Fresh Reads: The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg

Most of my books are non-fiction, usually written by an entrepreneur I admire in some way. Every single one of these entrepreneurs has worked hard to achieve their dreams, and yet every one of them is vastly different from the next. Like every girl, I've admired Diane von Furstenberg for her style, charisma and that iconic wrap dress. To be honest, I didn't know much about her until I picked up The Woman I Wanted to Be, her latest book. Little did I know what an introspective look I'd get into the life of a real-life princess!

This is probably the first book that caught me uttering the words, "Girl, you have a charmed life." But that's only the half of it! In The Woman I Wanted to Be, Diane takes us through her life from four different lens: family, love, beauty and fashion. Naturally, the fashion part is a lion's share of her story, but you really understand how the soul inside the lady and the business have evolved together throughout the entire book.

You can't help but wish you were a part of Diane's inner circle as you read through the book. She speaks so fondly of everyone who's touched her life in some way, no matter how far back they go and whether or not she sees them anymore. Her fierce love for her family translates deeply into her business - and stems from the well of fierce love she's cultivated for herself through the years. 

What was my favorite lesson learned from Diane? I loved how she's owned every part of her life. Daughter. Mother. Sister. Cancer survivor. Inexperienced but wildly passionate entrepreneur. Jetsetter. Lover. Comeback kid. She repeats the message of 'becoming the woman I wanted to be' throughout the book, as well as her mantra, "Love is life." No matter how dark or bright her life might be, Diane knows love is the motivating factor in everything, and her journey of loving and finding herself has made for one truly enchanting life.

Check out Diane von Furstenberg's The Woman I Wanted to Be.

Fresh Jess Loves Ampersand as Apostrophe (+ Giveaway!)

The gifts just keep on comin' from Fresh Jess this holiday season!

Last month, I had the honor of hanging out with Jessica (owner) and Mady (production assistant) in the Ampersand as Apostrophe studio. I love meeting small biz owners, and what a treat to see Jess in her element. Amidst giant rolls of leather hides and shelves full of chains of all kinds, we talked bags, business and life. Ampersand as Apostrophe is one of the most coveted bag brands on ShopBop, Revolve and boutiques across the world. We're so lucky to have Jess and AasA based right here in the Emerald City!

In the studio

In the studio

Styling my one-of-a-kind grey Sideways Tote!   Alive & Well off-white knit beanie // Zara leather jacket // old plaid flannel shirt //     TopShop black skinny jeans    // black boots found on Poshmark // J.Crew knit infinity scarf // Target gloves

Styling my one-of-a-kind grey Sideways Tote! Alive & Well off-white knit beanie // Zara leather jacket // old plaid flannel shirt //  TopShop black skinny jeans // black boots found on Poshmark // J.Crew knit infinity scarf // Target gloves

With Jess at The Seattle Collective

With Jess at The Seattle Collective

Photo Faves: Nordstrom Designer Preview 2014

Nordstrom Designer Preview is probably my favorite event to cover. I've had the honor of attending for three years now, and each show has such unique character, it's a treat to watch every year. 2014 was the year of pop art, with proceeds benefiting Seattle Art Museum's Pop Departures exhibit coming October 9, 2014. 

I remember gravitating towards a lot of black, hunter green and dark jewel tones in the past; this year my eyes drank in those bold, bright colors and in-your-face prints. The trends are heavy in glam feminine this year; flowy or structures shapes meant to really flatter the body juxtaposed with boxy outerwear, high collars and big accessories. 

I had a blast at the show and even got a #NordstromPreview selfie in. Check out my favorite looks below:

AllSaints sleeveless trench coat // lululemon Noir dress // Shoemint wedges

Talking shop with Carolyn of Hey Pretty Thing. Photo by Miguel Marino.

All photos below by Vivian Hsu for Team Photogenic.

