Ford Leland

In the Studio: Pedro Garcia Spring 2014

During Paris Fashion Week, The Thread stopped by the Pedro Garcia showroom, where we found our buying team hand-selecting the most essential shoes for spring.

The Art of Buying: When you’re in the business of buying shoes, you must be 10 steps ahead of the trends while also possessing an astute awareness of the styles, shapes and colors women will desire and want to wear. Our buyers get to the sole of the matter with the Pedro Garcia team.

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Paul Andrew, New to Nordstrom


For over 15 years, Paul Andrew has been a silent force in footwear, crafting shoes for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. In September of 2012, the British-born, New York-based expat stepped into the spotlight with the launch of his eponymous label. During Paris Fashion Week, The Thread had a tête-à-tête with the designer at his pop-up studio near the Notre-Dame Cathedral and discovered his mission to bring the sexy shoe back.

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Interviews POP-IN@Nordstrom

Pop-In @Nordstrom: Merci, a Parisian Attitude

Enter Merci, a Paris-based concept store tucked away on boulevard Beaumarchais in the historic Haut-Marais district. This destination of cool completely transforms every three weeks, making it a revolving door for discovery.


Savor the unknown: Merci’s courtyard leads you into the store, but beyond those French doors, it feels like anything can happen.

During Paris Fashion Week, Jean-Luc Colonna, the store’s creative director, gave The Thread a personal tour of the space that captures every element of the Parisian attitude toward life and style.

THE THREAD: Merci’s involvement with the Pop-In @Nordstrom Shops marks its first collaboration with a U.S. retailer. How does French Fling complement the Merci vision?

JEAN-LUC COLONNA: First, I don’t know how to say no to Olivia Kim. [He laughs.] Also, we loved the idea for French Fling—to mix very high-end pieces with casual, cool ones. The whole balance of fashion and home lifestyle is very Parisian. In the home, women devote the same attention to buying a spoon as they do to buying a Balenciaga bag, and that’s a very Parisian way of shopping. We thought it would be nice in the Pop-In environment to bring in a bit of this Parisian attitude about home and lifestyle.

Meet the Merci mascot: a red ’68 Fiat that has been parked in front of the store since it opened in March of 2009. On a constant adventure, the Fiat is transformed every month.

Mix masters: You’ll find an outdoor herb garden, a florist, two cafés, an organic restaurant, a fountain of beauty, jewelry, furniture, menswear, and fashion brands—from Comme des Garçons to new labels like World—all cleverly curated together.

THE THREAD: Everything is about the attitude.

JEAN-LUC: Yes, Merci is a special company. The founder of the company is Marie-France Cohen of the Bonpoint family. She had this dream, after being in the luxury business for 35 years, that today, the new luxury is space. The new luxury is mixing things together. Doing this very seriously, but not pretending it’s the only solution. It’s one proposal. We don’t pretend; everything is about the attitude and mixing things. In this way, we are different from the fashion in France where the designer has one vision.

Pop-In: Merci ‘Corbeille à Revers’ Foil Coated Paper Bag

THE THREAD: Tell us about the concept for Merci.

JEAN-LUC: Merci has two floors for home and one floor for fashion, with a focus on the home lifestyle. The concept for Merci design, whether it is fashion or home, is what we call in French “l’une et l’autre” which means “the one and the other”—contemporary and vintage, casual and extravagance. The idea is to bring together a presentation of things and to show how you can mix items with style without being intimidating. That’s very important. For us, the main service we can do is to let people be free, to feel and buy, but to also have projection about how they could be in the place that they can ultimately make their own.

Read, drink, discover: There’s a homey atmosphere at Merci. It’s a place to meet friends that acts as a bridge between the chic and the streets. There are over 15,000 books stored in the corridor of the used bookstore/café.

Pop-In: Merci Washed Linen Queen Size Flat Sheet, Washed Linen Pillowcase and Washed Linen Queen Size Duvet Cover

THE THREAD: The Merci Merci line is very color-driven—wow!

JEAN-LUC: Yes, at Merci, we love color, we love linen. We have 18 colors of linen. With Olivia, we selected a season of colors for Nordstrom, and we even have same story here. First, you have to touch—you have to see all the colors—and then you must play with the colors, like a palette or a photographer. We love the idea that it doesn’t have to be precious to be very high quality.

Experience the Merci way of living—without any of the jet lag—via the Pop-In @Nordstrom Shop.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland


In the Studio: Nina Ricci

Join The Thread at the Paris-based maison of Nina Ricci, where we dive into the details of the spring/summer 2014 collection.

Let There Be Light: Bursts of sunshine fill the showroom of Nina Ricci, exposing glittering tweeds and ethereal fabrics.

