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Oscar de la Renta

Like a lot of memories, some of the details are foggy. These images are from sometime around 2000, when Oscar de la Renta visited our Seattle flagship upon the launch of one of his fragrance collections. The snapshots of the designer and our employees were taken at a luncheon that preceded an in-store appearance.

And while the date of this particular moment is lost, what remains—what will always remain—is how the designer made us feel.

“Mr. de la Renta was the consummate gentleman in the industry; he understood how to make women look and feel beautiful. His work created a visual fantasy of sorts, but always with a nod to realism so you could be confident and enjoy the moment. His work was never confused with any other designer as it had a true signature: subtle but always recognizable in shape, pattern, color and construction. He also was one of the first brave American couturiers to explore beyond evening into sportswear, although he was always known for his beautiful evening pieces. The definition of couture was in transition in the ’80s; the French previously owned the category, but Mr. de la Renta gave credibility to American couture and elevated it, not just in terms of the quality of his collections and his construction, but also because he was so charismatic and charming.” —Sue Patneaude, Executive Vice President, Designer Women’s Apparel (retired)

“What I remember about meeting Oscar de la Renta in 2002 is his smile and quiet elegance.” —Kylie Allensworth, Internal Communications Director

“Mr. de la Renta was the first guest designer to come into the Jeffrey Fashion Cares fund-raiser in Atlanta. He was amazing that night with all of his fans; he was such a gentleman in every way.” —Jeffrey Kalinsky, Vice President, Designer Fashion Director

“What’s amazing about Oscar is that his reach went beyond his own collection. He had such influence on and was such a positive role model for American designers. Not that they ever tried to be him, but he was so well thought of. The biggest compliment to him, and to the business he built, is that women wear his clothes because they make them feel beautiful and feminine; his brand can continue because there is such a strong sense of what Oscar de la Renta stands for. We just had a big luncheon for Oscar de la Renta clients here in Seattle. He was not here for that, but his business has never been bigger or better. Even though the brand has been around since the late ’60s, it remains relevant, and I think that says something.” —Jennifer Wheeler, Vice President, Corporate Merchandise Manager, Women’s Designer Apparel

Image via New York Times

We’ve got highlights from yesterday’s shows, including sultry sirens from Rodarte, lush floral elegance from Oscar de la Renta and the latest from Tory Burch, Naeem Khan, MARC BY MARC JACOBS and Narciso Rodriguez.

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Aquatic themes ruled the runway at Rodarte* with sequined mermaid dresses, earthy underwater palettes and skinny jeans paired with boho blouses and swashbuckling boots.

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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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We invited a handful of Oscar de la Renta devotees to a luncheon and presentation of the fall collection at our downtown Seattle flagship store. Check out the gorgeous gowns, jackets and dresses from the show.

Don’t miss out! Discover what events are coming up at a store near you. We’d love to see you at future happenings.

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Tonight one of fashion’s biggest events takes place: the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala—or as many simply refer to it, the Met Gala. We grabbed a moment with Sarah Jessica to get her thoughts on this year’s event, plus she shared some snaps of four special-edition versions of the classically chic ‘Fawn’ Pump, each decked out in high-sheen satin with the signature grosgrain strip updated in black*—perfect for a formal affair.

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Two days in a row of the fabulous Joanna Hillman…how lucky are we?! Joanna’s modern suiting separates are the perfect mix of menswear styling and Parisian prep. I love the vibrant pop of color her floral scarf adds to her ensemble and her subtle nautical notes. Merci encore, Madame Hillman!

xo,
Crystal

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Shop similar styles:
Stripe Sweaters | Ankle-Strap Pumps | Crop Trousers

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Oscar de la Renta Sweater | Vince ‘Ada’ Pump | Smythe Crop Pants

HERO

Celebrating the powerful 21st-century woman, forward-thinking designs from Oscar de la Renta were complemented by mod wigs and smoky eye makeup at his fall/winter 2014 runway show. From office chic to red carpet glam, there was an overall statement of coolness from the designer usually known for the classic and streamlined—but as always, he can be counted on for the gorgeous gowns.