Dries van Noten

Yellow striped oversized 'Rhonda' coat / Fuchsia pinwheel-print 'Vedas' short jacket / Black broken-pinstripe slim 'Paola' pants

Christian Dior

Electric blue wool/angora coat with three-quarter bell sleeves

Gucci

Sour cherry halter dress with leather top

Akris

Black long jacket w/front closure / Black/shore open face jacket

Stella McCartney

Black/emerald wool jacquard zip-front anorak w/hood / White/emerald/midnight long-sleeved turtleneck dress

Stella McCartney

Black sleeveless jumpsuit

Stella McCartney

Claret sleeveless dress w/cord detail

Dolce & Gabbana

Purple floral-print silk chiffon long-sleeved empire-waist gown

Lanvin

Black/white jacquard sculpted dress w/ flare skirt

Lanvin

Midnight blue dress w/jewel fringe detail

See more of my photos from Nordstrom Designer Preview 2014 on my Facebook page.

Luly Yang's Crescendo collection: Prelude

Music can evoke so much emotion, piercing our memories with the kinds of feelings that come rushing back when we reflect on the good, the bad, the passionate and the important stories that shape our lives. For Luly Yang, music has manifested itself in her newest collection, Crescendo.

Drawing upon the musical tastes that have spanned her life - from the classical piano training she picked up during childhood to the sweet sonatas that provided ambience for her time in Vienna - the pieces in Luly's Cresendo collection come together like notes, rhythms and melodies to create cohesive, solid songs of style. 

Luly & team were kind enough to invite me to experience the Prelude set of the Crescendo collection last Sunday. Never one to overlook the tiny details that create an unforgettable experience, Luly and team took over The Capital Grille across from her boutique in the Fairmont Olympic for a luncheon runway show. We enjoyed mimosas, lobster cakes and petite lamb chops as models walked the Crescendo Prelude set down the restaurant's aisles. I can only imagine what the Sonata set in Vienna or the finale set in San Francisco will look like!

Thanks so much to Luly Yang and her team for having us this weekend. Enjoy some of my favorite looks below:

Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection
Luly Yang Crescendo collection

Visit the Luly Yang boutique in the Fairmont Olympic for a look at the entire collection, or schedule an appointment for a custom fitting for your favorite dress. LulyYang.com.

Aces Interview: Piper Gore, Fashion Designer

Ah, the beauty of social media. Last week, a mutual friend (Hey Kristy!) introduced Piper Gore and I over email. I took one look at her site and fell in love with her line. As I evolve my style and put some hard definition on it, I can't deny that comfort is near the top of my list when I'm looking for the next addition to my closet. It's inherently West Coast, I think, and that's why Piper's collection struck me so. I asked if she'd bring Fresh Jess & my readers into her world for a little bit, and once again it's such a beautiful treat to see what makes one's spirit tick.

Piper Gore

Piper Gore

Also, FRENCHIE!

What's on your playlist right now?

I'm all over the place with music - but it is almost always on. Sometimes I actually manage to get slightly annoyed when I have to turn it down for a conversation in the middle of a really good song, even though I can just press pause! I get really lost in my music so it is a rude awakening when I have to come back from it I suppose ;)

To name a few artists on my playlist right now:

  • Rolling Stones

  • Jimmy Cliff

  • AWOLNATION

  • MS MR

  • Eric Lindell

  • Luke Bryan

  • Kid Rock

  • The Dirty Gov'nahs

  • Etta James

  • Wyclef

  • Autre ne Veut

  • Sublime

  • Jay-Z

  • David Bowie

  • Aerosmith

  • Pixies

  • The Cure

  • Bill Withers

  • Truth & Salvage

  • Moby

  • Skid Row

  • ...and it goes on & on!

Piper Gore

Piper Gore

Describe your style.

Easy. Mellow. Pulled together but not too seriously.

Who inspires you?

My friends each in their own way. I'm a girl's girl and I am so lucky to have such an incredible and inspiring group of girls around me. Each is so amazing in their own right.

Piper Gore

Piper Gore

What are you reading?

