By all accounts—say, Givenchy’s—Alyona Subbotina is an incredibly cool-looking girl. Beautiful, yes, but more importantly, cool. But one of the first things she says to me after my photog friend Mike and I sit down with her in a SoHo pizza joint is, “The real me is something more aggressive.” She tells me how she used to have bleached-out eyebrows and says she’d love to have messier, shorter hair, but I won’t find out what she really means about being aggressive until she’s more than halfway through her piled-high veggie slice.
All images by Michael Yuri Chard
See, Alyona was a member of her country’s Olympic volleyball team and had her eyes on the 2008 Beijing games when she was spotted in Kazakhstan by a modeling scout. Fast-forward to now—with pause points starring Helmut Lang, ACNE, Fendi and Armani. She loves fashion, and she loves the industry, and you only have to talk to her for, well, about as long as it takes to eat half a slice, to know that she’s got her head on straight about it.
“We have a perfect job. We get good pay to work just one or two days and I’m not in some factory somewhere. I respect my clients and I am happy to be who they want—to be what the market wants. But I see it as … how do you call it? A circus.”
And ladies and gentlemen, Alyona is an expert practitioner of the best circus-coping stress reliever out there.
MORE ON THIS CRAZY BEAUTIFUL DAREDEVIL
These are the people we can’t wait to see on the streets of the Big Apple. Their fashion know-how always astounds us.
Shine By Three blogger, Clinique brand ambassador, law student, stylist and Harper’s Bazaar contributor (to name a few pursuits), Margaret Zhang proves her worth as more than just a street-style starlet. Characterized by her gamine style, the Australian always delivers, whether it’s tailored pantsuits, innovative layers, oversized statement pieces or a standout coat.
MORE FASHIONABLE FACES TO FOLLOW
Herve Leger will show their fall collection on Saturday, but yesterday we managed to get 15 minutes with the iconic woman behind the bandage dress, Lubov Azria, to tell us about how she’s wearing the current collection.
These are the dresses that are coming into our stores and online now, and these are the dresses that are going to show up come Saturday, because as we pointed out in our runway report last season, an Herve Leger show is full of Herve Leger dresses.
GET HER TAKE ON SPRING’S TOP STYLES
In preparation for the Fashion Weeks ahead, we’re talking to some of our favorite writers, editors, photographers and fashion authorities about how they prepare for and survive the bustle of Fashion Week streets, parties and runways.
We were lucky enough to grab a moment with SELF Fashion Director Melissa Ventosa Martin. This busy lady heads up the magazine’s fashion team, hits the museum in her downtime and is a doting mother.
What item of clothing can you not wait to bust out in New York? Can you send us a picture?
My new Céline babouche slides and rose-gold hoops. It’s a funny time for winter fashion because there are no tights in site and an abundance of bare ankle, which to me is tricky—tights just don’t look right to me right now. I’m sort of into girls wearing a serious winter coat (like a fur or cashmere wrap coat) with a slipper-type shoe—just seems so louche and decadent in winter, like you just want to be cozy in your fur and comfortable in your slipper shoes and you’re lucky not to be outside that much. I don’t have that luxury! But hopefully there’s one warmer day to try it out.
SEE HER PACKED FASHION WEEK SCHEDULE AND READ MORE
Each Fashion Week season, editors and industry folks rush to identify trends. But for those paying attention in between shows, it’s become clear that these once very exclusive events are opening up to the average fashion enthusiast. Witness rag & bone’s invitations to lucky Uber riders, Givenchy’s spring 2016 show ticket giveaway, J.W. Anderson’s streaming via Grindr and Burberry’s use of Periscope. If there’s a trend in fashion, it may be the democratization of the runway.
For fall 2016, designer Rebecca Minkoff has decided to show her current season of womenswear, instead of looking ahead to the next as is customary. We spoke with Minkoff on the implications for that transition and how Fashion Week is changing.
Tell us why, this Fashion Week season, you’ve decided to present your in-store spring 2016 collection during the week that is usually reserved for the fall collection.
We no longer wanted our customers to suffer from what we are calling “image fatigue”. Traditionally, after we showed our collection, consumers would see it all over blogs, celebrities and magazines—by the time the product arrived in stores they had moved on. We wanted our show to be more than a coming attraction, we wanted it to be something our customer could wear the next day if she loved it.
