Valentino

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.

LET’S GET TO IT (THE OUTFITS, THAT IS)

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This festival season, we were shoegazing even when the music wasn’t. In the process, we collected images of some of the coolest footwear from Coachella and Governors Ball. It’s a thing we like to do.

Click on a pair to shop these showstoppers or similar styles right now.

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Photos by Kristin Yamada

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Dear Explorer,

All adventures require a special blend of planning and luck. We’re lured by the idea of leaving some of it to chance, but there’s an objective at play, too … even if it’s simply to explore the unknown.

This season—with its road trips, beach days and sunshine expeditions—we feel especially adventurous. We plot and scheme to make the most of these few months, throwing a little caution to the summer wind with half-packed picnic baskets and some extra room in the luggage.

“We’ll buy fresh fruit at the farm stands.”

“We’ll want to do a little shopping when we get there.”

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A Simone Rocha look from our pre-fall designer collections lookbook, curated by Olivia Kim

Then there are those who dance even closer to the edge, dashing off without booking a room or a return flight. Technology, of course, makes every bet a pretty safe one. So it goes; with device in hand, there’s always a safety net within our grasp.

But don’t we sometimes yearn for those inconvenient foldout maps and the rush of picking up a set of freshly developed photographs?

READ THE REST OF OLIVIA’S OPEN LETTER

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From outside our flagship store, in the South-facing picture window, a shimmery wall of gold-toned cutouts frame a new-season Louis Vuitton showpiece. Around the corner, CHANEL mannequins in airline chic (remember that show?) allow for just a peek through the glass to the handbags and accessories inside.

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Downtown Seattle Nordstrom 

Inside, near the Beauty department, a striking image of Swedish actress Alicia Vikander carting one of this season’s hot Louis Vuitton Twist bags reaches almost as high as the ceiling. And down the way, the shop of iconic Gucci handbags is as vivid and alluring as the brand’s super-popular campaign images. And then there’s the ascent up the escalators: upon one’s arrival on the second floor, a studio of CHANEL apparel calls to mind the legend of Coco’s Paris apartment, while cool-girl looks at the Saint Laurent hideout coax an approachable nightclub vibe.

In short, with the addition of nine brand-new shop-in-shop boutiques, the in-progress remodel at our downtown Seattle flagship has lately yielded a gorgeous and inspiring trip down a high-style European avenue. May we offer you a guided tour?

CLICK INTO OUR VIRTUAL TOUR AND EXPLORE OUR LOOKBOOK

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Usually one to put on a show, Karl Lagerfeld has moved on from his CHANEL airports, supermarkets and street cafés to a refreshingly subdued runway with simple white carpet and gold seatingc’est tout–at the Grand Palais.

A look from Chanel at Paris Fashion Week Fall 2016

Images: InDigital

For fall, the legendary designer reworked the brand’s classics. Multimedia boater hats, exaggerated pearl necklaces and camellia motifs–that ranged from large prints to heavily appliquéd cuffs–combined retro and trendy. The iconic CHANEL tweeds were saturated in neon berry hues, sometimes worked in with denim, and always paired with matching riding boots and caps. Standout pieces with sure street-style futures include the charming and ethereal, tiered ivory lace frocks in every length and the oversized pearl necklaces that accessorized the majority of looks.

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If someone made a reality show about Nordstrom Fashion Director Jeffrey Kalinsky with David Rubenstein and Oskar Moguel, the crew from his own NYC/Atlanta namesake shop, you would totally watch it. First of all, the characters are on point; there’s the fashion industry’s favorite transplanted Southerner, the chic seasoned New Yorker and the young Cali-born new guard. They’re each an entire walk-in closet of industry wisdom and killer taste, and as a unit (here’s the surefire primetime draw), their lives are pretty fabulous.

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On a single day in Paris I joined them as they went from the Chanel show to the Balenciaga showroom to the Valentino show to a Carven appointment, and then to the Lanvin showroom and the Kenzo runway show. I think I probably missed something in there; it was all I could do to keep up.

These are just a few highlights—complete with audio clips and lots of images.

CHECK OUT THIS EPISODE

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Just imagine the Rockstuds.

“It was so cool to see so many people all in one place looking so incredible in Valentino,” said Nordstrom executive vice president Tricia Smith this morning. As fashion director Jeffrey Kalinsky noted, the fashion industry, society circles and celebrities all gathered on Monday evening at Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan to honor Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative directors of the storied Italian brand.

Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Gala, An Evening Honoring ValentinoDebbie Harry and Liv Tyler by Sean Carroll, courtesy Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

From Liv Tyler, Keira Knightley and Diane Kruger (Nordstrom vice president of designer Jennifer Wheeler’s favorites of the evening) to Joan Collins (Kalinsky’s fave) the impeccably outfitted guests were like an elegant opening act for the evening’s showstopper: Debbie Harry, who rocked the Blondie hit “Heart of Glass” and more in a black Valentino gown.

Here are some of our favorite images of the honorees and the amazingly dressed, as well as a behind-the-scenes video and comments from our team—including Olivia Kimon what will surely go down as one of the chicest and most memorable fashion parties of the year.

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Karl Lagerfeld following the spring 2016 fashion show in Paris

Images: InDigital

No place in the modern world gets to the heart of our insecurities and aspirations like an airport. There are strangers, scrutinizing bureaucrats, delays, altered routes and luggage. But airports also incubate our anticipated destinations, planned experiences and possible memories. At the Grand Palais in Paris this week, CHANEL erected a flight terminal for its spring 2016 show. But it was Valentino that brought our global wanderlust to its tricky conclusion.

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2016, Chanel

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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 Refinery 29, 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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One could argue that the highest art of seasonal dressing is found during the transformative periods; those breezy weeks between sun-laden summer and full-on fall (and later, as the days grow longer, those days when winter draws to an end and spring busts out all over). This year’s pre-fall collections have finally arrived, and we’re sharing some of the best transitional pieces complete with commentary from venerable designers and the wise sages over at our designer buying office. There’s nothing quite like updated classics, a little retro fever and impeccable craftsmanship to put a little high-gloss on the in-between zone.

Pre-fall means pre-order, so ready your fingers for those irresistible buttons and check out our complete guide to Pre-Fall ’15.

The Flare-Leg Pant

Akris Punto flare-leg pants; pre-fall 2015. “This silhouette illustrates the modern spirit and style of artistic muses.”

—Akris Punto Creative Director Albert Kriemler

Shop: Akris punto pants

 

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