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Make your swimsuit do double duty and take you from lounging at the pool to cocktails and dinner.
When it comes to the jungle of fashion, some may say that KENZO is king. Jungle prints have been at the core of the brand since Kenzo Takada opened his first boutique in Paris in 1970. The walls of the shop were famously decorated in jungle prints, inspiring Takada to call the store his ‘Jungle Jap.’
Fast-forward 43 years, and KENZO’s tale of the jungle continues with the adventures of creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who traveled to the tropical landscapes of Thailand to find inspiration for spring/summer 2013. During their journey through Koh Yao Noi and Khao Sok, the Opening Ceremony founders discovered the clouded leopard and, in turn, the print story for the collection.
As The Thread gears up for summer getaways and of course the fashions that make this time of year so fun, we asked the jet-setting design duo to discuss the importance of travel, the beauty of cloudlike spots and seeing the world through the lens of KENZO.
Destination Thailand: Khao Sok is inhabited by rare wildlife such as elephants, leopards and Malayan sun bears.
The Thread: This season you took us to the jungles of Asia, and then for fall/winter 2013 you found inspiration in the ancient temples of China, India and Nepal. Do you feel your collections represent the multicultural future of fashion?
Humberto Leon: We do so much traveling throughout the year that our inspirations come from every corner of the globe. We constantly keep our eyes open when we’re in a different city, from going to exhibitions to looking at what the kids on the street are wearing.
Both Carol and I have multiple facets to our heritage, Carol as a Korean American and myself having a Chinese mother and a Peruvian father. With the evolution of technology and social networks online, borders have—much like in music or television—been broken when it comes to fashion. We have young fans of fashion in Russia as well as Brazil, Thailand and Iceland. Even though all of these places are hundreds and thousands of miles apart, what remains the same in each of these countries is the fact that every person who walks into a store wants to know that they can afford something that has been well produced, has value for their money and is beautifully designed. If that’s what the multicultural future of fashion means, then we’re happy to be a part of it.
The Thread: Your SS13 collection paid tribute to the clouded leopard. Tell us about your first discovery of this endangered animal, and what in particular drew you to this rare creature?
Carol Lim: At the beginning of 2012, Humberto and I decided to take a trip to the East Asian jungle. We’ve always been intrigued with this part of the world, and when we joined KENZO we discovered that Thailand was one of the places that Kenzo Takada had visited while on his legendary boat trip from Tokyo to Paris. So, we felt it was appropriate for us to visit this special and mysterious place. It ended up being one of the most amazing trips we had ever taken. We discovered the clouded leopard during our many treks into the jungle. It was such a beautiful animal that we immediately thought a print inspired by its coat would be great for the collection.
Purrfect: Backstage at the SS13 show during Paris Fashion Week, the surreal hues of camouflage clouded-leopard print popped with perfection.
The Thread: From the camouflage clouded-leopard print to the psychedelic forest print to the leaf print, take us through your creative process and how you manage the role of both fashion designer and print designer?
Humberto Leon: We usually start by having a conversation about where we see the collection going, the themes, what we really see happening with the garments. Then we usually get started with the research and discussion of fabrics, etc. Working at KENZO, a company so famed for its prints, it’s really not that difficult. They’re such automatic complementary roles that at a certain moment everything merges.
Tiger Tales: The leaf prints reveal a camouflaged tiger. KENZO Forest Print Sweater
The Thread: Beyoncé recently donned the clouded-leopard print to kick off the French leg of her ‘Mrs. Carter Show’ world tour. What went into creating this custom romper? Does a look like this represent the ‘energetic, fun and high-spirited’ vibe you want to inject back into the KENZO brand?
Humberto Leon: When Beyoncé asked us to propose costumes for her tour, we immediately envisioned different looks featuring all of our key KENZO prints such as the clouded leopard, flying tiger and psychedelic rainforest. Beyoncé is a strong force, and we wanted to be able to highlight her energy with our prints. The use of such vivid, vibrant, fun colors and motifs for her custom silhouettes, in our mind reinforces the already abundant brightness she exudes to all who watch her enthralling, and most importantly, energetic performances.
