Margaret Jones

Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer, makeup artist and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Blogger, chef and cookbook author, Heather Christo models for Nordstrom with family.

Meet Heather Christo, a classically trained French chef, erstwhile high-end caterer, two-time cookbook author, popular food blogger and enviably polished mother of two. When she and her children were diagnosed with a slew of collective food allergies, Heather (not without a heavy sigh) threw out the butter and eggs and set about using her professional experience to create new dishes that were safe for her family but just as delicious–if not more so–as the food they were accustomed to.

Along the way, she documented her experience on her blog and poured it all into her recently released one-of-a-kind book, Pure Delicious–full of helpful information and tasty recipes she developed that are free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, peanut, shellfish and cane sugar. No small feat! Find out how she does it (she’s sharing recipes!), read about her style and see her modeling some of our favorite dresses while being an impeccable hostess in her beautiful home and garden.

Heather Christo models an Eliza J fit and flare dress for Nordstrom.On work and play: Well, I really have several jobs and divide my time between them.

1. My blog, HeatherChristo.com, where I publish five days a week and do everything from the recipe development to the food styling–including photography, postproduction and writing.

2. My company, Heathermade, which is currently sold in select Costcos and hitting retail this fall. We make fresh, vegan baked goods that are certified gluten-, soy-, nut- and peanut-free.

3. My book. A year ago I would have been focused on editing it, but now I am focused on the promotion of it. So I’m doing press trips, book signings and (my favorite) public speaking about our family experience with the power of food as medicine.

And … Ha! I don’t think I am getting in nearly enough play time! But I try to enjoy any and all time that we get to spend as a family–even if it is just going on a walk on the weekend or all sitting down to dinner together. We also have great friends, and my husband and I love to go out for drinks or entertain at home.

SEE ALL THE LOOKS FROM OUR PHOTO SHOOT WITH HEATHER

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Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer, makeup artist and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Floral fit and flare tea length dress from Eliza J.

Floral fit and flare tea length dress from Eliza J.

Go ahead and just try to keep up with Tiffany Lowry. As a freelance hair and makeup artist, Tiffany juggles running between beautifying clients at her chair in a downtown spa, dishing out her encyclopedic beauty knowledge on TV, traveling as the image director for a cable sports network and oh, you know, just working on the imminent launch of her very own app—plus being a mom. We have no idea how she managed to take a day away from it all to get gorgeous in some of our favorite summer day dresses, but we’re so glad she did. You couldn’t ask to hangout with a more energetic, enthusiastic and on-top-of-her-game human being—a woman with an irrepressible spirit who clearly loves what she does. Every single person in our crew that day came away with genius tips and beauty product recommendations; we can’t wait for that app!

SEE ALL THE LOOKS FROM OUR DAY WITH TIFFANY

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Our latest fashion edition of The Realest features the smart and smiling baker and business owner Kate Sigel in some of our favorite spring dresses. To complement each outfit, hair and makeup artist Jenny Verador created a look that’s classic and clean, with just the right amount of strategically placed color.

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For lips that evoke the feeling of spring without being overpowering, we brought all 12 shades from our new Nordstrom-exclusive collection of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick Lipsticks for Jenny to work her magic with. She was a fan of “the amazing color range with great color payoff and moisture.” Kate really loved how they felt too. And we all loved their sweet hint of mango scent.

See the colors, makeup application and Jenny in action with our how-to video as she takes us through the steps and products she used to create this fresh and pretty makeup look for Kate.

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WATCH: JENNY’S HOW-TO STEPS AND SEE MORE LOOKS

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Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer, makeup artist and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Spring 2016 dress trends: the shirtdress. Nordstrom blogs spent the day trying on some of our favorite dress silhouettes with our real-woman model and real-life baker, Kate Sigel.

Having been up since 3AM (her normal wake-up time) and having spent hours at it before our photo shoot even began, Kate was still infectiously all smiles right through the end. It probably doesn’t hurt that her work-life revolves around making beautiful cakes and pastries all day. As the founder and owner of a specialty cake business, Sweet Tooth Cake Company, as well as executive pastry chef for the Huxley Wallace Collective restaurant group, Kate’s a busy woman! Fueled by more than just sugary confections, Kate is smart, passionate and inspired by anyone who shares the same ability to get so excited by whatever it is she or he loves doing.

We spent our day with Kate getting her into some of our favorite dresses for spring at her family friends’ gorgeous home on the waterfront. She was kind enough to bring us a vanilla cake to decorate with the most delicious grapefruit curd (!) between the layers all topped with vanilla-orange Italian meringue buttercream frosting (!!). We definitely all congratulated ourselves with a slice after wrapping up the shoot—which we made sure included at least one scene featuring the resident pup, a Maltese named Ginger, who probably ended up getting just as much attention that day from the crew as our seriously delightful model.