About 10 books at the moment. I love to read but every once in awhile, I go through phases where there is so much on my mind that I can't finish reading books. I keep starting new ones. It's really annoying! I am reading:

Piper Gore

Piper Gore

What are you most excited about in the coming months? 

Everything - all the possibilities. I feel like my world has just opened up and the longer I hang in there, the more people I meet and the more opportunities come about. I have no idea what's coming down the pipeline but I have hopes for what lies ahead and I'm working very hard to make that my reality. You never know - which I suppose is why it is so damn exciting.

Thank you Piper! Find her at PiperGore.com.

Read all of my Aces interviews here.

FJ @WWDMAGIC: Style Diary

WWDMAGIC exists for the sole purpose of getting fashion into the hands of style mavens all around the world. It's only fair, then, to give you a recap of my outfits during my week in Vegas!

Fashion events are always fun, because the opportunity is ripe (and it's encouraged) to show off your personal style. I loved seeing all the MAGIC bloggers come together, because we all had very distinct tastes and ways in which we'd put an outfit together. Some trendy, others classic, vintage, girly or practical (we were logging in miles on those show floors after all.) I'd packed mostly basics in black, white, grey and denim that I knew would pair well with whatever gifted items were waiting for me. I'd inadvertently steered towards more of a tomboy look (was just thinking practical but stylish!) Somehow, it all came together.

L: Jack by B.B. Dakota leather vest (on sale!)lululemon 'Free to Be' bra ; Premonition Designs asymmetrical skirt, ShoeMint 'Gina' wedges

C: Vans hi-lo dress (similar); red creeper booties c/o TUK Shoes

R: White hi-lo tee (similar); Zara culotte skort; Zara city bag (new version); Vans boat shoes

I adore my affirmation bracelets c/o BCBGeneration! Thank you!

Lace bustier via Poshmark (similar); white Zara tank; Parker faux leather track pants (on sale!); Lace overlay sweatshirt c/o Dolly & MollyNike Dunk Hi wedges

(Photos via Kelsi Smith)

Center: BCBGeneration spring '14 leather cutout & tulle dress

R:BCBGeneration "I'm Serious" sweater

Army Brat tie-dye sweatshirt c/o Young, Wild & SereneArielle crossbody bag in dusty plum c/o Rabeanco; BCBGMaxAzria leather shortsDolce Vita boots via Poshmark; old necklace

And just so you know what my typical airport uniform looks like :)

Black Zara tank & American Eagle boyfriend jeans via Poshmark

Read all my posts from WWDMAGIC here.

FJ @WWDMAGIC: Fresh Finds

WWDMAGIC is like one giant closet full of amazing gems, and us bloggers had a ball of a time trying on our fave finds and getting to know some of the designers and faces behind the showcasing brands. It was so hard to pare down my personal favorites, and some I didn't even get photos of! Nevertheless, here are some of the freshest finds (in my eyes) on this season's WWDMAGIC show floor:

1) Dakota Collective by B.B. Dakota: I'm already a big fan of Jack and the general B.B. Dakota collections, so when I got a look at the denim-inspired spring collection for Dakota Collective, I was enamored. This top though! I'm a big fan of basics, and Dakota Collective had a stellar lineup of leather jackets, denim, leggings and basic tees in shapes both classic and re-defined for the modern chick.

Dakota Collective_WWDMAGIC
Dakota Collective_WWDMAGIC

2) Trashy Diva: I mean, look at this setup right here. What's not to love about Trashy Diva? They live and breathe retro through their timeless dresses and separates. Everything I saw in the booth was so lady-like yet so sexy at the same time; I especially fell in love with the French Quarter print a-line full skirt. Mallory, a.k.a. Miss Malaprop and team were total sweethearts and all smiles throughout the show.

Trashy Diva_WWDMAGIC
Trashy Diva_WWDMAGIC

3) JOA - A clear favorite among the WWDMAGIC blogger team, JOA had all separates in every trend, fabric and style you could imagine. I saw a lot of matching textured pieces across the show floor, but this one incorporated the nude/neon dichotomy perfectly.