Her costumes for us represent the fun and energy that used to exist at KENZO at the time of its founder, Kenzo Takada, a time and atmosphere we want to bring back and highlight. When we saw Beyoncé wearing the outfits on stage, we knew we had made the right decision to collaborate on such an exciting project.
Fierce Fashions: KENZO Leopard Jacquard Sweater Dress
Runway photos courtesy of KENZO
Portrait by Sebastian Kim
Travel the KENZO way this summer and discover the wonder and allure of Thailand.
Naturally, Julie looked chic in Savvy pieces—she paired a Mural cheetah-print top with an ASTR asymmetrical faux-leather mini—as she sweetly posed for photos and consulted with customers on how to put together sartorially sound looks.
Since starting her personal-style blog Sincerely, Jules in 2009, Julie has become one of the most popular and referenced fashion bloggers today. Aspiring fashionistas look to Julie for daily outfit inspiration and style tips, and now her friends and fans can shop her picks for spring & summer on her own Savvy page at Nordstrom.com.
Guests sipped on bubbly mocktails and snacked on tasty nibbles, while DJ Shammy Dee was spinning high-energy hits.
Shoppers could share their favorite Savvy finds on the big screen by using #juleslovesnordstrom when posting to Instagram, and they could even get photo-booth-style prints of their snaps to take home.
Thanks to Jules for hanging with us—Nordstrom adores you, too!
Arguably the epitome of British sartorial ingenuity, Alexander McQueen has just launched on Nordstrom.com for pre-fall 2013, with a highly covetable assortment of precision-cut jackets, structured separates and fitted dresses. So what better way to celebrate this exciting new designer addition than with expert style advice on how to curate a wardrobe of investment pieces?
The Thread tapped Kyle Anderson, accessories director for Marie Claire, to shed some light on why women need timeless, well-crafted designs—and in the process, he showed us how to personalize a few of his must-have looks from the collection.
THE THREAD: Why do accessories matter, and how can accessories add individuality to a look?
KYLE ANDERSON: Accessories are the most important way to personalize your look and make it your own. It’s all about the high/low mix. I recommend that everyone invest in covetable classic pieces that you can wear forever, like watches, classic fine jewelry, a pointy-toe pump like a Manolo, the classic top handle day bag, a chain bag and an metallic evening clutch. Then mix in personal finds and trendier items to put your own unique stamp on it. You could throw on a cool bracelet you bought on vacation, along with cost-friendly costume jewelry and trendy shoes for a thrill.
If it’s colorful, funky and trendy, don’t spend a lot on it. I suggest that you invest that money in the key ticket items that you wear every day. To me, nothing says personal style like mixing a handmade bracelet with something like a Rolex, or wearing a classic designer bag with trendy flat sandals in the summer. You always want to mix something really classic and chic with something funky and unexpected that makes you feel confident—makes you feel like you are really you.
Fashion’s Finest: Nina Garcia, Marie Claire’s creative director, and Kyle at Paris Fashion Week in March. (Photo by Style by Deni.)
THE THREAD: When you’re at a runway show or at a market appointment, what quality does a look or an accessory need in order to get you excited?
KYLE: I’ve been an accessories editor for eight years, which is a long time, so I’ve seen a lot. What gets me excited is seeing something I haven’t seen before. I like it when designers take risks. I like glamour and things that make me scream, “I want this!”—then I know others will want it too. It’s just a feeling. I get goose bumps and then text photos to Nina [Garcia] and say, “OMG, look at this amazing bag!” I love it when people think outside of the box. We see so much that it takes a lot to stand out.
THE THREAD: Tell us about the first McQueen show you ever attended. What makes a McQueen show so special?
KYLE: My first McQueen show was just last year, for the spring/summer 2013 collection. McQueen is such a cutting-edge brand that takes risks and does unexpectedly mind-blowing shows.
