L-R: “Lance’s mom” (Gretchen Corbett), “Lance’s mom’s boyfriend” (Justin Long), “Lance” (Carrie Brownstein) and “Nina” (Fred Armisen); image courtesy Portlandia from “The Fiancée” episode
As a business which started in the #upperleft corner of these United States, we at Nordstrom have a special appreciation for IFC’s Portlandia. That would be the sketch comedy TV show where stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein basically teach a master class in how to mock life in Portland, OR. It’s all there: the passive-aggressiveness, the self-righteous savior complex, the questionable style choices. And yet the show, currently in its fifth season, is a love letter.
“The Fiancée” episode aired Thursday, Jan. 15, and was partially filmed at the Lloyd Center Nordstrom. (That location is now closed, with every employee who wished to be relocated given a new home at a nearby Nordstrom.) Key scenes in the episode occur at Nordstrom and feature Armisen’s character Nina, with makeup done by Jessica Needham and overall style created by her sister, two-time Emmy winner Amanda Needham.
We spoke with the sisters while the two native Portlanders sat in their car in deadlocked traffic. Topics discussed: Nina, Portlandia and good versus bad style.
How should you shop our ongoing men’s sale, where drastic, half-off discounts abound? It’s about looking past the racks on racks on racks–and seeing what’s really present. At our flagship store, a salesperson advised a deep dive for AG denim: “It’s there if you look. It only goes on sale a few times per year, if that.”
Rare gems with commentary from a recent walk-through:
Amid typical film fest fare—foreign narratives, art house shorts—Houston Cinema Arts Festival includes in its week-long offerings Street Scenes, a multimedia four-title presentation and conversation with the artists about life in the city, or more to the point: cities.
Houstonians: you’re encouraged to submit your own urban images with the hashtag #HCAFstreet. The winner gets their pic thrown up on a monitor in the Street Scenes gallery and entered into the mix of city shooters feted all month long at a related gallery show.
Planning ahead is no small feat. Paying bills, showing up to your dentist appointment, having a dinner reservation locked and loaded when your wedding anniversary rolls around—we find these side effects of modern life counterintuitive to man’s most basic instinct, i.e., to kick back with a cold one and live in the now.
Luckily, our annual Anniversary Sale makes getting ahead of the game second nature. Fact: Besides being our best sale event of the year, Anniversary is also a fall preview. We give you a chance to score leather jackets, work boots, dark denim, and everything else you’ll need for cool weather at reduced prices NOW, in the middle of summer, before they ever hit the floor at full price.
You can thank us later. For now, keep reading to see the Anniversary items that caught our eye while roaming our flagship store on opening day.
Above, in fleeting sounds and moving pictures, is a glimpse of what went down last week—when news crews and looky-loos converged on the corner of 6th and Pine outside Nordstrom’s flagship store, the band Helio Sequence blasted sonic ambrosia from inside our window display to the sidewalk beyond, and the founders of Sub Pop Records joined the ranks of local heroes from Jimi Hendrix to Bill Gates on our ‘Seattle Walk of Fame.’
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…And while we’re on the subject:
Here’s a clip we dug up from Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary music festival last summer—at which we teamed up with Topman and Topshop to street-style passersby. (Watch for cameos from Sub Pop artists King Tuff and Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls.)
And, just because we want to improve your Monday afternoon—and because we really like Soundgarden, one of the first acts Sub Pop ever signed—here’s a loud yet subtly satirical clip, wherein the dry-humored record label presents dubious commentary on the nature of fame, set to the plodding tempo and soothing distortion of SG’s 1987 B-side “Nothing To Say.”
Speaking of nothing to say (kidding—quite the opposite, actually), be sure to READ OUR FULL Q&A with Sub Pop founders Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt.
[Photo of Helio Sequence's performance by videographer Patrick Richardson Wright.]