SHIRTDRESSES

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Spring 2016 dress trends: the shirtdress by Eliza J. Nordstrom blogs spent the day trying on some of our favorite dress silhouettes with our real-woman model and real-life baker, Kate Sigel.A day in the life: There really isn’t a “normal” day for me, but that’s a big part of what I like about what I do. I talk to clients for my cake business, come up with ideas for what they’re looking for and how to make it as custom and special as possible, then work on cakes. For the most part I can get into a rhythm with baking and making buttercreams and fillings, but my favorite part is the decorating.

It’s so much fun for me to see this idea or concept get translated from just an idea to a 3D, tangible thing. I don’t always sketch out ideas, as I like to be able to tweak the design a little bit as I’m working to make the best possible end result, so even I don’t know exactly what a cake will look like until it’s finished.

Clients often tell me, ‘I can’t wait to see the cake!’ And internally, I’m thinking, “I know, me too!”

Eliza J striped shirtdress | Baublebar snowball wrap ring | Heeled sandals with fringe

SEE OUR ENTIRE SHOOT WITH KATE AND ALL THE SPRING DRESSES

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Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

The enterprising and razor-sharp Monica Dimas is an always-on-the-go chef and business owner with a sense of humor and personality that make her supremely fun to hang with. And that’s basically what we did for the day in the industrial kitchen at Gate Valve Studio.

With a long list of work history at some of Seattle’s most-talked-about restaurants (like Café Campagne, Spinasse and Mkt.), Monica decided to focus her chef chops, culinary roots and desire for a new direction on opening two Mexican street food concepts—Neon Taco and Tortas Condesa. Now she’s the one being talked about—most recently as the 2015 winner of StarChef’s Seattle Rising Star Concept Chef Award.

While getting her into some of our favorite dress silhouettes for spring, we chatted with Monica about her style, favorite things in her closet and what food trends she’s into—and not so into. Like at all.

SHIFT DRESSES

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On her style: “I have an androgynous style. It isn’t harsh; it’s purposeful, because I have soft features (round face, curly hair, big eyes) that I balance out with less feminine clothing. I like tailored and well-fitted pieces along with oversized men’s shirts. An empire waist dress makes me look like Wendy from Peter Pan.”

Favorite things about spring: “I love a good, bold print on a simple dress—accessorizing is fun and can also be bold without it detracting from the pattern.  Spring is a good time for that, since you still need to stay warm while the sun is making its way out. Also, spring seems to get people out of their comfort zone, and you start seeing people’s wardrobes really wake up. That’s when I start shaping my style resolutions for the remainder of the year.

 

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Eliza J front-lace shift dress | Maria la Rosa knee-high socks | Stuart Weitzman sandals

SEE ALL OUR LOOKS WITH STAR CHEF MONICA

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Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Meet Leah Watkins, a talented fashion designer and self-described jack of all trades with personality to spare. Not to mention just a lovely human being. We brought her to the quirky Palladian Hotel and spent the day playing around the boutique accommodations. Because, why not? Our only regret was having to leave the one-of-a-kind pillows behind.

SHINE ON – 2D SEQUINS

Holiday Party Dress Ideas--Sequins

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On dressing for a party: “If I’m going to a cocktail party, I’m going to want to feel beautiful and sexy without showing everything off. I like to show a little hint of skin and let the imagination do the rest. I love hemlines short, but sometimes I just want to evoke the spirit of Stevie Nicks and dance around in a floor-length maxi dress. I tend to gravitate towards black, and I don’t mind a little sparkle here and there.”

On her style: “My personal style is really influenced by motorcycle culture, rock & roll and the ’60s and ’70s. I definitely dress according to my mood, so some days I might wear lots of flowing florals, and some days I’m head to toe in black. I love vintage and try to incorporate at least one special and unique piece with every outfit. Nothing spices up an otherwise simple outfit like a great hat, a printed scarf or a very unique bag. One thing I can’t live without is my leather moto-jacket. It goes with everything!!”

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SEE OUR PHOTOSHOOT WITH LEAH AND MORE PARTY DRESSES >

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Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Meet Megan Toomey, an in-it-to-win-it woman who values working hard, spending quality time with family and friends, and feeling confident in her own skin. Megan applies her all-or-nothing personality to her career as a senior product manager as well as her personal life and athletic hobbies. With a smart sensibility and deliberate style, Megan is dynamic, kind, stands proudly at six-feet tall and isn’t afraid to rock some sky-high heels, thank you very much!

ALLOVER SPARKLE – Sequin Dresses

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

On her style: “I think my style can best be described as classic. This used to bother me because ‘classic’ carries with it the connotation of sweater sets and kitten heels. And while I would never argue that Jackie O’s classic style is nothing short of perfection, it wasn’t exactly what I was going for. Now I’ve come to realize that classic can mean different things, and I choose to think of it as not succumbing completely to trends but wearing things that I know I like, that look good on me and playing with trend pieces without overhauling my closet every season.”

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