of Radical Power Moves thing, so let’s mark the mid-way point with some favorites.

Like this most radical radical act of kindness prompt: Stage a dance party in a grocery store aisle.

And this excellent power move from a Nike workout expert. Walk it out, girls.

Item of this midway moment? The neo-classic Classic Cortez. With this little Topshop floral smock? All summer long, friends. All summer long.

And don’t forget to keep checking in with our Tumblr for words of wisdom from the women you want to believe in. Like Missy.

Shop: Nike Women Pop-In@Nordstrom

 Follow Olivia Kim on Instagram | Olivia Kim on Tumblr

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Yeah, Girl. The Nike Women’s Pop-In@Nordstrom is all about beholding the ultimate awesomeness of the female species. In this series we’re talking to a posse of women who do their best every day to exude power—whether that means stealthily scoring a soccer goal, cracking some killer code, evoking new ideas in art or just being there for someone who really needs them.  And maybe all of the above.

None other than W magazine called Los Angeles-based photographer Magdalena Wosinska’s first book an eyeful. And they didn’t just mean that the images were captivating. One of things that sets this Polish-born, motorcycle-riding babe apart is her ever-roaming life on the road, and the documents that come from it. But the other thing that makes Magda’s The Experience Vol. 1 highly singular are her signature selfies, in which she is naked—usually just from the waist up, and typically from the back only. To focus too much on this particular brand of body-loving self-expression is to ignore the collaborations with brands like Madewell (as in above) and the dreamy ’70s-vibed photographs that evoke a sort of tough-as-nails bohemian ideal. But I mean, still, it’s refreshing and compelling to see a woman take her image into her own hands. Literally.

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Yeah, Girl. The Nike Women Pop-In@Nordstrom is all about beholding the ultimate awesomeness of the female species. In this series we’re talking to a posse of women who do their best every day to exude power—whether that means stealthily scoring a soccer goal, cracking some killer code, evoking new ideas in art or just being there for someone who really needs them. And maybe all of the above.

Why not just start with Olivia? Would it surprise you to know that our director of special projects steps out of platform oxfords and into trainers on the regular? When I chatted with her she was just home from a trip that included Milan and other European stops, and about to jump off to Asia. Our girl pretty much defines “on the go,” but regardless of her crazy schedule, she makes fun, fitness and friendship happen.

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Image by Gabi Porter

Don Was is one of our heroes, a triple O.G. in the music biz who doesn’t believe his own hype and never stopped being a fan. He’s still blown away by all the new styles in the world, and despite making classics has steered admirably clear of the mindset that “it was all so much better when…”

Now president of Blue Note Recordsthe American jazz label with the musically revolutionary back catalog (think Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk) not to mention peerless and influential graphic design by Reid Miles, whose name is one of the freshest Google image searches you’ll ever do–Don Was is basically the keeper of the cool

A fan’s dream.

Keep reading to learn which Blue Note albums he considers unheralded classics and which basketball positions each Rolling Stones member would play. 

Check this audio clip about Blue Note in the big picture:

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…Specifically, this cute little Mad Men-goes-to-Miami two-piece number, which was the recipient of a not-insignificant amount of love this week from The College Prepster, who also dug up some amazing vintage Lilly ads to show how this particular look bridges the old and the (newest of the) new.

And that’s not the only look we’ve got that lands Lilly firmly in the now: think festival-ready rompers for women, throw-on-and-go maxi dresses, body-con styles and more.

Shop: Lilly Pulitzer for women

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Giving the perfect gift is right up there on the list of things that feel amazing, but it just got even better. Nordstrom is now donating 1% of Gift Card proceeds to our nonprofit partners. That means when you give, you give twice. You give powerfully.

We believe in connecting with and empowering the communities we are part of, so we’re thrilled to be supporting organizations that positively impact our cities. As part of our 2015 focus on youth and kids, your Gift Card contributions will help Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Clubs, Special Olympics and other like-minded enterprises as they literally change the world.

For a closer look at how one Northwest-based charity transforms lives via a quintessential childhood experience, keep reading.

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Music festival season is upon us and to stand out in the crowd of normies, we recommend hitting the Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom–it’s full of slightly bugged-out festi-gear curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim.

But we’re also wondering: Who’s likely to look freshest on stage?

We’ve got seven ideas, including country star Nikki Lane at Stagecoach, April 24-26, in Indio, CA–where Nordstrom will be on the grounds, representing on our How We Roll tour.

Lane’s known to rock sheer, ruffly dresses and can stand on two bulls at the same dang time. Her 1970s cowgirl punk style gets a thumbs up over here.

Six more picks, in chronological order:

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