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.
The last time we talked about AMC’s roller coaster of a suburban drug-lord drama, Breaking Bad, the photo we posted depicted partners in crime Walter White and Jesse Pinkman seated side by side, dressed to the nines in matching haz-mat suits, cold ones in-hand.
At this point, so much has gone so wrong for every single character, leaving the show’s legions of fans equal parts stupefied and riveted, that we’re not even sure what an appropriate visual—directly pertaining to the show and not rife with spoilers—would be. So instead, here’s Pinkman’s alter ego, aka two-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, by all indications having the time of his life.
It’s good to know that our favorite Breaking Bad character—a small-time crook in a shark-tank of very bad guys, who’s been in over his head since approximately episode two, spent most of the past season alternately sobbing and attempting to give millions in morally tainted cash away to strangers, and attempted to triple-cross Mr. White for most likely the last time—is faring better in real life than he is on the show.
Even though he’s, you know, on it, Aaron Paul seems to be one of the show’s biggest fans. Follow him on Instagram (@GlassOfWhiskey) for a steady stream of the very best Breaking Bad inside jokes—like the false revelation and fun with fake babies above. He’s even hosting a contest in which a lucky winner can watch the series finale with him, VIP-style, in LA.
— — —
Further Breaking Bad reading—because, if you’re like us, you’re into it:
1. Red-Carpet Criminals. Despite Pinkman’s oversized, skull-emblazoned, mall-thug duds—and Walter White’s unusual tendency toward beige-on-beige-on-beige (and tighty-whities)—Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston clean up incredibly well when duty calls. More here.
2. The One Who Knocks. Read GQ’s interview with the show’s leading man, Bryan Cranston, here. [Photo: Nathaniel Goldberg.]
3. One Hell of a Trip. Evidence that Cranston (right, in 1977) has been into Winnebagos for a while now. More here.
4. Don’t Try This at Home. It’s never been easier to build your own meth lab! Except for the fact that this unauthorized, comically accurate Lego set sold out even faster than Heisenberg’s coveted narcotics.
TWO EPISODES LEFT. Breaking Bad’s penultimate episode airs this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
Previous seasons are on Netflix.
HEY, LOOK OVER HERE. Down…further down. (Or up, if you’re reading this tomorrow.) See that button that says “Follow our Blogs on your iPhone & iPad”? Click on it—and follow these simple instructions:
Step 1: Upgrade. Download the new and improved Nordstrom Apps for iPhone and iPad. (You may have to update your device—if you live in a ’90s sitcom.)
Step 2: Impress Girls. Just don’t expect them to hand your phone back over any time soon.
Step 3: Enjoy. Now you can shop our entire site—and read our blogs, including Men’s Shop Daily—with the flick of a fingertip, in a format fully optimized for your mobile device. To Read our Blogs: Locate the ‘N Style’ tab in the bottom-left corner.
Well, all the underdogs we’d been pulling for (Grizzlies! Warriors! Pacers!) have officially fallen, and the perhaps-inevitable grudge match between the high-flying, reigning-champ Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs’ methodical phalanx of wily veterans is set to tip off tonight.
We have a general idea of whom Rihanna (above) will be rooting for. What about you?
For our part, after the cringe-worthy tantrum 2013 MVP LeBron James exhibited below—upon being called for an offensive foul during Miami’s failed comeback against Indiana in that series’ recent Game 6—we’re not sure we can feel good about having his back at the moment. (Pat Riley’s face at 0:15 says it all.)
Whichever bandwagon you’re ready to jump on, we have the appropriate gear to show your team spirit:
Preposterous comebacks. Dodging head-butts. Staring down Spike Lee. Those are just a few of the reasons hall-of-famer Reggie Miller earned the nickname “Knick Killer” during the knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred NBA Playoff grudge matches known as Knicks vs. Pacers throughout the 1990s. The clip above explains in more detail.
A trash-talker of epic proportions, Miller backed up his foul mouth, somewhat ironically, with a subtle but deadly-accurate shooting touch that was akin to poetry in motion. These days, his menswear game is just as legendary.
Check out Miller’s on-screen style highlights from last year’s postseason below—and tune in tonight at 8:30 Eastern to watch this year’s young and hungry Indiana Pacers (whose elimination of the star-powered NY Knicks last week must have made Miller smile) take on defending champs the Miami Heat in game 1 of the Eastern-Conference Finals.
Miller’s bold but tasteful color combos (and slim, perfectly tied four-in-hand tie knots)
put him in a league of his own amongst sportscasters.
Dark suit, pale-blue shirt, striped tie. When you nail the details, you can keep it simple
and still be the best-dressed guy in the room (even when the room seats 20,000).
When your dress shirt fits perfectly, you look just as sharp sans jacket.
(A smart pattern mix of stripes and dots doesn’t hurt, either.)