Maestro of American style Ralph Lauren possesses a healthy preoccupation with the art form of aesthetics and engineering known as the automobile. His hobby is well-documented—quite literally, as there’s an entire book on the subject. And, as is the case with most well-rounded individuals possessing a fascination with the world—Lauren’s various pursuits amass to more than the sum of their parts.
Keep reading to hear about the correlation between cars and clothes in Ralph Lauren’s own words, see a few choice photos from the book Speed, Style, and Beauty, and shop our editor’s picks from the immaculate Ralph Lauren Black Label collection.
Leave it to the cultivated yet comedic design duo behind Shipley & Halmosto combine their menswear expertise, aptitude for product design, and irrepressible sense of humor all under one roof.
We stopped by their limited-run, Canal Street-themed pop-up shop while visiting New York last week. Canal, if you’re unfamiliar, is a mecca of cheap tchotchkes and tacky NYC souvenirs—and while Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos found inspiration in the low-brow thoroughfare around the corner from SH’s posh design studio, their own iterations of typical Canal trinkets are undeniably sophisticated (and often hilarious).
Keep reading for a look inside the Shipley & Halmos pop-up shop—which you can still visit* through this weekend—and get a healthy dose of the dry wit and attention to detail that informs the brand’s impeccable clothing. We even asked Sam and Jeff a few awkward questions…
As we near the year 2014, “cyber” is kind of a hilarious word. It tends to conjure visions of Web 1.0—like the bulky hardware and earnest yearnings for virtual reality in this classic, mid-’90s Aerosmith video. (Hey, if it lets you make out with Alicia Silverstone on a moving motorcycle, who’s arguing? Wait—is this where Kanye got the idea for that new video?)
Anyway, while the terminology may be antiquated, the application—Cyber Monday—is nothing to laugh at. Keep reading to see our Editor’s Picks for you, as well as the Silverstone on your list (with December upon us, it’s time to start thinking Christmas gifts, gentlemen).
TODAY IN AUSTIN, TEXAS: In partnership with Topman and Gorilla vs. Bear, we’re hosting a FREE concert with Small Black in the mall near Nordstrom Barton Creek Square. It happens today, Wednesday, November 6 at 4:00 Austin time—so sneak out of the office, skip class, do what you gotta do.
While you’re there, you can enter for a chance to WIN passes to Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend. Enter for free in the Topman department inside Nordstrom (Austin’s Barton Creek store only). Winners will be announced after the concert.
You might remember Gorgui Dieng from a previous post—in which we helped the 6-foot-11 Senegalese center get suited up for the biggest night of his life: the NBA Draft. Now that he’s in the league, he’s busier than ever, both on and off the court—and needs to look the part.
Luckily, Nordstrom Men’s Shop and brands like Hart Schaffner Marx make owning perfect-fitting suits easy—even if you’re not exactly an off-the-rack size. The key is our Made-to-Measure Suits program, which allows you not only to personalize your fit, but also to decide every detail, from rare fabrics and custom linings to adding grippers to the pants that keep your shirt tucked in. Starting at $795, custom suits are within reach for every man—whether you do your best work at a desk or in the paint.
The photos below document our latest fitting with Mr. Dieng—who carved out time to visit our store at Mall of America between rigorous pre-season practices with the Minnesota Timberwolves—as well as a trip to visit Hart Schaffner Marx in Chicago, where they’ve been making suits for over 100 years.
For a deeper look at Gorgui Dieng’s inspiring origins in Senegal, Africa, check out the remarkable photo essay below. Shot by NYC photographer Alessandro Simonetti for innovative sports publication Victory Journal, the imagery documents life at Senegal’s SEED Project, “a non-profit that uses basketball and education as tools to develop responsible and thoughtful leaders committed to the betterment of themselves, their communities and their continent.” Dieng attended SEED (having not picked up a basketball until his teens)—and parlayed lessons learned there into an NCAA Championship, an NBA career, and a chance to encourage new generations of kids in his home country to dream big. Visit www.seedproject.org to learn more and get involved.