Culture

Have you ever had a bouquet so pretty that you hated to see it go? We all have. One of the seductions of fresh flowers is that their presence is fleeting. Fresh-cut blooms are to be momentarily possessed, experienced and then sadly discarded. It is a kind of luxury.

But what if you didn’t have to part with a particularly sentimental bouquet? Paper florist and artist Quynh Nguyen has a very precise talent for replicating flora with reams of crepe paper. Her work has been displayed in store windows, at weddings and in restaurants. Brides who are keen to keep their bouquets beyond their wedding day would be wise to contact her business, Pink & Posey.

Pink and Posey flowers

We spoke with Quynh about the extreme precision and delicacy of her work, how she got started and how we can too (although our results might more closely mimic those sad tissue flowers of our youth). Turns out she teaches workshops!

WATCH HER WORK: SEE THE VIDEO

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A lot of Amanda Needham’s job involves running around town. She’ll shop for polar fleeces, cowboy hats and clown props. She schleps armloads of clothes to the dry cleaners. She visits shoot locations. She meets with clients for coffee.

And then she runs home to take care of her baby girl, Nova.

Amanda Needham, Costume Designer

Costume designer Amanda Needham outside the store Frances May on Portland’s SW Washington Street. 

sorel_22_201703The busy two-time Emmy-winning costume designer has to know her city well, and how to dress comfortably to get along in it. She works on IFC’s Portlandia, a sketch comedy show with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein about Portland and its eccentric citizens. She lives there for most of the year. The other forty percent of the time, Needham is in LA working on Baskets, Zach Galifianakis’s show about a Paris-trained clown trying to make it in Bakersfield, California, where he works as a rodeo clown. It’s a black comedy about dreams half met–or trampled.

We met Amanda in Portland, where she took us around to her favorite spots–to shop, to eat, to get things done–and showed us how she dresses for her hectic days. Needham has an ability to mix fun and function in her outfits–perhaps it’s a result of the intention that must inform her clothing selections for comedy characters. The key to her look is fashionable, durable and element-proof shoes by (Portland’s own) SOREL–just watch how she styles them.

Read on to hear about Portland’s hotspots, the evolving PNW style that Amanda cultivates in life and art, and pursuing your dreams in an ideal outfit.

TOUR PORTLAND WITH A PRO: READ MORE

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Are you posting a #WCW on Instagram today? If you haven’t already, you should, because today is International Women’s Day, a day when women all over the world are celebrating each other and the collective goal of building a more unified working world. And it’s no secret that the fashion and beauty worlds are led by smart, successful women who not only influence the way we shop, dress and curate our top shelves (not to mention our Pinterest boards) but also inspire us with their amazing personal achievements and career stories. From nail polish moguls and fashion designers to editors and photographers, we interviewed four amazing women who filled us in on their work wisdom, career advice and (bonus!) what they wore to their first interviews.

READ THE STORY

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tuxedo700Photo by Kyle Johnson

Throwback boogie band Tuxedo never fails to change our mood. It’s just something about their music. If you didn’t catch their recent performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, increase the amount of positive energy in your life:

Check out our interview with Tuxedo. And if it’s relevant to you, let their outfits serve as a reminder that it’s prom season. Now is the time to shop for that perfect tuxedo, casual suit (Topman would be ideal for 90% of high schoolers) or flawless gown.

If you’re considering the suit/sneakers combo that Jake One is rocking in the image above (that’s Mayer Hawthorne next to him by the way), keep it clean and start by exploring the world of designer sneakers.

SHOP: tuxedos | Topman suits | designer sneakersprom dresses

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The singer and music producer serves as creative director for NikeWomen’s latest spring campaign, “Do You Believe in More?,” which shows a host of athletes cavorting in ancient urban ruins. Filmed in Mexico City, the video, directed by and starring FKA twigs, is also set to a new song by the artist. In it she explores “modern movement,” or in her words, “any genre of sport without boundaries.” The writhing and leaping bodies in her work seem to unify sport with the spiritual in a quest for improvement.

FKA twigs in NikeWomen campaign

Twigs cast each of the athletes who star in the campaign. Included are the fencer Miles Chamley-Watson; her krumping classmate and yoga pro Paleta CalmQuality; classical violinist and fellow krumper Saskia Horton; karate champion Jay Kirton and others. You can read about them all in Twigs’ own words in addition to her thoughts on “Sport and Expression,” an essay on the pleasures of preparation, both athletic and creative.

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Read her thoughts, but see this work. Even amid this world-class cast, the pop singer can’t help but stand out as a force both physical and emotional.

SEE THE VIDEO

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The year 2016 made even the hardiest among us want to curl up under a blanket and weep into a cup of cocoa. Minus the tears, the latest topic of trend pieces suggests you do just that. ‘Hygge’ is the Danish word for a cozy, comfortable environment. (Something that elicits such feelings is described with the adjective ‘hyggelig.’) For any number of reasons (the contentious election, the celebrity deaths, the tweet storm that’s always brewing), the term seems like the salve for all of our cultural boo-boos this winter.