Flowers and bees inspired the collection; there was huge screen of buzzing bees for the backdrop. I loved it, and I loved the accessories. We shot their runway Lucite shoe for a full page in our April issue. I adored the floral with the tough shoes, because that’s what McQueen does really well—the mix of pretty and hard. McQueen is known for having the most standout statement shoes every season; the shoes become collector’s items, and people who wear them make a statement that they are confident and know who they are—or who they want to become. Women who own their look and who are never forgotten wear McQueen.
THE THREAD: Any standout looks from McQueen’s FW13 collection that made you say, “I absolutely need to style/shoot that”?
KYLE: For FW13, I liked the pearl accents; they were very punk. The looks were medieval and pearl-encrusted, but there was something bondage and punk about it—the perfect editorial combination.
THE THREAD: What do you appreciate most about Sarah Burton’s aesthetic/creativity?
KYLE: I think Sarah gave McQueen a much softer, more feminine look. Since Sarah took over design, it’s had a bit more wearability and overall femininity, and that’s been a buzz in the industry. I think Sarah identifies well with female consumers.
KYLE’S GUIDE ON COOL
The Look (pictured above): “I like this oversized-collar leather jacket because I’m obsessed with black leather,” says Kyle. “Whether it’s the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s or current trends, people always are looking for the perfect black leather jacket. I think this one is feminine and cool.”
How to Wear It: “I’d wear this jacket in the spring with a tank underneath, skinny black jeans and sandals—think a fall-meets-winter look. Why not pair it with these red Alexander Wang sandals? The look doesn’t have to be biker head to toe. These platforms still have a hard-edge look, and I think all black with a red summer sandal would look cool.”
The Look: “This little black dress is super-versatile. It’s great for everyday wear and especially for work. You’ll get the mileage out of this dress, and it’s a great buy because of the sleeves,” adds Kyle. “Most offices are freezing in the summer.”
How to Wear It: “I like the flirty shape of the skirt on this dress and the more structured fitted sleeves. You can dress it down, add some edge or keep it classic. Make this look your own with these Saint Laurent booties. The combination is a little sexy: rock-‘n’-roll-meets-daytime professional. It’s about mixing it up!”
Discover the masterfully crafted world of McQueen.
Check out Kyle’s blog for more drool-worthy accessories and daily snapshots of his often-photographed style.
Runway images courtesy of McQueen
Take your astrological sign off the charts and into reality by slipping into your new lucky stars: these zodiac-themed flats from the Charlotte Olympia Cosmic Collection.
Kate Bosworth is pretty much an expert on festival style. A Coachella veteran, she deftly and daringly mixes the latest trends for pitch-perfect looks that exude West Coast cool. So it makes sense that Topshop asked Kate to pick some of her favorite pieces of the season and then sent her into the desert with director Michael Polish, where they shot an ethereal video showcasing Kate’s captivating festival style.
Watch the film Here Comes the Sun
This year, Ted Baker London celebrates 25 years of designing impeccably tailored pieces infused with wit and whimsy. The quintessentially British brand got its start with men’s shirting, but it quickly branched out to include women’s clothing, shoes and accessories—all of it designed with a dash of Ted’s signature quirky charm.
Ray Kelvin, the man behind the brand, is one interesting fellow. After spending a quarter of a century as a globetrotting style innovator, he’s racked up some pretty great stories. We were able to snag a moment with Ray and learn more about fashion, tea and meeting royalty.
The Thread: You never have your entire face photographed, which seems incredibly difficult to do—is there a story behind this?
Ray Kelvin: To be honest, what started out as a way to push credit back to the amazing Ted team has now become a bit of a game for me! Seriously speaking, it’s not just about me—at Ted, we’re a big team and really like one big family.
You were appointed as a CBE in 2011. Congratulations! What was it like meeting the Queen?
RAY: A humbling experience. She’s a stylish lady and has a real presence—I hope I get the chance to meet her again.
What made you take that first leap into womenswear?
RAY: I like to make women feel good! I’ve always known incredible, strong women who love to get dressed—to effortlessly put an outfit together and make no apologies for their feminine style and adoration of pretty things. Ted girls know what they want, and I make it my business to offer them just that.