See all of our Fashion Week coverage.
Photos: GoRunway.com

Menswear themes are wildly popular this season, and Mathé says she loves the trend. Her trousers and pointed loafers are a perfect pairing, while her leather jacket adds a little toughness to her preppy look. Of course, a beautiful smile is the best accessory—and Mathé’s got a great one!

xo,
Crystal

Shop similar styles:
Black Leather Jackets | Statement Necklaces | Wool Straight-Leg Pants

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Rick Owens Leather Jacket | kate spade new york necklace | Oscar de la Renta Gingham Pants

Welcome to the first installment of “House Call,” a new series in which we take a peek inside the home of a Nordstrom employee. Our inaugural post takes us to the downtown Seattle condo of Denise Junell, a designer handbags buyer. Denise has worked at Nordstrom for nine years, beginning with an internship on the Bellevue sales floor. Now she’s traveling to Europe six times a year on buying trips for Lanvin, Chloé, MARC JACOBS, Gucci* and Balenciaga*. Join us as we take a look at her extensive collection of designer shoes, handbags, clothing and more.

“When it comes to my personal style, I like powerful pieces,” Denise says. “I’m not so trend-driven; I just buy what speaks to me.” Here, she’s wearing a Rick Owens leather jacket and a vintage Chanel* necklace found at Renaissance boutique in Paris.

“Most of my outfits begin with the shoes. I have 55 pairs,” she says. “Right now, I’m really into color and texture. I think that’s why I’m so attracted to Fendi shoes.”

Her latest Fendi find is this pair of peep-toe booties, which she affectionately calls her “armadillos.”

“These YSL heels have a very ‘Tron’ vibe to me,” she says. “I wear them with a feminine skirt and blouse.”

If you’re wondering who’s in the background, that’s Goblin, Denise’s 5-year-old pug/chihuahua mix.

As a designer handbags buyer, Denise’s collection is unparalleled. We spotted styles by Lanvin (pink clutch above), Gucci* (black patent leather bag) and more.

“Many people invest in black for their first Chanel* bag,” she says, “but I think red or another pop of color is a great way for the bag to have a point of view.”

“This is my Oscar de la Renta watercolor dress, worn with pink Manolo Blahnik pumps and a vintage pearl collar inherited from my grandmother. I think it’s is a great way to wear a print to work.”

Next up is a butterfly cape dress by Alexander McQueen*, paired with Chanel* heels. “This dress is from the second-to-last collection that McQueen designed before he passed in 2010. It’s definitely one of my favorite pieces.”

At left, Denise shows us a memento necklace from her first Chanel buying trip. (Note the carousel charm—the brand’s fall 2008 runway show featured models riding a giant fashion-themed carousel.) At right, she shows off a leather Balenciaga* dress: “It’s just a simple shift, but in the cobalt blue it really feels unique. And it’s fun to accessorize.”

Denise has a vast jewelry collection, stored in a tall chest of drawers. She inherited many pieces from family members and finds other accessories while traveling.

“I like the idea of a wearing a personalized element, like these Nadri initial earrings. It’s a great way to make it your own.” She’s also wearing a Tom Binns safety pin necklace and vintage Chanel jacket.

In keeping with the personalized theme, Denise has started wearing her old namesake necklace from 3rd grade again, paired with a Nadri arrow necklace.

“Even though it’s a small piece, these Chanel* earrings are one of my favorite things I own. They basically encapsulate my style in a piece of jewelry—rock-and-roll juxtaposed against a delicate, dainty drop of Chanel.”

When it comes to her makeup regimen, Denise is all about bright colors. “Eyebrows and lips are where it’s at for me. I love YSL lipstick because the pigments are really deep and saturated. Chanel has the best lip gloss and a great range of nail lacquers. I also like filling in my lips with a NARS lip pencil for a matte look.”

Many thanks to Denise for helping us kick off this feature!

*available in selected stores

-Mary O’Regan

Nearly 50 years in business, and Oscar de la Renta is still producing some of the chicest ready-to-wear around. He’s one of the few old-school designers who sticks to his aesthetic—feminine, luxe and decadent—but seamlessly weaves in trend-forward touches throughout the collection. For fall/winter 2013, unveiled in de la Renta’s showroom last night, modern concepts included draped leather, sculptural hats by Patricia Underwood and a vibrant psychedelic print. But of course, the classic cocktail dresses and over-the-top ballgowns were our favorites, styled with dainty sheer gloves and pointed-toe pumps. Bring on the fairy tale.

- Mary O’Regan