What’s New

Yep, it’s that time again. Over the next month, editors, buyers, models, and more will be disembarking planes and weaving their way through New York, LondonMilan and Paris as the next round of Fashion Weeks—the Spring 2016 editions—come to life. The key piece this September and October from city to city and coast to coast? The handbag. We had Caroline Issa select one for each city—and a look to go with it.

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Rebecca Minkoff hobo bag

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When you want to know, you go straight to the top of four inches of smoky suede.

Upon seeing the elegant and sometimes edgy styles in the fall ’15 Jimmy Choo shoe and handbag collection, and upon understanding that behind them were the magical stage lights of world-class ballet, we couldn’t help wanting to learn more about creative director Sandra Choi’s inspiration.

We chatted via email with the Isle of Wight–born, Hong Kong–educated designer about her favorite dancers, how she wears these styles and the enduring allure of the ankle.

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It’s not that we haven’t been waiting with bated breath to tell you about SPACE, Nordstrom’s brand-new, just-launched department for emerging and advanced designers curated by Olivia Kim. Oh, our breath has been all kinds of bated.

But as folks like the New York Times and Vogue.com seem keen to tell the story of The Biggest Thing to Happen at Nordstrom in Quite Some Time themselves, we’re more than happy to let them.

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Simone Rocha, Vetements, Julien David,  And Re Walker and more at SPACE

SPACE, a permanent, evolving, women’s shop-in-shop on the very precipice of forward-thinking fashion minds from Beirut to Japan, London to New York, is live now at Nordstrom.com/SPACE and in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. (Vancouver: holla! You’ll have one too, just as soon as the flagship opens!)

SPACE at Nordstrom, a Q and A–style interview with our Pop-In auteur, emerging designer mastermind and all-around style guru is live on Vogue.com right now.

Here are some of our favorite sound bites:

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What happens behind the scenes when Fashion Director Jeffrey Kalinsky and crew are photographing the best of the season’s runway for our Designer Collections lookbook? Well, a little and a lot. There are times when half an hour goes by in a sort of hurry-up-and-wait fugue, and periods of such scurry and excitement that you look up to find two hours have passed in what felt like five minutes. It’s the nature of the game.

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A blur of a man: Jeffrey Kalinsky in his studio and office.

As a companion piece to the rich, gorgeous images and exclusive interviews in our fresh-off-the-presses, in-mail-boxes now book, we decided to single out a few of the more placid moments as well as let you inside the cheerful assortment of fashion flotsam and jetsam in Kalinsky’s Chelsea office. (Call it our 9-to-5 complement to his home’s recent cameo on The Coveteur.)

We also brought some of our favorite favorites into close range, so you get a sort of stylist’s view of the season’s best.

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conversechuckIIRedesigning the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a risky proposition. We’re talking about the most classic American sneaker, whose design has gone relatively untouched since 1917. A true shoe of the people.

Think about it. Which other garment is worn by young and old folks alike so prevalently? And in various stages of pristine or tattered? Chucks are like Levi’s 501s for your feet.

And yet: Converse designer Damion Silver was faced with a problem. Foot fatigue was an issue. Especially if you’re trying to wear them every day, All Stars have always been a little hard on your dogs.

Enter Lunarlon, Nike cushioning technology.

That’s just one way Silver–a visual artist who shows his own paintings at galleries all over the world–created the Chuck II, a stellar and more comfortable sequel to Chuck Taylor All Star.

We spoke with Silver on the phone at Converse headquarters in Boston proper about shoveling snow, his unrealistic fantasy of one day skateboarding on a frozen golf course–and the pressures of redesigning the brand’s #1 seller worldwide.

converselunarlonShop: Chuck II high | Chuck II low

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Emily Schuman (in pink) poses with fans wearing picks from the collection she designed.

Lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman—the mastermind behind the uber-popular blog cupcakes and cashmere—popped by the Nordstrom flagship in Seattle recently for a party to celebrate her new eponymous line. More than 150 devotees of her blog and the new collection—think breezy jumpsuits, sporty-chic parkas and motos, and wear-everywhere separates—came out to partake in the festivities. The party was a huge success, with a crowd that featured fans of both genders, shoppers of all ages and one impressively well-behaved chihuahua. Hugs and selfies were plentiful.

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The CHANEL Travel Makeup Palette is an all-in-one beauty powerhouse complete with eyeshadow, blush, foundation, lip color, mascara and three applicator brushes. To have a little fun with this versatile face palette, the Nordstrom Beauty Blog brought one to our crew at Studio N, where our in-house photographers, hair and makeup artists, art directors, models and scads of other colleagues all hustle to make editorial magic happen on the daily.

Beauty DIY & How-To: Simple, natural makeup look for daytime.Beauty DIY & How-To: Simple, smokey eye makeup look.

Our initial thoughts? We were all super fans of the perfectly chosen colors, made up of several most-wanted shades. The options are almost limitless, but we were excited to showcase how easily this compact, travel-friendly product–sized just right for a handbag or jet-setting–has all you need to go from beautifully fresh, barely-there day makeup to a subtle-but-smoldering nighttime look. No magic required.

Beauty DIY & How-To: Simple, smokey eye makeup look.Beauty DIY & How-To: Simple, smokey eye makeup look.
Beauty DIY & How-To: Simple, smokey eye makeup look.

Read more for our simple (we promise!) step-by-step guide for going day to night with these two gorgeous makeup looks.

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We asked Marie Ivanoff-Smith, our Fashion Office women’s apparel director, to handpick her favorite pieces from the upcoming Anniversary Sale.

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IRO Ajuma chunky knit jacket

“This jacket is a great way to add textural play to your everyday look. I love the idea of dressing it down by pairing it with black or light-blue jeans.”

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Blog-beloved label cooper & ella has only been around a few short years, but they’ve already got the cred of a much longer-lived brand—since the line’s launch in February 2013, it’s been called out everywhere from WWD to Teen Vogue and been spotted on celebrities like Nikki Reed and Ashley Greene. And it’s easy to see why.

Designer Kara Mendelsohn (the line is named after her two children) is obsessed with ensuring the functionality of her garments. Each piece is designed to be ultra-wearable for women on the go, meaning flattering fits, versatile prints, and hidden bands and closures so that you can wear a bra with every piece, even the ones with open backs.

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And that’s not all: In partnership with HOPE Foundation, cooper & ella’s Empower program promises to donate one hot nutritious meal to a child in need for every piece sold, and in this year alone, the brand is committed to donating a minimum of 100,000 meals to the HOPE Foundation School in Bangalore, India.

Mendlesohn chatted with us about the Empower program and what it means to her, as well as how giving back has influenced her approach to design. Keep reading for the full scoop.

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Fendi’s calling these “Bugs”–and while we’re honestly seeing birds, not bugs, either way they’re fly. They’re part of a larger Fendi collection of Monster handbags and Bug shoes. This particular sandal is the current favorite footwear of Jodi Taylor, Nordstrom Senior Stylist, who enthuses about it and gives styling tips, below. 

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Shop: Fendi Bugs shoes | Fendi Monsters bags | all Fendi

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