Nicole Willis hails from New York City, where she grew up singing Burt Bacharach songs and listening to Malcolm X speeches on WWRL AM. Now she pumps throwback soul music out of her longtime home base in Finland with her band The Soul Investigators, peaking in her third decade of recording and performing.
Her new album, Happiness in Every Style, is perfect for fall, something like an audio sweater. The New York Times praises its “even-keeled, simmering grooves.” We concur. The whole album sounds comfortable, perfectly played, completely in the pocket–and enduringly warm from Willis’ alto voice to the analog tape on which it was recorded. For best results, buy the vinyl.
Listen to the uplifting single “One in a Million” below. And below that, check out our interview with Willis about crusty styles, Carole King–and disabusing oneself of the notion of originality.
Let us officially end the season with a ceremonial last blast of “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” And while it plays, let’s fondly remember how its steel drums and soulful vocals soundtracked all our parties and BBQs.
It’s fall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have one last go-round with the song of the summer, right?
It’s not a Public School runway show without a soundtrack by Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis Jr. He’s done them all going back to 2012, becoming an essential piece of the New York City brand along the way.
For the show that just occurred at New York Fashion Week—and which our Senior Writer Laura Cassidy attended and covered excellently—that music takes the form of an original 9-minute dance mix.
Most Twin Shadow music is pop rock. This is a bunch of drums and squeezes of chipmunk soul. It’s a change of pace and it’s great. ’Nuff said.
Why is Rob Lowe smiling? Well, he’s 30-plus years into showbiz as a dramatic and comedic actor and nobody’s sick of him yet. He’s got twelve racks sitting pretty on his wrist. And he’s about to throw a perfect spiral.
But besides all that: Rob Lowe is smiling because he’s super stoked on his PROFILE skincare line. Far from a vanity project, PROFILE is a sincere labor of love. And it’s available exclusively at Nordstrom.
Mr. Lowe is literally stoked, as his character Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation would say. On the phone he was chipper and came off like he had all the time in the world to chat (he did not; he was literally in the middle of filming his new TV show, The Grinder).
Read more below about Lowe’s favorite Chris Traeger line, which XM Radio station he plays while chillaxing in his pool—and why he’s 51 but looks 36.
Speaking on the phone with new-to-Nordstrom designer Patrik Ervell about his personal history and design inspirations, we guessed he might talk about coming of age in the 1990s. His take on Seinfeld-esque jeans sort of gives him away as a child of that era.
We didn’t expect the native Northern Californian to go on about Britpop, British underground culture (“they invented all the forms”) and Brutalist architecture. Nor to reveal that he once worked at Nordstrom. But that’s an actual fact.
The clothes you should be wearing this fall from Ervell display a blend of austerity and flyness, with careful attention paid to sensory details. There is a distant Joy Division thing happening, the printed logo on a few shirts looks just like Jodeci’s, and everything is made to feel a certain way on your skin that’s hard to convey through the Internet.
While staring at color-changing leaves, we recommend zoning out to this trippy music mix created by Creatures of the Wind–one of the brands we sell in our new SPACE shop. That would be the new venture by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim, to showcase emerging and advanced designers.
SPACE is womenswear-only and we’re feeling it hard for inspiration and gifting.
The mix was used in Creatures of the Wind’s FW 15 runway show last February, where the collection (which we now sell) was inspired by American psychedelic rock.
Our writer Laura Cassidy was on the scene back then and remarked:
“…the soundtrack was appropriately heavy, droney, and fuzzed-out. Imagine Silver Apples’ ‘Seagreen Serenade’ into Captain Beefheart’s ‘Autumn’s Child,’ followed by ‘The Bulblight’ by Rod Freeman and ‘Paix’ by Catherine Ribiero.”
Sounds great except you don’t have to imagine it anymore. Here it is:
And did you know? Laura is back in effect right now at New York Fashion Week, breaking down 2016 collections. Follow along with her right here.
Music video director and friend of the Nordstrom blogs Shomi Patwary previously brought us behind the scenes with Ty Dolla $ign and Mark Ronson. Now he’s giving us rare glimpses at the creative process of the fashion killa himself, A$AP Rocky.
Patwary directed the video for Rocky’s song “Jukebox Joints” with Joe Fox and Kanye West, a highlight off Rocky’s album At.Long.Last.ASAP. West produced the track, which floats on a sample from an old Smokey Robinson jukebox joint.
Patwary’s video is purplish, smoky and the video and language in the song are perhaps NSFW. Know that and consider turning young kids away from the screen as you watch it.
See exclusive photos from the shoot below, and learn which Spike Lee movie inspired the video’s vertically stretched-out look.
Ready for a shot of ’90s hip-hop culture–aka one of the key retro influences in today’s menswear? Check the early rap journalism of Dao-Yi Chow, now half of the design team with Maxwell Osborne of the CFDA award-winning brand Public School.
We’ve been rocking with 100%Vancouverdeejays lately, with our new store opening September 18 in that majestic Pacific Northwest metropolis.
One recent set by Vancouver’s Niña Mendoza gave us life (shout out DayShiftSEA, one mile from Nordstrom HQ in Seattle) and we highly recommend her funky, right-now-meets-1983 mix “Love For Free,” promoting her September 10 show with Dâm-Funk. It’s been sustaining us throughout the week.
Stream the mix below and download it here so you don’t kill your data while you’re in the gym. Hit READ MORE for the track list and Vancouver-focused Q&A.