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Culture Map is everywhere Nordstrom is, mapping out the best in arts, events and happenings.

Impeccable tailoring. Inspired design. Industrious creativity. These are a few of the many traits that make up the DNA of the best Italian fashion houses. We’re proud to present two U.S. exhibitions organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London that explore the work of Italy’s most iconic couturiers from the end of World War II until today.

Sfilata (fashion show) in Sala Bianca, 1955. Photo by G.M. Fadigati © Giorgini Archive, Florence

If you’re in the Portland or Nashville area, get up close with some gorgeous examples of women’s fashion and menswear created by the greats and worn by the enviable likes of Audrey Hepburn and Princess Stanislaus Radziwill at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball. Read on for more images and exhibition details.

Barbieri for Gianfranco Ferre advertisement, Fall/Winter 1991 | Model: Aly Dunne | ©GIANPAOLOBARBIERIRoberto Capucci,  Silk Evening Dress, 1987-88 Courtesy Roberto Capucci Foundation | Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonDolce & Gabbana Leather Ankle Boots with Gold, White and Pink Embroidery, 2000 Photo | © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
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Saturday night we partied at the Brooklyn Museum to help kick off its newest exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. From the mid-seventeenth century to the modern day, the exhibit features some of the most want-worthy shoes ever created—like Marilyn Monroe’s Ferragamo stilettos and Lady Gaga’s 8-inch platform booties.

Check out a few of our snaps from the launch party. Killer Heels will be on display Sep 10–Feb 15 at the Brooklyn Museum.

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The de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Nordstrom present The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, showing now through August 19.

With 140 haute couture and ready-to-wear designs, along with sketches, archival documents, photography and video clips, this exhibition showcases the masterful craftsmanship and rebellious spirit of fashion’s “enfant terrible“, starting from the launch of his first collection in 1976.

We were thrilled to speak with Gaultier about his works on display, his design philosophy and his thoughts on beauty and individuality.

Learn more about the exhibit and ticket information. “There is no one type of beauty.”—Jean Paul Gaultier


Take a look inside the incredible closet of fashion powerhouse Ann Bonfoey Taylor, now on display at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Ann Bonfoey Taylor, Photography by Toni Frissell

A one-woman show is a rarity for fashion exhibitions, if only because few women own wardrobes vast and intriguing enough. But Ann Bonfoey Taylor’s closets fit the bill, and, lucky for us, the entire contents of that closet were given to the Phoenix Art Museum by Bonfoey Taylor’s family. “Fashion Independendent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor” is showing now through May 29, featuring the incredible stockpile of iconic pieces and haute couture of just one woman.

The exhibition displays names like Givenchy, Charles James and Madame Grès, as well as an unparalleled selection of pieces from the leading designers of the ‘40s through the ’60s. The show’s 60 full ensembles (including an astounding 13 Balenciaga originals) showcase the unique style of a woman who skied for the United States in the Olympics, taught pilots to fly in WWII and hosted an endless line of impeccable parties—all while looking completely elegant and perfectly herself.

Click the thumbnails to view larger images:

Madame Grès, Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum

Hermès, Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum

Givenchy, Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum