Nordstrom Designer Preview


Fashion Party People: Nordstrom Designer Preview and Follow-Up Trunk Sale

The earrings, the coats, the pink tweed, the grassy greens. The slinky dresses, the bold silver jewels. The slouchy trousers, the gowns. The shoes!

And not just the ones on the runway, either—the crowd at Designer Preview always brings their own parade (just check out that front row below)—and this past Thursday night on the Seattle waterfront was an ultra-inspiring mix of what’s hot now, what’s hot on the horizon and what’s just hot no matter the season.

The Missoni scene in Thursday night’s Designer Preview runway show. 

Missed it? Loved it and just want to relive it? Our 50-image lookbook detailing everything from the start of the party to the trunk show the next day is just the eye candy you need.



How to Get Fall’s Best Looks First at Designer Preview

Each summer, Designer Preview offers a sneak peek of the season to come as we send the best looks from top and emerging designers down a beautiful runway on the Seattle waterfront. But let’s be clear here: This is not one of those torturous look-but-don’t-touch situations.

nordstrom designer preview
Wine and girlfriends go so well with shopping; guests at a recent Designer Preview enjoying it all.
(Boyfriends are equally compatible; the show features men’s fashion as well!)

After the show—this year’s is July 28, tickets are available via our partner, Seattle Art Museum (until they sell out, that is!)—we transform the pre-show party room into one of the most amazing pop-up shops and that’s when the fun really starts.


What’s more: the group shopping continues in our downtown Seattle flagship on Friday, July 29, with a trunk show-like happening, where you can pore over the best current and coming-season trends one by one with your favorite salesfolks and best friends.

Let’s review the important details.



What to Wear to Designer Preview, Part II: The Handbag

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?


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.



What to Wear to Designer Preview, Part I

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.



Designer Preview Review 2015: The Night in Images, Obsessions, It Girls and More

Although our first and foremost wish is to make terrific people unreasonably happy (isn’t that what fashion is for, after all?), we consider it a nice bit of icing on the cake when we can knock the designer shoes off the industry elite. Our annual Designer Preview provides a golden opportunity for all that, so immediately after last Thursday’s big event, we circulated the crowd and chatted with thrilled shoppers and visiting dignitaries alike to see how we’d done.

“I’ve been coming for years and this was the best show I’ve seen. The clothes are all so fresh and the energy is really high,” said Seattle flagship regular Lisa Goodman. “I think it’s important for people to see the collections in action like this!”


And then, from Refinery29 style editor Annie Georgia Greenberg: “When you see the shows in New York and Paris, the seasons you’re looking at are so far away, but this is really cool because you can go ‘I want that now,’ and right after the show you can actually have it. All that and beignets and sailboats, too? This is how Fashion Week should be!”

And that almost sums it up—almost. See more images from the runway show, and the before and after, and get some insight from bloggers, editors and fashion lovers after the jump and on our Designer Preview hub.

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What @WendysLookBook is Wearing to Designer Preview

Nordstrom Designer Preview is just a few days away, and no matter where you stand on Shawn Serven‘s philosophy on outfit planning (and maybe not outfit planning), and no matter if you’re going to be there IRL or just in spirit, you probably wouldn’t turn down a little professional outfit inspiration, right?

We talked to Wendy Nguyen, one of the ultra-chic style bloggers on her way to Seattle for the big event, to get her fall picks and strategy for fashion event style.

Blog: Wendy’s Lookbook

Los Angeles, CA

Her style in three words: Structured, layered, downtown

When she’s not blogging or Instagramming she’s: Designing, filming for YouTube, managing productions, boxing (such a great workout!), and playing with my little cat Sammie.

Psyched about seeing: I’m loving the flounce hem as seen at Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane, the high-waisted trouser silhouette at Topshop Unique, structured menswear-inspired outerwear pieces, and super high over-the-knee boots. Designer collections that make my heart stop are Mary Katrantzou, MSGM, and Burberry Prorsum.

Event dressing: For events like the Designer Preview runway show, I love challenging myself by playing with different silhouettes and shapes. I think it’s the perfect time to have fun with fashion. An Emilio Pucci dress with rolling wave hemlines? Of course!

Completing the look: I love a strong smokey eye and nude lips paired with a colorful outfit, or just a sexy cat-eye and red lips coupled with a black and white outfit. Romantic wavy curls and halo braids are my favorite summer hair looks right now. For nails, I like them short with a punch of fire engine red or a soft mauve nude color.

Follow Wendy on Instagram

Shop: Nordstrom Designer Fashion Brands


What to Wear to Nordstrom Designer Preview

Collections from top American and European designers are almost never shown together on one runway, but each summer Nordstrom pulls together amazing fall looks from Céline, Valentino, Lanvin and more for a best-of-the-best fashion show event known as Designer Preview. This year’s gorgeous parade is on July 23—on the epic Seattle waterfront—and as always, all proceeds benefit the Seattle Art Museum.

An image from Designer Preview 2014

Among those expected in the front row: One of our favorite collaborators, Caroline Issa, and two of the most girl crush-worthy editors from Refinery29, Annie Georgia Greenberg and Paula Goldstein. Instagrammin’ style watchers will recognize Cara Van Brocklin from Cara Loren, Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific and Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook—all flying in for the big event.

You’re invited too, of course—tickets are available via SAMS, Seattle Art Museum’s supporter group. The only question left to settle, then, is what will we all wear?

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Nordstrom Designer Preview 2014

Last Thursday, more than 550 fashion lovers from all over the country converged in a cavernous cruise-ship terminal on the outskirts of Seattle to join us in celebrating our 28th annual Designer Preview.

Nordstrom friends like Vogue Market Editor Cynthia Smith, Seattle Art Museum president Jaennae’ Dinius, rising musician Hollis and our Director of Creative Projects Olivia Kim—among countless other notables—mingled during an evening complete with a cocktail reception, an incredible runway show and shopping fall ’14 collections. Read more to see some of our favorite highlights from this stylish soiree.

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Vogue Decodes the Fall 2013 Runway Trends


When it comes to translating fashions from the runway, Vogue magazine is a leading authority on the language of style. For the 28th annual Nordstrom Designer Preview, in partnership with the Seattle Art Museum Supports, we tapped Lawren Howell, West Coast fashion editor at Vogue, to talk about some of the most notable trends for fall/winter 2013.

From reporting at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks to styling the annual Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund show, Lawren has an expert point of view on decoding this season’s trends and making the right ones work for your wardrobe.

From Vogue’s perspective, fall 2013 is a “season of duality, of opposites attracting,” says Lawren. “Three noteworthy trends were sequined sweaters [as seen at Givenchy* (left)], 1940s hourglass silhouettes in the form of slip dresses [spotted at Lanvin (center)] and girls stealing their boyfriends’ suits as spotted at shows [like Stella McCartney* (right)].”

Vogue’s presence at the Nordstrom Designer Preview is a first for the event, and Lawren believes these types of partnerships help bridge the gap between the editorial experience found in a magazine and the shopping experience that consumers find in the store.

“The less distance between what we talk about in the pages of Vogue and what consumers can actually find in stores, the better,” she says. “It’s hard to look at a magazine and see these lofty, aspirational things and not really have them apply to your life. When the trends are actually distilled, I think it makes shopping that much more exciting, and the fashion world is little more demystified.”

*Givenchy and Stella McCartney ready-to-wear apparel in selected stores. For assistance, please contact a Designer Specialist at 1.877.543.7463.

Haute Accessories: Saint Laurant ‘Duffle 6 – Medium’ Leather Satchel, Valentino ‘Rockstud’ Pump, Prada Leopard Tote and Valentino ‘Rockstud – Cavallino Flat’ Calf Hair Clutch

So was the event a success? “We are super-pleased with the Fall 2013 Designer Preview. Nordstrom has partnered with Seattle Art Museum Supporters on this event for 28 years now, and we probably had the biggest and most successful event yet,” says Pete Nordstrom.

“I want to especially thank Bonnie Abrams and Lawren Howell from Vogue for attending. Lawren did a great job addressing the crowd on fall trends and themes in fashion that helped give some insight and context to the show. Vogue is an excellent partner with Nordstrom, and we appreciate their support and involvement.”

Looking for more ways to edit your wardrobe this season? Jeffrey Kalinsky, Nordstrom EVP of Designer, shares his top fashion picks for the month in Jeffrey’s Edit.

Qianna Smith

[Photo Credit: Portraits by Marko MacPherson & Mimi Ritzen Crawford & runway by Kent Worthington]


Nordstrom Fall 2013 Designer Preview

Last week, art lovers and collectors of fashion met on the runway at the 28th Fall 2013 Nordstrom Designer Preview, presented by Nordstrom in partnership with the Seattle Art Museum Supporters (SAMS), a group of Seattle-area women who work to expand the support of the museum through fundraising and other efforts. Lawren Howell, Vogue’s West Coast fashion editor, hosted the stylishly charged event held at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91. Seattleites were treated to an edited selection of take-your-breath-away fall fashions from New York, London, Milan and Paris.


A Posh Prelude: As our 600+ guests entered the industrial-chic runway space, they were greeted with a preshow presentation featuring new looks from the likes of MARC JACOBS, Marni, Neil Barrett* and Proenza Schouler*.

Global Style: Over 100 looks were strutted down the runway, all from 15 of our most covetable brands—Christian Dior*, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, Azzedine Alaïa*, Missoni, Valentino, Donna Karan, Givenchy*, Jason Wu, Dries Van Noten*, Erdem, Lanvin, and Oscar de la Renta.

*We offer Neil Barrett, Proenza Schouler, Azzedine Alaïa, Givenchy and Dries Van Noten ready-to-wear apparel in selected stores. For assistance, please contact a Designer Specialist at 1.877.543.7463.

Conscience Shopping: After the show, guests had the opportunity to shop the looks right off the runway at our onsite designer boutique. The evening’s proceeds were donated to the Seattle Art Museum in support of the exhibit Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion, on display through September 8.

Fashionable Minds: Nordstrom’s Jennifer Wheeler, VP of Women’s Designer Apparel, and Olivia Kim, Director of Creative Projects, spotted talking trends.

“Statement coats are an essential fall trend, as seen at Dries van Noten,” says Wheeler, referring to the essential and wearable runway themes seen during the night. “The mix of masculine and feminine gave this season a fresh and modern refinement, in particular at Christian Dior with the houndstooth fabrics in feminine shapes. Also take note of the classic shapes from the ‘50s and ‘60s as seen in a new and fresh way at Valentino.”

Trend Note: Woven Wonders. From Christian Dior to Oscar de la Renta to Lanvin, elaborate patterns will shake up your wardrobe this season. Shop for your bold side with our Jacquard trend picks.

Trend Note: The Rules of Red. Make an empowering statement with ruby-red hues, as seen above on the runways of Stella McCartney, Dolce&Gabbana and Donna Karan, with some help from our Bright Red designer picks for fall.

Excited for fall yet? Check out our Designer Study Guide for the cheat sheet to fall’s most coveted trends, colors, prints and shapes.

Live Chat with a Designer Specialist or a Stylist or contact at 1.877.543.7463 for product availability and store locations.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Kent Worthington