Budding Style: Ted Baker London Stripe A-Line Dress in Bright Pink
Who is the Ted Baker woman?
RAY: While there is no one kind of Ted Baker woman—after all, each lady is a complete individual—it’s safe to say that she is smart and confident and appreciates the finer things in life… and has a cheeky sense of humor, that’s for sure.
Can you explain some of the inspiration behind your latest collection?
RAY: Inspiration comes from absolutely everywhere. For me, a trip to somewhere new can trigger something that trickles into one of the collections—it could be the beautiful hue of a sunset that you’ll find dancing over dresses, or part of an industrial landscape that we’ll work into a print. For SS13, there’s a feeling of being neat and prim for the women’s collection—harking back to a time of feminine elegance and sumptuous global travel.
What excites you in terms of style?
RAY: Every day, dressing up, finding new ways to incorporate the little things into outfits. Is the collar turned up or laid flat on a man’s jacket? Has this lady decided to match or clash her heels? What are the proportions? What country did the prints originate in? I am sucker for scrutinizing every last detail—all notes of style are important, and I love for clothes to tell a story.
We’ve heard you like to dole out hugs. Is there one person you want to hug who you haven’t?
RAY: I do sometimes think, “If only I’d hugged the Queen.” What a story that would’ve been. Generally, though, I’ll hug when the mood takes me, which is often. I’d quite like to plant one on everybody who’s ever worn Ted Baker, so watch out!
Last question: how do you take your tea?
RAY: Now there’s a question. It has to be very hot, very strong (two-tea-bags strong), and in a classic mug—one that’s not too thick, not too thin. A dash of milk with a sugar to sweeten, then add a couple of biscuits, and I’m a happy man!
Join Ray as he flashes back on his adventures around the world during the last 25 years. One lucky stylista will have a chance to win a trip of a lifetime. Come fly with Ted!
Photos courtesy of Ted Baker
Last month, jewelry designer Melinda Maria launched Goddess, a collection of charm necklaces exclusive to Nordstrom that represent the most empowering qualities inside every woman—love, peace, power, prosperity and sisterhood.
Recently, the L.A.-based accessories maven made a stopover at our Seattle flagship store, where we asked her to show us how to style these beautifully crafted necklaces.
Get an inside look at Melinda Maria life’s and check out the The Goddess Guide: a Day in the Life of Melinda Maria.
The latest brand/artist collaboration puts the spotlight on Romina Quirós, an Argentine illustrator whose elegant, minimal drawings appear on fall accessories from Marni. To celebrate the partnership, creative director Consuelo Castiglioni had panels featuring Quirós’s drawings installed in the company’s Milan showroom.
Quirós’s creative process is as simple as her artwork: she begins with a black blot on the page, and from there, playful characters emerge. Check out her work on this leather-trimmed iPad sleeve.
New York City blogger and Washington State native Christine Cameron of My Style Pill hit up our downtown Seattle store recently to check out the latest Savvy styles. Read on for a rundown of her favorite Seattle hot spots and summer outfit picks.
Name: Christine Cameron
Occupation: Stylist, fashion blogger at My Style Pill, freelance writer
Current residence: New York, NY
From: Richmond Beach, WA
Education: Western Washington University, journalism
Christine on Seattle:
Favorite restaurant: The Walrus and the Carpenter
Best happy hour: BalMar or RN74
Chicest boutiques: Other than Savvy, I like Totokaelo and Sway and Cake
Favorite day trip: Hopping on the ferry and going to Kingston or Gig Harbor
Best place for live music: The Gorge Amphitheatre
Homesick for: The people, and seeing mountains, water and trees all in one view
Favorite outdoor activity: Skiing at Stevens Pass
Insider tip: There’s a persistent perma-drizzle in Seattle, and unlike New Yorkers, Seattleites don’t carry umbrellas. So if you want to fit in, invest in a waterproof anorak.
After browsing around Savvy, Christine hit the fitting room to try on some summer-ready looks.
Thanks to Christine for stopping by!