JOA_WWDMAGIC
JOA_WWDMAGIC

4) Flying Tomato gets props for its insanely beautiful booth alone. Well, that and its abundance of ethereal, summery maxi dresses.

5) Free People is absolutely owning that boho niche, and these upcoming seasons they've got some printed jumpsuits and fitted overalls to add to your (my) wardrobe.

Free People_WWDMAGIC
Free People_WWDMAGIC

6) LUSH Clothing: I'm already a big fan of Lush but I had to include this incredible nude leather skirt with the intricate pattern stitch detail. There's a lot of the asymmetrical leather skirt trend going on this fall; with black tights and a pair of over-the-knee boots, this skirt could be the star of the show. Here's a similar one in black & white laser cut print.

Lush Clothing_WWDMAGIC
Lush Clothing_WWDMAGIC

7) Darling: I will never tire of these feminine dress shapes, especially with this neckline and shoulder cut. I loved Darling's booth filled with these sweet dresses and separates, along with fun accessories and trinkets.

darling clothes_WWDMAGIC
darling clothes_WWDMAGIC

8) C. Luce: While I am not normally one for something so girly, I couldn't walk past this brocade/feather number without doing a double take. The feather skirt with black fringe is just so perfect agains the leaf brocade print, and again I love that neckline.

c. luce_WWDMAGIC
c. luce_WWDMAGIC

9) BCBGeneration: If the 90s are making a comeback this upcoming season, then BCBGeneration is leading the charge. The BCBGeneration booth was dripping with plaid and other grungy 90s-ness alongside new classic pieces like the leather cut-out dress with pink tulle bottom (like the one I'm modeling in the second pic!) They also had the SkyBox decked out like a 90s teenage girl's bedroom, complete with a daybed, inflatable furniture, Date Line phone, Clueless quotes adorning the walls and in the VHS. The bloggers and other booth guests could hang up in the SkyBox and enjoy nail wrap treatments, blowouts, help ourselves to the candy bar and get affirmation bracelets made. So rad!

bcbgeneration_wwdmagic
bcbgeneration_wwdmagic

10) The indies: Bri Seeley & Courtney Allegra:

There's something special about watching an independent designer realize their dreams. It was such a treat to spend some time with Seattle native Bri Seeley and meet Courtney Allegra, while perusing some of their latest collections. Two ladies with totally different styles but equally bad ass. Watch out for them!

bri seeley_Magic market week
bri seeley_Magic market week
courtney allegra_pool tradeshow
courtney allegra_pool tradeshow

FJ @WWDMAGIC: The Haul

Everybody loves a sweet swag bag, right? Well, no fashion blogger project would be right without goodies to keep us looking, smelling and feeling fresh. WWDMAGIC was no exception, and boy did they treat us right!

Fresh Jess_WWDMAGIC_The Haul
Fresh Jess_WWDMAGIC_The Haul

I was so excited to see what was in my pile of gifted goodies from a few very kind WWDMAGIC vendors. It truly was like Christmas morning in the blogger team war room over at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Quiet concentration on opening and unwrapping led to some fabulous surprises. I tried my best to get a photo of everything in one shot!

WWDMAGIC_Fresh Jess_The Haul
WWDMAGIC_Fresh Jess_The Haul

The TwoPointOh team also stocked us with some amazing beauty products. Those L.A. Fresh makeup remover and cleanser wipes came in so clutch after a long day or night out of show floor and parties. I've been wearing the Jouer matte base'YES to Carrots' lip balmToo Faced 'Better Than Sex' mascara & Flower Beauty 'Chocolate Lily' lipstick almost every day since MAGIC Market Week ended!

WWDMAGIC_Fresh Jess_The Haul
WWDMAGIC_Fresh Jess_The Haul

Special thanks to all the kind vendors for their lovely goodies!