Mountain Kingdom blanket

Denmark, among other Scandinavian countries, repeatedly ranks among the happiest nations in the world. Writers at the New York Times, the New Yorker and TIME all attribute at least a sliver of this overwhelming gladness to hygge. And since its precepts are pretty simple, we put together some ways of incorporating a bit of this Danish sensibility into your daily life so that 2017 can start with a sweater and a smile.

STAY SANE THE DANE WAY: HERE’S HOW

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Our series about wanderlust-worthy, slightly off-the-grid vacation hotspots, with local picks (and gorgeous pics) from our intrepid Nordstrom crew.

Travel Diary Bali

Who: Lynn Frauenholz, senior web designer

Where: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Why did you choose this destination?

Bali seemed to have the right amount of tropical paradise, interesting culture and relaxed vibe we were looking for after getting married. There are a lot of Australian expats there, so the yoga community is huge and along with that there’s some really great organic food. Neither of us are really big beach people so we stuck to the interior of the island, but I hear there’s good surfing if that’s a selling point for someone.

MORE MONKEYING AROUND IN BALI: READ MORE

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Yves Saint Laurent

We have several takeaways from the several times (so far) we have visited the exhibit Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style at the Seattle Art Museum (on through January 8):

1. How truly daring Yves (if we may call him that so as not to confuse the man with the house) was: he promoted diversity on the runway long before it was de rigueur to do so; he made gender bending extremely fashionable, both through iconic designs like his Le Smoking suit and his cultivation of his own dashing feminine qualities (captured in Jeanloup Sieff’s famous nude photo of the designer in the ’70s on display at SAM); he reinvented and restored his career and himself after early setbacks and recurring bouts with depression and addiction.

2. How much our current fashion climate relies on ground he cultivated: ready-to-wear and diffusion lines, street-level boutiques, streetwear trends applied to couture, his collaborations with It girls and celebrities, his ability to read the zeitgeist and design a uniform for it.

3. How much better we should dress the next time we decide to pay homage to one of the 20th century’s most brilliant designers. Honestly, wearing jeans, a sweater and boots to this exhibit felt like sinning while approaching the altar to receive communion.

Yves Saint Laurent archives

As we’ve thought more about Yves’s (we’re on a first name basis by now, surely) decadent, decades-defining career and life, we’ve also thought how fun it would have been to be one of the fabulous women (a Betty Catroux, a Loulou de la Falaise, a—dare we dream—Catherine Deneuve) in his orbit, one whom he dressed like he did his childhood paper dolls. And if so, what would he have selected for us? Here are our best guesses among modern YSL pieces, though no doubt Yves would have had something surprising up his impeccable sleeve.

ICONIC YSL PIECES YOU CAN SHOP

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There are few idols from our youth with whom we’re still enamored. Most childhood stars dwindle once adulthood arrives, when our seasoned tastes and collected experience reveal chinks in the gilded armor of celebrity. But Miss Piggy is one for whom our regard has only grown as we’ve grown up.

Frankly, she’s a badass. The professional actress, spokes-pig, karate enthusiast and fashion plate holds her own amid a colorful cast of mostly male Muppets. She is outspoken, brash when circumstances call for it, genteel when the situation is otherwise. Her flair for fashion and her unapologetic femininity and ambition are characteristics that plant her firmly in the modern era, even though she has been in the public eye for four decades.

Miss Piggy.

All this makes her the perfect star for kate spade new york’s latest “Miss Adventure.” We spoke with Miss Piggy about the new collection of accessories, for which she was the muse, her co-star, Zosia Mamet, and how she manages to do it all while including time for romantic entanglements.

First things first. How is your love life? Are you seeing anyone green?

 Moi’s love life is fantastique! As for “anyone green,” I can’t imagine what you’re talking about. Oh, you mean, “him” … Well, we’re still friends and colleagues, but for now, I’m done with “A for Amphibians” and I’m working my way through the rest of the alphabet. To put it succinctly, I’m not just seeing anyone … I’m seeing everyone.

THIS MUPPET TAKES MANHATTAN: READ MORE

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If you’re over evergreens, let us suggest something equally verdant but more unique for your holiday trimming: succulents. These days, the trendy water-plump plants can be found at most floral shops, however, their use in seasonal wreaths and arrangements is only just catching on–which means that yours could be the only door on the block to rock one!

Succulent WreathIn addition to being relatively low-maintenance and resilient, succulents are also easy to work with–good news for those of us who are all thumbs but not necessarily of the green kind. And since this is a living wreath, you can keep up this decoration year-round without shame.

Read on to follow our low-stress steps for fashioning a custom wreath.

HERE’S HOW TO MAKE A WREATH

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