New York City

“I have a very zen approach,” said Olivia Kim on her way to the Met Gala last night. “What’s meant to fit, work and come together, will.” New goal: May all be as cool-headed and easygoing before big events.

All of fashion—and many bold names from art, design and media—were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to honor one of the industry’s most brilliant minds: Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. But that’s our Olivia, taking it all in stride. The look tonight just feels very me. That’s the best way to explain it.”

“In celebration of our hero Rei Kawakubo, Spy and I are both donning very conceptual thing-a-ma-jigs,” Olivia wrote on Instagram, with a similar image. “Mine is black crinoline tulle and his is clear plexi.”

“I’ve been wearing Comme since I was in high school,” explained our VP of Creative Projects. “So it’s full circle in a sense. When I first started thinking about it, honestly I was thinking, ‘I wear Comme des Garçons almost every day—how can I wear it in a way that feels special enough for the Met Gala?'”

The solution? To go deep with it, and remain abstract about it at the very same time. How very Rei of her.

CHECK OUT HOW OLIVIA ROCKED IT

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The first few questions with fashion people during Fashion Week are highly predictable, almost rote. When Refinery29 market editor Rachel Besser and I first meet at The Hole, a supercool East Village art gallery, we go through the appropriate motions.

“How’s the week going for you?”

“Seen anything you’ve really loved?”

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All images by Kirby Calvin

And, because we’re almost to the last day of NYFW (Rachel and I met on Wednesday; the final shows are Thursday), I toss this one in: “What are you going to do to unwind and get the craziness out of your system?”

CLICK IN TO SEE HOW THIS COOL GIRL CHILLS OUT

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As Nordstrom vice president/direct merchandise manager Laura Janney and Tricia Smith, our executive vice president of women’s and designer apparel, emerge from the Diane von Furstenberg presentation around the corner from the much-loved designer’s landmark shop in the Meatpacking District, they’re already dropping the D word. And the V word.

That was very different,” says Laura.

Very,” echoes Tricia, obviously pleased.

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Tricia Smith (right) holding up one of the day’s beautiful show invitations; the Gucci pocketbook is Laura Janney’s.
All images by Olivia Locher unless otherwise noted.

It’s Sunday morning, and we’ve booked ourselves into the backseat of our top Fashion Week team’s black Suburban for the day. For some appointments on the itinerary, we’re just along for the ride; for others, we’ll accompany Tricia and/or the crew inside. (No outdoor shows today, which is sort of a bummer because it’s finally pleasant instead of broiling.) On the docket: four runway shows and three presentations—models in situ; no catwalk—and hopefully, a surprise or two along the way.

CLICK IN TO READ OUR RIDE-ALONG DIARY

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World’s easiest pop quiz:

Q: What does Pop-In@Nordstrom model Hanne Gaby Odiele wear to report for duty at the Alexander Wang show?

A: A couple of the raddest pieces from our just-opened Pop-In@Nordstrom x Alexander Wang shop, of course.

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Hanne in Alexander Wang’s pierced wool and angora blend rugby with the Lyndon boot (Girls tights coming soon!)
All images by Michael Yuri Chard 

We caught up with the Belgium-born model on Saturday afternoon at her agency, where we traded a few questions and answers before she headed to Manhattan’s Pier 54 for the big show.

CLICK IN FOR THE SCOOP ON HANNE’S LOOK

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If there’s one thing Rebecca Minkoff knows, it’s handbags. If there’s another, it’s New York City.

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Rebecca Minkoff Sofia crossbody bag

The Brooklyn-based designer shows her ready-to-wear and accessories collection today outside, in front of her SoHo boutique; the audience will be half industry, half whoever is lucky enough to get there and snag a seat. To make the most of her love of fashion and Gotham City, we asked her to pick a current-season Rebecca Minkoff bag to go with each of her favorite neighborhoods.

CLICK TO SEE WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD IS RIGHT FOR THIS TASSLED BEAUTY

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His first step into fashion was at Polo Ralph Lauren; his second was with Oscar de la Renta—where he spent almost seven years working directly with the legendary founder as the brand’s global creative director. So to say Adam Lippes is primed to be an important name in American luxury ready-to-wear is a bit of an understatement.

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Adam Lippes with Lola. All images via Adam Lippes.

Says Vogue.com’s Nicole Phelps in her review of his fall 2016 collection, “He makes luxe clothes that feel of the moment without succumbing to fickle trends.”

But how does a guy like that—richly experienced, expertly angled at a bright future—spend his summer? That’s what we wanted to know.

SO WE ASKED HIM! CLICK IN TO READ OUR INTERVIEW

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Brandon Maxwell took the road less traveled to designer fame: He earned a degree in photography in 2008 then used it to assist stylist Deborah Afshani before moving on to work with the nearly incomparable fashion authorities Edward Enninful and Nicola Formichetti. Then he set up his own personal-styling practice, acquiring clients like—boom!—Lady Gaga.

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Brandon Maxwell

 

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Looks from Brandon Maxwell’s spring-summer 2016 collection. All images courtesy Brandon Maxwell.

From there his transition from arbiter to designer was seemingly, well, seamless. Although we all know that anyone who appears to be an overnight success invariably has lots of stories about struggle, waiting games, and hard, hard work.

Suffice it to say that Brandon Maxwell is on the fast track, and we’re thrilled to count his among our designer collections. In an effort to get to know this hot young talent, we chatted via email about how his summer is going.

CLICK IN TO SEE OUR Q AND A

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Every once in a while you come across a set of fashion images that you just want to live inside. You want to be the girl, to explore her landscape, you want—most of all—to wear her clothes.
That’s what happened to me the first time I saw Victor Alfaro‘s pre-fall lookbook. When I had the chance to meet him during Paris Fashion Week, I was hooked.
victor_alfaro_nordstrom_pre_fall2All lookbook images courtesy Victor Alfaro. And how about this 3-in-1 convertible trench?!
There’s something so classically New York about Victor’s style, which makes sense—the Mexican-born designer has lived there since the ’80s. And he just seems to understand what women are looking for from season to season. He’s all about layering, and building a wardrobe of looks that will work together for a nice, long time.
He’s also about an edgy jolt and an industrial urban setting. When we asked him to share his evocative pre-fall images with us, he happily complied, then told us all about the collection—and how Taylor Swift figures in. (Or, well … doesn’t.)

CLICK IN TO SEE THE IMAGES AND GET THE STORY

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ColeHaanxNYCB-Campaign_3-800x470-1418319740New York City Ballet dancers Gretchen Smith, Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild; image courtesy Cole Haan

Two things you need to know about Cole Haan’s collaboration with New York City Ballet, which has yielded the excellent Zerogrand flats:

1.) There is a meet & greet Monday, October 12, with the three real-deal ballerinas who contributed to the design of the Cole Haan/NYCB line, at the Nordstrom in Short Hills, New Jersey, from noon-2 p.m. That would be Gretchen Smith, Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild. Talk to these artist-athletes, take a photo with them, try on some shoes–and since there’s no school that day, consider bringing along a little dancer who might like to meet some new sheroes.

2.) We spoke with Smith, Mearns and Fairchild about their input into Cole Haan’s designs and the future of ballet in general, and that conversation is below.

Shop: Cole Haan Zerogrand Ballet Flat | all Cole Haan

READ MORE >

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Nicole-Willis-photo-balconyPhoto by Jimi Tenor 

Nicole Willis hails from New York City, where she grew up singing Burt Bacharach songs and listening to Malcolm X speeches on WWRL AM. Now she pumps throwback soul music out of her longtime home base in Finland with her band The Soul Investigators, peaking in her third decade of recording and performing.

Her new album, Happiness in Every Style, is perfect for fall, something like an audio sweater. The New York Times praises its “even-keeled, simmering grooves.” We concur. The whole album sounds comfortable, perfectly played, completely in the pocket–and enduringly warm from Willis’ alto voice to the analog tape on which it was recorded. For best results, buy the vinyl.

Listen to the uplifting single “One in a Million” below. And below that, check out our interview with Willis about crusty styles, Carole King–and disabusing oneself of the notion of originality.

Click here for the Q&A

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