With just over two weeks to go before Designer Preview on July 28 in Seattle, we’re all getting pretty serious about that question hanging in the air: “What should we wear?” After visiting with SPACE ambassador Shawn Serven last week at our Seattle flagship, the ready-to-wear part of the equation is likely shaping up quite nicely.

But what to do about the crucial handbag element?

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All about the embroidery embellishment: Gucci on-point

We recently revisited Shawn for a trip through the designer handbag offerings, where it became clear that there are three major trends to consider: color, size and embellishment.

LET’S GET CARRIED AWAY

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Our series about wanderlust-worthy, slightly off-the-grid vacation hotspots, with local picks (and gorgeous pics) from our intrepid Nordstrom crew.

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GLOBETROTTER: Amanda Garberich, Beauty Copywriter

WHY THERE? An old college friend and I wanted to meet up (he lives in New York, and I’m in Seattle). We wanted to explore someplace in the South, and neither of us had been to New Orleans as adults. Plus, the city’s mix of history, culture and cuisine (read: fried food) met all of our vacay requirements.

JAZZING FOR MORE? READ ON

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Jon Batiste

His good-natured grin and bouncy mannerisms have endeared him to the nation as the bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But Jon Batiste had been collecting accolades and admirers for many years prior to this appointment. Batiste, a Juilliard graduate, released two albums by the age of 17. His New Orleans-based jazz family includes over 3 dozen musicians and inspired the backstory for his fictionalized character in the HBO drama Treme.

Between melodica sessions, we spoke with the stylish multi-instrumental musician and actor (in addition to Treme he’s appeared in Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer) about our Anniversary Sale, which starts July 22, what motivates him in the morning, some of his favorite things, including green tea and Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, and what he’s shopping.

JON BATISTE BREAKS IT DOWN: READ MORE

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Dad style, oxymoronic though it may seem, has established itself as a major factor in several areas of current fashion. Perhaps you’ve noticed the rise of dad hats (unstructured baseball caps with curved bills), dad shoes (New Balances are hot), Hawaiian shirts and Belichick-esque short-sleeve sweatshirts. The New York Times wrote about it the other day. And you don’t have to be a dad to partake in fatherly flair.

One thing we’ve noticed lately is how dad style is interpreted by some of the most famous rappers of our day, like A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Future and Gucci Mane. All are known to base outfits around key dad values like ease and comfort, while introducing a layer of rock-star luxury not stereotypically “dad.”

In that world-within-a-world—of dressing like a rap dad—many outfits are grounded by Gucci slides and loafers, which set a free and easy tone that says, “No, I’m not struggling for success anymore,” and “Yes, I could retire at any moment.” A good level to be on, if you can get there. Or at least a good vibe and a cool look.

SHOP: Gucci slides | Gucci loafers

SEE IT: RAP DAD STYLE DONE RIGHT

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Creamy Baked Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from Nordstrom.

Indulge your inner child while making your grown-up palate happy. Our recipe for baked crab macaroni and cheese casserole isn’t stingy on the crab, with a whole pound stuffed under a golden-brown herbed panko crust. We like to reach for orecchiette pasta, because each cup-shaped noodle is like a little ladle for our creamy fontina cheese sauce (though opting for Gruyère wouldn’t be a bad idea either).

Creamy Baked Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from Nordstrom.

We serve this comforting dish at our Nordstrom Grills (drop in for a bite!), but our recipe makes re-creating this super-popular dish easy enough for a weeknight meal at home and decadent enough to make an impressive dinner for entertaining—especially if you want to get extra fancy and bake each serving in an individual crock.

Nordstrom Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.

GET YOUR GOURMET ON WITH OUR EASY CRAB MAC & CHEESE

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We’re celebrating long, post-summer-solstice days with Pop-In@Nordstrom Gets Out—your go-to mercantile for nature provisions from all the best brands. And what better way to welcome a season of camping, glamping and road-tripping than with a cool new pen pal who built a company and ethos (#campvibes forever) around feeling the pulse of the great outdoors?

Pop-In@Nordstrom Gets Out: interview with Benji Wagner of Poler Stuff.

Meet Benji Wagner, co-founder and creative director of Poler Stuff. This Portland-based purveyor of all things adventurous has been bridging the gap between action sports and traditional outdoor activities since 2010 with “the world’s highest standard of stuff” and amazing strokes of genius like the Napsack. (Seriously, get it—it’s like a Snuggie for the wild.)

READ THE MINI SESH

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How a Real Girl Wears SPACE

By day, Laura Samsel crafts caffeine shots and writes electronic indie pop songs; by night, she and her band Dead Rich warm up crowds for revolutionaries. (Or at least they did that one time, at the Bernie Sanders rally.)

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Like a friend who’s too down-to-earth to be intimidating and too cool to be taken for granted, Laura is the kind of girl we snap up immediately upon meeting. “Come hang out with us, we’ll try on clothes,” we said. And she was in.

SEE SHOTS OF THE BARISTA

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Linda Rodin Interview

Former model, Harper’s Bazaar fashion editor and celebrity stylist—and forever style icon—Linda Rodin turned to experimenting with essential oils in her bathroom 10 years ago. She wanted to come up with something she couldn’t find on the market—a product that was simple, luxurious and provided immediate results, that hydrated skin while leaving her complexion luminous. She succeeded in creating Rodin Olio Lusso face oilthe first in her current collection of beauty products, perfumes and candles.

We’re excited to offer Rodin’s original Olio Lusso, with its blend of 11 floral and botanical essential oils, as well as her newest lavender oil—along with a number of other luxury beauty items from her line. We spent some time chatting with Rodin about her new products, keeping things simple, and her secret to looking so naturally beautiful without a touch of makeup—apart from her signature lip.

READ RODIN’S BEAUTY GUIDELINES

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As Andy Warhol once said, department stores are a lot like museums. And sometimes—like when you’re shopping for Nordstrom Designer Preview—you want a tour guide.

Yep, it’s time for our yearly runway celebration, in which we gather the most amazing looks from brands like Céline, Valentino, Lanvin—and present them together in one gorgeous show. Nordstrom shoppers from all over the country fly in for the presentation and party—and the exclusive trunk show that follows the next day.

simone rocha black separatesFor your consideration: layers of sheer Simone Rocha separates from SPACE

So how about that guide?

Enter Shawn Serven, SPACE ambassador at our downtown-Seattle flagship. A true student and fan of fashion, and someone who thinks big when it comes to personal style, Shawn’s also just crazy low-key, really fun and totally approachable. In his words, he’s at the store “to be the most excited about the designers we love and carry, and to pass as much of it along as each customer wants.”

Basically, he’s the perfect person to help us figure out what to wear on July 28 for this year’s runway celebration.

LET’S GET TO IT (THE OUTFITS, THAT IS)

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Remember those “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essays we had to write back in the day? We prompted eleven emerging and advanced designers from SPACE to get a jump on theirs.

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From Marques’Almeida—who took their entire team to Greece for an all-office off-site to end all off-sites—to Amanda Phelan, whose rooftop garden looks like a Brooklyn Zen Club Med, we had some of our favorite brands tell us about their version of fun and sun.

CLICK IN TO SEE WHAT THEY’RE DOING, DRINKING & WEARING

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