Looking for dreamy tunes to soundtrack summer hangouts? We thought you might be!
Check this exclusive mix from independent Brooklyn-based music label Mexican Summer–the brain trust which popularized Best Coast and Washed Out a few years back–compiled by the man in charge, Keith Abrahamsson. The music is a blend of the beautiful and the strange. You will find rock, pop and electronic music. Old styles and new ones.
And it all goes together fluidly.
If you like what you hear, we recommend spending more time with Mexican Summer and its sister labels Anthology and Software. In our opinion, Abrahamsson and his crew are 100% trustable.
Time flies when you’re having fun-ukkah—and with the final night of Hanukkah sneaking up fast, even heroic dads might find themselves short a present or two. We have just the intergalactic ticket: a galaxy of Star Wars-themed gifts, from Darth Vader Pez dispensers to a Lightsaber night-light to a C-3PO phone case ideal for Dark-Side selfies.
Keep reading for our Star Wars gift picks—for kids large or small.
These French flag-themedNew Balance 574s were made in the USA especially for our French Fling Pop-In Shopin extremely limited numbers—and there’s a decent chance we still have them in your size! But not for long. As the wise man who writes our product pages stated, they’re “more rare than an Henri Jayer Pinot Noir, and pair a heck of a lot better with shorts.”
Grab your tri-colors while you can, whether you care to show your allegiance to liberté, égalité and fraternité—or just want to out-class the world’s foremost street-style stars. (Sneakers this chic go with everything from turned-up dad jeans to tailored suits these days, don’t you know.)
French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg was kind of like the Kanye West of his time—you know, a creative genius. A jack of many trades. A genre-hopping musician, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. His lyrics utilized styles of wordplay that would make most rappers (and even self-described word-nerd copy editors—we checked) scratch their heads. (Mondegreen? Spoonerism? Check Gainsbourg’s Wikipedia page for definitions.)
Gainsbourg also managed to sweep some of the best-known bombshells of the 1960s and ’70s off their feet. Check out his 1968 ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ duet with then-ladyfriend Brigitte Bardot above, for example. The song is based on a poem entitled The Trail’s End, written by Bonnie Parker herself just weeks before her Depression-era crime spree with Clyde Barrow came to a grisly end. Gainsbourg’s apparent fascination with American culture is interesting—especially as we find ourselves paying homage to all things French, with our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop. (And, as Monsieur West is zealously requesting croissants and collab’ing with minimalist French label A.P.C.)
Below, find some favorite photos of Gainsbourg and guests—all via the essential repository for all things vintage and jaw-dropping: The Impossible Cool.
Perhaps he was not classically handsome. And legend has it that he passed out drunk after taking Jane Birkin to some questionable venues on their first date. But what Gainsbourg lacked in other areas, he made up for in his keen ability to wear a suit like he was born in it. Check out those fitted shoulders, wide lapels, and devil-may-care shirt collar.
Brigitte Bardot, Gainsbourg’s partner in crime in the song above, cleaned up pretty nice, too.
…But who wore it best? Invented in England, perfected by the French—Gainsbourg makes a trench coat look almost as good as Bardot. Note his expert use of accessories: gloves, smoke, icy stare.
Not a bad run: After breaking up with Bardot, Gainsbourg rebounded with English singer/actress Jane Birkin—but’s that’s a whole other story. Here, he rocks the “jacket-as-cape” look about 40 years before the current crop of street-style stars attempted it.
Parisian photographer Guy Bourdin (1928–1991), a protegé of surrealist Man Ray, is widely credited with changing the face of fashion photography.
Utterly subverting the chipper sales pitches that dominated 1950s advertising, Bourdin’s work was moody, mysterious, alluring, aloof. The scenarios he concocted invariably raised more questions than the fleeting moments he froze could answer. And while we may never understand the exact pathos the troubled artist was trying to decipher (as one collaborator suggested, “What Guy did was conduct his own psychoanalysis [in the pages of] Vogue”)—studying 98 of his rare Polaroid test-shots at length in your living room can’t hurt.
Buy the book below, as part of our French Fling Pop-In Shop—and dive deeper into Bourdin’s infamously strange life at Vogue.com.
You can talk Star Wars and Scarface for days—but are you fluent in French New Wave? For a primer on the genre that will score you more conversation points with girls (or guys) who wear glasses, check out our previous post on the topic—and to rep your favorite Jean-Luc Godard film wherever you go, pick up the Vivre Sa Viesnapback seen above.
It’s one of three custom New Era hats brought in exclusively for our French Fling Pop-In Shop. The title of the 1962 film translates directly as To Live Her Life, but it was released to American audiences as My Life to Live—an aptly self-assured headwear sentiment whether you’re lightening the vibe at a cheese tasting or out-classing your friends in a game of pick-up basketball.
We’ll gloss over the seedy details of the film’s plot line (no spoilers!), but do check out the classic jukebox scene in the clip above—and keep watching until the end, for a pick-up line that would never work in a million years. Unless, maybe, you’re French. Or wearing a great hat. But still, we don’t recommend it.
To purchase a top-of-the-line edition of Vivre Sa Vie on DVD or Blu-Ray—and for more in-depth film reviews, essays, and photo galleries than you can shake a baguette at—visit The Criterion Collection.
Yesterday marked the grand opening of our French Fling Pop-In Shop—a curated selection of eclectic and often exclusive French-themed goods from Rodarte, Kitsuné, A.P.C. and many more. We celebrated here in Seattle by throwing a packed soirée with free PBR, a crêpe truck, and vintage-surf-tinged tunes by amazing pop-punk band La Sera.
At both the in-store shop and the after-party, our friends documented the stylish debauchery via le Instagram. The photos below are our favorites collected from hashtag #NordstromPOP.
Fries. Toast. Kissing. Brigitte Bardot. Champagne. Tiny bulldogs. Plastic Bertrand. Even though the latter (above) rose to international stardom for lip-syncing another guy’s work (the original Milli Vanilli?), the song he made famous is still damn catchy—and one more excuse to raise a glass to all things French.
The above influences and countless more are the raison d’être behind French Fling, our first in a series of Pop-In Shops. Curated by Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s Director of Creative Projects (and former Creative Director at Opening Ceremony), each Pop-In will feature a collection of goods, including limited-edition and exclusive items, that rally around a specific theme.
This month, said theme is the home of Kenzo sweatshirts, A.P.C. candles—and even a snapback that can parlez-vous français. Next month—who knows? Shop a few of our favorites below, and look for more from our Pop-In Shops coming soon.