Breakfast at Nina Ricci: C’est si bon.

Lovely Lace: The last looks presented on the runway now drape on dressmaker mannequins like works of art.

High-Tech Luxe: Sharp lines on this coat crafted from technical cotton hint at an historic period in men’s dress.

Pleats Please!: This timeless coat reveals an architectural nod to modernity with sleek, tailored pleats that add a preciousness to the construction.

Contrasting Textures: A lace skirt is fused with mirror embroideries, revealing a sparkling sentiment for spring.

It Comes Down to the Details: Crepe embellishments on the shoulders of this cotton jacket create a delicate and elegant effect.

Wardrobe-Ready: Peter Copping, the brand’s creative director, mixed pale hues and flashes of floral into his otherwise all-white palette.

Fields of Flowers: Layers of printed chiffon and subtle floral appliqués enhance the romantic mood of the collection.

A Canvas of Sophistication: Washed-out, watercolor floral makes an artfully feminine statement.

The Look to ♥: Our designer apparel buyer, Sahar Sokhandan, shares her thoughts on one of the standout looks for spring:

“What I personally love about Peter Copping is that he takes the thinking out of dressing. He makes it effortless. One of my favorite looks from the spring line is this extra-fine cashmere sweater paired with a pleated lace mini-skirt. It’s ultra-chic and luxe! I don’t know any woman who wouldn’t want to look like that.”

Shop our Editor’s Picks from the current collection.

Nina Ricci Lace & Satin Dress | Nina Ricci Bouclé Pencil Skirt
Nina Ricci Chiffon Back Tank

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland


Obsession: Valentino ‘Rockstud’ Collection

As The Thread archives thousands of photos taken at Paris Fashion Week, one thing we’re seeing over and over is the Valentino ‘Rockstud’ collection. From handbags to shoes, the ‘Rockstud’ made a lasting impression on the sidelines of runway shows and on the streets of Paris.

Shoe-la-la: Valentino ‘Rockstud’ Pump

Slim Heel, Ample Style: Valentino ‘Rockstud’ Pump in black. And check out the latest ‘Rockstud Cavallino’ design that features neon-pop leopard spots.

Ultimate Stud Statement: Valentino ‘Rockstud – Flat’ Leather Clutch‘Rockstud’ T-Strap Flat in Pink

Pretty Parade: Valentino ‘Rockstud Crystal Noir’ T-Strap Pump (center)

The Essential Carryall: Valentino ‘Rockstud’ Leather Dome Satchel

Edgy. Luxe. Rock ’n’ roll attitude. Where will your ‘Rockstud’ take you?

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland


The Kooples, New at Nordstrom

Alexandre, Laurent and Raphael Elicha, the brothers behind the his-and-hers hipster collection The Kooples, give The Thread the scoop on why women find borrowing from men to be très chic.

THE THREAD: There’s an artful precision to your Brit-meets-Parisian chic aesthetic. As your brand makes its mark in the U.S., which details, cuts and fabrications do you want customers to take notice of this season?

ALEXANDRE, LAURENT & RAPHAEL: They’ll notice how we combine traditional elegant tailoring with a rock-chic spirit. The Kooples revisits classics with a collection that’s rich in contrasting fabric, new shapes and large patchworks of patterns, all of which symbolize the house’s DNA. We’re rooted in self-expression and stylish looks. Some of our iconic pieces include the cotton shirt, the single-button suit, the double-breasted coat and the leather biker jacket, which are reinterpreted with refined leather details for a city-smart result—with a twist.

Parisian Persuasion: The Kooples Sheer Flower Print Blouse, Shiny Woven Jacket & Shiny Woven Pants

For the Love of Fashion: Models Alice Gomme and Adam Holden celebrate their five-month romance in the fall/winter ’13 campaign.

The style and allure of real-life couples are the highlight of your ad campaigns. What’s the criteria to be considered as a Kooples couple?

There are no criteria apart from love! When we started the Kooples adventure, the idea was to develop collections for functional couples that harmonize and complement each other mutually.

Nonchalant Cool: The Kooples Contrast Collar Jacket

What would you define as the essential items for building a his-and-hers wardrobe?

We define The Kooples’ silhouette by its effortlessly cool style with a Parisian twist. The Kooples unravels the traditional notion of separate men’s and women’s clothing and creates concepts that fuse and mingle the collections. The iconic piece of the house that we would definitely recommend in a Kooples wardrobe would be black leather. Perfecto!

Edgy Romance: The Kooples Lace & Tweed Dress

Discover The Kooples, where ultimate vintage style meets a dash of on-trend romanticism.

Qianna Smith
Product shots courtesy of The Kooples
Store photos by Ford Leland

Fashion Week Interviews

Zadig & Voltaire: “I Should’ve Been Born a Cowboy”

From leather and snakes to eagles and lace, the Zadig & Voltaire spring/summer 2014 collection presents a standoff of western juxtapositions. Underlined by a strong presence of fringe and loosely woven knits, this season pays homage to the effortless cool of home-on-the-range tomboy style.

While the brand’s signature attitude was certainly apparent in the liberal application of rock-and-roll accessories, the real surprise came from designer Cecilia Bönström’s ability to modernize a “these boots were made for walking” aesthetic with such an urban feel. Biker jackets, asymmetrical cuts, and distressed black and gold sequined pieces truly captured the cutting-edge spirit of what’s next, perfectly introduced with the Daft Punk music remix that opened the show.

Bönström closes the show wearing a cheeky t-shirt emblazoned with the collection’s slogan: “I should’ve been born a cowboy…”

—Ford Leland

Fashion Week

Models on the Move Part III: Frances Coombe at PFW

As Paris Fashion Week comes to a close, models from around the world are preparing to unwind after a long season of international travel, late-night fittings and early-morning makeup sessions. On our last day in the city, we bumped into our friend Frances Coombe, who still managed to keep an infectious smile through it all.

A former hip-hop dancer, this hazel-eyed Canadian beauty broke it down for us with a celebratory vogue.

“See you next season!”

Make your own rhythm with a taste of Frances’ wardrobe:

A.L.C. ‘Harper’ Twist Back Top | Saint Laurent ‘Billy’ Short Boot

rag & bone ‘The Leather Skinny’ Pants

Photos by Ford Leland


The Art of Illumination at Issey Miyake Spring ’14

Issey Miyake, the Japanese fashion house, lights up the runway for spring/summer 2014 with the illuminated silhouettes of its new collection.

Where’s the Issey Miyake woman going this season? According to show notes, she’s walking “toward the stars and shine in the inky black sky, toward the moon.”

Gros bisous!

Getting cheeky backstage with Issey Miyake’s womenswear designer, Yoshiyuki Miyamae.

Rays of light in rainbow patterns splash across dresses and separates, creating a freshly innovative outlook on high-tech wearability. And of course, no outfit is complete without a spritz of Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please, a Nordstrom exclusive fragrance that embodies one of the most fundamental concepts of Issey Miyake.

Jump over to our Beauty Blog and discover the look that Alex Box and the M·A·C PRO team has created for spring/summer 2014.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

Fashion Week Food & Drink

The Sweet Side of Paris Fashion Week

From the fabulous fashions to the decadent delights, the week of chic in Paris is a sensory experience unlike any other.

The Thread found our guest editor Zanita Morgan and her bestie Rebecca Laurey of Raspberry & Rouge enjoying a break between runway shows on the rooftop of the Terrass Hôtel, located in the artsy Montmartre district. Get a taste of the sweet life at Paris Fashion Week from two fabulous fashion bloggers we adore.

Treat Yourself: “I love this location,” says Zanita, a model turned photo blogger. “The 7th lounge is a hidden gem and a great place to relax in the midst of Fashion Week chaos.”

Parisian Pastries: It’s impossible to not develop a passion for food and fashion while in Paris.

The Art of Friendship: “It’s been great attending Fashion Week with Zanita. We both live this slightly fashion obsessed life,” says Rebecca, based in the Netherlands. “We met at an event in Barcelona in May, and we’ve been bonded ever since. We have this great international friendship.”

Bon Appétit: Classic French desserts like tarte aux fraises et à la crème, mille-feuille and éclairs are divine little pleasures.

Toast of the Town: Be inspired and add a little French twist to your daily style.

Zanita is in MISS WU Pocket Crêpe de Chine BlouseAbstract Chain Jacquard Skirt (both Nordstrom exclusives), MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Blake’ Bracelet Watch and Dogeared ‘Reminder – Infinite Love’ Boxed Pendant Necklace in Gold Dip. Her beauty statement comes in the form of NYX Black Nail Lacquer with Black Pearls and Yves Saint Laurent ‘Rouge Pur Couture’ Lip Color 001 Le Rouge.

Rebecca is in MISS WU ‘Delicate Leaf’ Print Crêpe de Chine Blouse & Pleated Leather Skirt (both Nordstrom exclusives) and kate spade new york ‘skinny mini’ bow bangle in silver. Perfectly polished nails in Deborah Lippmann ‘Jewel Heist’ Nail Color in ‘Rolling in The Deep’ complete the look.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

Our thanks to The 7th lounge at the top of the Terrass Hotel! With stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, it’s an ideal setting for an apéritif or a sunset dinner in the heart of Paris.