CELEBRATE: Lunar New Year
Monday marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. We’ll be celebrating Saturday with a Chinese Lion Dance at our Downtown Seattle store beginning at 2pm PST. Other stores across the country will mark the occasion with events, red envelopes and surprises. You can also shop our Lunar New Year gifts online.
HEAR: Is the Is Are by DIIV
Although the band is its own hype machine for borough-residing hipster music (the lead singer draws exhausting comparisons between himself and Kurt Cobain), turns out Is the Is Are is a solid shoe-gazing collection of pleasurable listening. Leaning heavily on fuzzy guitars and muffled melodies, DIIV’s sophomore effort spins a cocoon of comforting sound.
READ: The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Following the fictional opera singer Lilliet Berne through a historic romp of the Belle Époque, Chee’s epic novel constructs a dazzling portrait of the period’s fashions and players. Presented with a libretto mirroring her life’s story, Berne chases its provenance while encountering musical and historical enigmas all set to Chee’s evocative prose.
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? OK, A MOVIE?
This just in from Google: “What to wear booties with” is one of this year’s top searches. As a fashion retailer in a serious long-term relationship with shoes, this is the kind of thing that gets us excited (and feeling slightly remiss for not having said something sooner!). For anyone out there seeking inspiration on how to wear them, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to style booties as seen on the street-style stars of 2015—along with the expert advice of our women’s styling director, Ruth Basloe.
As part of our Fashion Office, Ruth uses her encyclopedic knowledge of fashion trends and women’s style to translate to the rest of us her perspective on styling that’s as enviable as it is spot-on. Case in point: the following tips on putting the best looks together with—and looking your best in—booties. From making your legs look longer to the most flattering ways to wear this style, be bootie-baffled no more.
READ ON FOR TIPS AND PICS, TO BOOT
New 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
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British brand Hunter has transitioned in recent years from complete dedication to functional rubber boots to mattering on fashion runways, and has done so largely under the creative directorship of Alasdhair Willis—the distinguished brand builder who happens to be wedded to Stella McCartney.
On the phone, Willis told us everything began to change for Hunter when Kate Moss wore Hunter Wellies to Glastonbury in 2005. Fashion capital accrued forthwith.
We talked about Hunter walking the tightrope of emphasizing heritage while avoiding calcification, how BLITZ magazine saved a young Willis’s life—and we finally learned once and for all who made the first wetsuits (spoiler: it was Hunter).
Related: Hunter’s spring ’16 collection
Hit this hyperlink to go behind the boot
Hear ye, hear ye: Steve Madden and Nordstrom are running a contest to see who can put together the best outfit while rocking a pair of ’90s-inspired shoes. You shall know this contest by its social media hashtag: #SMxNordstrom.
All you have to do to enter is take a picture of yourself flossing in some ’90s-esque, chunky Steve Maddens. Style yourself most excellently. Post to IG, the Twittersphere or wherever you like to update the whole Internet about what you ate for breakfast. Then BOOM. You’ve entered.
The winner gets to fly to Steve Madden HQ in New York City, tour the Steve Madden showroom and meet Mr. Madden himself. Our own Fashion Office will be scoping #SMxNordstrom and narrowing down applicants to a handful. Team Madden makes the final call.
We called on some favorite Insta queens to model what we’re talking about and get this hashtag rolling. That’s @FeralCreature above. More inspiration below.
Shop: Steve Madden | Fjällräven backpack
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Skinny ankles? Extra-curvy calves? Buying boots—especially online—can sometimes feel like you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. No more: Our crack video team hooked up with our amazing in-house shoe experts to answer the question once and for all, and well, the headline pretty much says it all.
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Fendi’s calling these “Bugs”–and while we’re honestly seeing birds, not bugs, either way they’re fly. They’re part of a larger Fendi collection of Monster handbags and Bug shoes. This particular sandal is the current favorite footwear of Jodi Taylor, Nordstrom Senior Stylist, who enthuses about it and gives styling tips, below.
Shop: Fendi Bugs shoes | Fendi Monsters bags | all Fendi
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In this image we see music/fashion boss Taylor Swift on a brief break from punching people in the face (have you seen “Bad Blood”?) to preview her Nordstrom exclusive sneaker for Keds at a private party in New York.
Nobody moved and nobody got hurt.
Seriously, though: Swift doesn’t really punch people. In fact she was gracious with her time at Canoe Studios in Chelsea and excited to meet her fans: a handful of BP. Fashion Board high schoolers, top Nordstrom customers and Refinery 29 contest winners.
Swift shot the breeze about this and that, talked about her pet seagull who lived in her swimming pool at her old Hyannis Port home–and enthused about her Keds. Especially the Nordstrom exclusive “Welcome to New York” sneaker, based on her song of the same name.
And speaking of the BP. Fashion Board: it’s worth investigating. If you know a teen girl or boy who wants to work in fashion they should sign up. They’ll learn about the industry, gain skills and maybe meet a pop icon.
Shop: Taylor Swift for Keds
We’re loving Janie Bryant’s 1960s-inspired shoe collection for Shoes of Prey–that’s Emmy-winning Janie Bryant, costume designer for Mad Men. And Shoes of Prey, for the uninitiated, is the Australian brand where all the shoes are customizable by height, heel type and color.
Currently the Janie Bryant X Shoes of Prey collection is available in three physical Nordstrom locations–Bellevue, WA; Fashion Island, CA; San Francisco Centre, CA–with three more to come by the end of 2015: Paramus, NJ; Pentagon City, VA; and Oakbrook, IL.
We spoke with Bryant on the phone about the inspiration behind her collection, about what was considered vintage cool in the 1960s–and about this rad, old band she’s into called The Cake.
[We also spoke to Bryant about Mad Men. Read that part of the interview here.]
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