Instant visual proof: A khaki-colored suit helps you stand out from the crowd come summer.
Bold stripes bring a sport-inspired element to your suit.
In a sea of blue suits, the one with confident, shoulder-enhancing peak lapels is the clear winner.
You would almost think that Miller and Marv Albert planned this ahead of time—but Reggie’s subtler
suit stripes, sharper fit and nonchalantly puffed pocket square give him the advantage.
And, if you’ve got an NBA-sized physique, shop Big & Tall.
[Video clip from 'Winning Time: Reggie Miller Vs. The New York Knicks,' directed by Dan Klores, part of ESPN Films' 30 For 30 series. TV captures via the NBA and TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
Emmy-winning, cult-favorite comedy series Arrested Development returns to airwaves this weekend, after a seven-year hiatus. Fans of the deadpan, intricately scripted, often ad-libbed show—who have been salivating for a next chapter since the show’s untimely 2006 cancellation—are no doubt chomping at the bit to start streaming the 15 new episodes this Sunday, when they’ll become available simultaneously on Netflix.
We asked Laura Oxford, a men’s writer here at Nordstrom.com and our resident expert on high-brow sitcoms (i.e., the kind without a laugh track), to suggest a few classic Arrested clips from the first three seasons. Unfortunately, everything she suggested was wildly inappropriate for a family-friendly site like ours—so you’ll have to settle for the official Arrested Development season 4 trailer instead:
Arrested vets who had lost interest in Netflix’s usual mix of obscure nature shows and appalling horror films (Human Centipede, anyone?) now have an irrefutable reason to renew their subscription. Newbies who want to catch up still have plenty of time—we did the math, and you’ll only need to carve out about 26.5 hours between now and Sunday to stream the first three season’s worth of inside jokes and interwoven story lines.
In related news, Jason Bateman—the barely sane center of Arrested Development’s off-kilter universe—looked damn sharp in last month’s GQ:
Cast & Crew. Our new favorite sweater is a crewneck sweatshirt. It nails a high-low balance that goes as well with a blazer as it does with Vans (and sugar-free Red Bull).
WhenMad Men creator Matthew Weiner—a bona fide visionary with an armload of Emmys under his belt—has an odd-sounding request, his team at cable-saviors AMC have learned to listen. Such was the case with the extremely specific idea he had for hyping the show’s upcoming sixth season. To quote The New York Times:
“…Inspired by a childhood memory of lush, painterly illustrations on TWA flight menus, [Weiner] decided to turn back the promotional clock. He pored over commercial illustration books from the 1960s and ’70s and sent images to the show’s marketing team, which couldn’t quite recreate the look he was after. ‘Finally,’ [Weiner] said, ‘they just looked up the person who had done all these drawings that I really loved, and they said: Hey, we’ve got the guy who did them. And he’s still working. His name is Brian Sanders.’”
We decided to look up Sanders for ourselves. Amidst a long and illustrious career in England, the work that most caught our eye on the illustrator’s curriculum vitae comes from the 1960s, when Sanders convinced Stanley Kubrick to allow him to document the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sanders observed and sketched on-set twice a week for over a year, later working on larger paintings in his studio. An excerpt of this amazing record appears below. See more of Sanders’s artwork here.
Here’s a look at how that little project turned out:
…And in case you need a reminder of why to watch Mad Men (besides the impeccable style inspiration), here’s one of our favorite quotes—Don Draper explaining why he seldom says ‘Thank you’ to his valued employees:
The fifth and final season of AMC’s addictive science-teacher-gone-meth-kingpin saga, Breaking Bad, premieres this Sunday at 10/9c.
Critics call it the best show on TV—maybe ever. New fans have been known to binge-watch the first four seasons in the span of four days to catch up. Bryan Cranston three-peated the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama, 2008–2010, for his role as inexplicably likable lead-villain Walter White. (You can’t truly fathom his range as an actor until you’ve caught a Malcolm in the Middleepisode or two.)
Usually it’s not the increasingly dire catastrophes, so much as the nail-biting ways in which the characters escape them, that are so riveting to watch. In a series this uncompromising, though, it’s unlikely everyone’s luck will last. Tune in Sunday to watch everything go horribly wrong—in the best possible way.
Further Reading: GQ did a great interview with Aaron Paul, who plays White’s often-drug-addled, occasionally heroic (and recently double-crossed) right-hand man Jesse Pinkman. Read it here.
[Photo by Frank Ockenfels, courtesy of AMCTV.com.]
It was the stuff of legend: the first time the USA was permitted to send professional basketball players into battle—and what that year’s Olympiad lacked in fairness, it more than made up for in jaw-dropping spectacle. Twenty years later, the video quality doesn’t hold up well, but the acrobatic passing and deafening dunks certainly do: