chastity-belt-team-shotPhoto by Jesse Codling

It’s been a breakout year for Chastity Belt, the Seattle band which has grown into its voice in the past few years and was recently written up in the New Yorker on the strength of its album Time To Go Home.

Musically, that voice is droning and jangly. Ideologically, Chastity Belt is feminist, with a viewpoint that is often funny but with songs that can also be serious and direct about everyday existential crises.

We took pictures at Capitol Hill Block Party and later phoned guitarist and sometime singer Lydia Lund (far right in the photo) to talk about “Lydia,” a what-does-it-all-mean song which lands someplace…indistinct.

Other topics of conversation included avoiding seasonal affective disorder by gardening, feeling the ocean’s power while surfing–and we learned about the taste of the Peperomia plant.

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In which we look at old Nordstrom logo fonts and give them a close look. These are the fonts of our lives.

Nordstrom_Vintage_logos

If you recognize the typeface above you are either a student of retail or a student of design. Or a Pacific Northwesterner, since this was the Nordstrom logo back in 1930 when we were a Seattle-only shoe store.

Now we’re national and international–with our third Canadian store opening in August in Vancouver, B.C. Next year we’ll add Toronto.

Learn about the features and history of this old-school Nordstrom typeface below, with commentary from Strath Shepard, our Creative Director of Designer and Pop-In@Nordstrom–hands-down the biggest font nerd we know.

–Andrew Matson

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fire
With just a few more days left of our famous Anniversary Sale–the annual event where fall styles become available at steeply discounted prices before we bring them back up to normal–here is some shopping inspiration in the categories of shoes & accessories.

All items below are hot (meaning cool). Their Anniversary Sale prices are listed next to their normal prices.

Anniversary Sale will be finished and prices will go up Aug. 3.

Shop: men’s Anniversary Sale

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conversechuckIIRedesigning the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a risky proposition. We’re talking about the most classic American sneaker, whose design has gone relatively untouched since 1917. A true shoe of the people.

Think about it. Which other garment is worn by young and old folks alike so prevalently? And in various stages of pristine or tattered? Chucks are like Levi’s 501s for your feet.

And yet: Converse designer Damion Silver was faced with a problem. Foot fatigue was an issue. Especially if you’re trying to wear them every day, All Stars have always been a little hard on your dogs.

Enter Lunarlon, Nike cushioning technology.

That’s just one way Silver–a visual artist who shows his own paintings at galleries all over the world–created the Chuck II, a stellar and more comfortable sequel to Chuck Taylor All Star.

We spoke with Silver on the phone at Converse headquarters in Boston proper about shoveling snow, his unrealistic fantasy of one day skateboarding on a frozen golf course–and the pressures of redesigning the brand’s #1 seller worldwide.

converselunarlonShop: Chuck II high | Chuck II low

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New! Y-3

y3
You are looking at one of the hottest sneakers on the planet. Meet the Y-3 Qasa High, imported from Japan, now available at Nordstrom.

How do we love it? Let us count the ways.

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Photo by Kyle Johnson

Parties crack and moods lift to the sounds of Tuxedo, the west coast duo whose 1980s funk is inspired by the past and crystalized in the present by Mayer Hawthorne (Andrew Cohen) and Jake One (Jake Dutton). If the group’s eponymous album is not in your summer music rotation already, we recommend it.

The singer and producer are old friends and hip-hop collaborators. They’re both deejays, too, and initially bonded over mixtapes each had made focusing on artists like Bernard Wright and David Grusin. The shared affinity is central to Tuxedo.

We spoke to them on tour about how Tuxedo fits into this current retro moment in pop (Mark Ronson, Daft Punk) and which piece from their custom Klein Epstein Parker tuxedos Jake One accidentally left at home with 30 minutes to showtime.

Shop: tuxedos

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skylarWhile mobbing around the city during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, we made a point to connect with Four Pins, the irreverent and tasteful NYC-based menswear blog. We check it daily.

News editor Skylar Bergl agreed to an interview right outside the entrance to #NYFWM, and we decided to sit in an Escalade we’d been granted use of by one of the Cadillac representatives hovering around. Much to our surprise, when we opened the Escalade door we found none other than Gabrielle Union staring us in the face.

She looked pretty irritated and said: “HEY.”

Wrong Escalade!

We apologized, closed the door and stepped into the correct Escalade ten feet away.

Anyway, here’s Bergl on the meaning of #NYFWM, the leap from being a tumblr fashion enthusiast to full-time style writer–and which articles he’s writing next.

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caramanica-at-katzs

As music lovers we read everything written by Jon Caramanica, pop music critic at The New York Times for the past seven years. He always seems to take our own blurry ideas and focus them to a point we wish we had made. We’ve come to terms with it. He’s the smarter us.

Caramanica has also been writing the bi-monthly Critical Shopper column for the Times for the past five years and we love that, too. It’s different from his music writing. He shops various stores, critically and anonymously, and writes about his experience later using multiple literary techniques. Sometimes he writes on his phone in the dressing room.

We caught up with Caramanica during New York Fashion Week: Men’s over french fries at Katz’s Deli to talk about the Critical Shopper colum.

We also squeezed out of him insights on menswear and style writers you should be reading now (bookmarks list: updated), the changing influence of music on men’s style–and the aliveness or deadness of offense in fashion.

caramanica2Shop: men’s

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coppens1Meet Tim Coppens (last name rhymes with opens), the talented designer who came up through the ranks at Ralph Lauren and adidas and is about to bring his CFDA award-nominated style to Nordstrom. You could call his look athleisure but you’d be better with athluxury.

After all, this is the Belgian designer who recently put 150,000 Swarovski beads on Vans sneakers at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Tim Coppens will be shoppable mid-August on our website, and his wares sold in physical form exclusively at our Seattle headquarters and our new Canadian store in Vancouver, B.C.

We caught up with Coppens in his NYC showroom the day after his #NYFWM runway show to get to know him better through his spring/summer 2016 collection, his most personal work to date.

The collection is a memory-dive into his formative years skateboarding around New York City with his European friends in the 1990s, listening to hip-hop, watching Kids and VHS tapes of 411 Video Magazine. That crinkly nylon jacket above comes from Method Man. His red leather pullover is a Patagonia hijack. The magic mushrooms on his varsity jackets come from Tom Penny, the reclusive skater with the psychedelic public image.

Basically, Coppens dream of the ‘90s represents a magic part of his life when he hung with a tribe and followed his instincts, and which changed him forever.

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jeffreykalinsky1Ladyfag, doing the most

Next time you want to throw the party to end all parties, consider making it disco-themed and getting the savior of New York nightlife Ladyfag to host.

That’s how Nordstrom Fashion Director Jeffrey Kalinksy celebrated 25 years of his Jeffrey boutiques, a milestone which occurred recently during New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

The party went down at Jeffrey’s Meatpacking District boutique and the scene centered around queen diva Ladyfag and Honey Dijon, who deejayed while models and fashion insiders danced to the sounds of disco and the clinking of Clicquot-filled flutes. There was much vogueing and merrymaking.

Jeffrey was kind enough to do a quick Q&A the morning after. See that + party pics below–and check out The New York Times’ review of the event here.

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