HOW THE DESIGNER SURVIVES FW AND MORE
In preparation for the Fashion Weeks ahead, we’re talking to some of our favorite writers, editors, photographers and fashion authorities about how they prepare for and survive the bustle of streets, parties and runways.
First up, Laura Cassidy, Nordstrom’s own Creative Projects senior editor.
What item of clothing can you not wait to bust out in New York? Can you send us a picture?
I tend to think in terms of the whole instead of one particular piece. What I like about the sartorial mise en place exercise of packing is thinking about which Dries pieces to bring for the Dries show, for example, and which elements from ACNE, Aries, Jacquemus, Celine and all the rest are the most adaptable so that each outfit is like an homage to the designers of that week in that city.
SEE THE SHOES LAURA WILL BE WEARING: READ MORE
Getting ready for Kendall and Kylie’s pre-New York Fashion Week collection launch bash, I flipped on the TV in my hotel room and there they were. How funny, I thought, remembering that last time I prepared to interview the Jenners, the exact same thing happened in a different hotel room. But then I remembered that these women are on TV all the time. And now, perhaps the world’s most watched, most followed celebs will be in the mix with big fashion labels as the clothing and shoes from their brand-new line Kendall + Kylie go live at Nordstrom.
All images courtesy Kendall + Kylie
Which Kendall + Kylie looks were Kendall and Kylie wearing? And what tracks did DJ Flat White (you know, Virgil Abloh, Kanye’s creative director) play? Glad you asked.
GET INSIDE THE KENDALL + KYLIE PARTY
I have a love/hate relationship with biscuits. When I come across biscuits that are buttery, tender and flaky (as these are), yes please. But, as I’ve experienced one too many times, the somewhat fickle nature of biscuits (and not taking care to make them with a few rules of thumb in mind) means I’ve bitten into something more like dry, tasteless hardtack. I’d rather just eat flour directly out of the bag, so I usually avoid taking my chances altogether.
Enter the above batch of winning biscuits. In this recipe, our chefs reach for butter over shortening for added flavor along with two leavening agents to maximize lift with the buttermilk. They then add fresh, minced rosemary, which infuses the dough and really takes these quick breads to a special place. For best results, keep your butter and buttermilk cold until the last minute, and don’t overwork the dough (just mix enough until shaggy, a bit tacky and you can bring it together). Lastly, dip your biscuit cutter in a little flour before cutting each biscuit and cut by pressing directly down into the dough rather of twisting, which can seal the edges and prevent layers and rise in the oven.
Make these anytime you want a rich, flaky biscuit—we especially recommend serving them alongside a warm, comforting bowl of our Chicken Pot Pie Soup.
TENDER, FLAKY ROSEMARY BISCUITS: THIS WAY
Our series about wanderlust-worthy, slightly off-the-grid vacation hotspots, with local picks (and gorgeous pics) from our intrepid Nordstrom crew.
GLOBETROTTER: Kara Fenoglietto, Associate Fashion Forecaster
WHY THERE? I was about to move from Ft. Myers, Florida, to Seattle, and wanted to go somewhere for one last weekend of island hopping. I had never been to St. John or Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands and made a spontaneous decision to check them out.
IT’S A DAY AT THE BEACH: READ MORE
“They’re perfect for what’s happening in fashion and art and architecture—this great kind of melting of all things,” Jeffrey Kalinsky told me this past November on a crazily warm New York day.
All photos by Laura Cassidy
He was talking about Snarkitecture, the of-the-moment, in-the-mix design practice headed by artist Daniel Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen. Harnessing the trend for mixing the chicest ready-to-wear with the best built environments, our VP Fashion Director set out to collaborate with the best and commissioned the Brooklyn-based crew to create a backdrop (only part of it is seen here) on which to shoot his favorite looks from Valentino, Gucci, Simone Rocha and more on China-born model Fei Fei Sun for our new season Designer Collections lookbook.
We were there at New York’s Pier 59 Studios, and we’d love to take you behind the scenes.
GET A CLOSE-UP ON THE SET AND THE STYLES