Stay tuned for more of my FJ @ WWDMAGIC coverage! Outfit diary, new discoveries, favorite picks, oh my!

Miss Wu Fall '13 Premieres at Nordstrom (Interview w/Jason Wu)

Jason Wu's got a new collection exclusively for Nordstrom, and he spent some time with me yesterday to talk Miss Wu and answer a few lifestyle questions as well. But before we get into the interview, a little about what you'll find in various Nordstrom stores and online now. The Miss Wu collection is wrought with beautiful fabrics, bold colors (lots of fuchsia, chartreuse and cobalt blue), exclusive prints (confetti dot, Baroque lace, Ginko leaf and Jason's signature stripe) and impeccable detailing. Ranging from $195 - $995, Miss Wu is a clear nod to the 1960s, with a whimsical nod to the 1970s. There's a black feather evening dress, shearling moto-inspired jacket and red wool military coat that I know will do well here in the Pacific Northwest! 

Jason-Wu-Miss-Wu-Nordstrom

Jason-Wu-Miss-Wu-Nordstrom

How did you get into fashion design?

I was 9 when I lived in Canada, and I would read my mom's fashion magazines. There was always a lot of inspiration in them. It wasn't one 'Eureka!' moment; I just realized fashion could be a career and it always felt right.

You spent some time growing up in Vancouver. What are your favorite memories about the area?

Vancouver is beautiful. It's so serene. I live in New York City now, and it's so bustling. Vancouver is so peaceful and quiet in comparison. It was a great place to grow up. The food is very good; there's a lot of really good Chinese food as there's a large Chinese population there. I discovered fashion, art, design, and myself there. My mom would take me to antique shows, which we don't have in Taiwan. I got my first sewing machine and learned how to sew in Vancouver. My appreciation for beautiful things definitely grew there.

Jason-Wu-Miss-Wu-Nordstrom

Jason-Wu-Miss-Wu-Nordstrom

Who inspires you?

My mother has always inspired me. The women I dress as well. Women in general, really! You can see in my work - it's all a celebration of the feminine form and femininity. It's the string that connects the aesthetic from collection to collection.

Tell me about Miss Wu.

The collection really came about organically; it's an extension of my design DNA. It's very reminiscent of my early work. While the Jason Wu collection is heading more femme fatale, Miss Wu is very feminine. Prints, srtipes, full skirt, feathers. I'm very inspired by the women of the '60s: Penelope Tree, Anna Karina. When Nordstrom approached me about an exclusive collection, it was the perfect opportunity to take affinity to that era and those beautiful things.

Jason-Wu-Miss-Wu-Nordstrom

Jason-Wu-Miss-Wu-Nordstrom

What do you like to do to take a break?

I like to go to the spa; my favorite in New York is Mandarin Oriental. It's very peaceful, quiet and nice. I'm not hard to please! I love going to dinner with my friends. I do that 3-4 times a week. They're my friends I went to high school and college with. In many ways, I designed the Miss Wu collection with my friends. We all grew up together and somehow all ended up in New York. I guess you could say Miss Wu was designed for the girls around me.

Is that you behind your social media?

Yes! I don't do my Facebook page, but it's pretty clear that's run by my team. I send my own tweets and Instagrams. I just did my first Instagram video here today for Miss Wu (watch it here.) It's really fun. I was never good at keeping a diary or taking photos. I'm a very spontaneous person. It's nice to be able to share something in a few seconds. It's like a peek into my world; no filter, very organic. I think it's important to be authentic in that way.

Thank you!

Shop Miss Wu at Nordstrom here.

Read all of my Aces interviews here.

Raid The Warehouse! Gilt City Warehouse Sale Recap

Four words: Gilt City Warehouse Sale. A huge sale put on by Gilt that pops up in major cities such as San Fran and Boston. Items featured include women's and men's clothing from top brands, shoes, beauty products, home furnishings and much more. Bonus: all items are marked up to 90% off! Heaven for anyone who loves a good deal.

Now, Seattle was never on the map to host the event, but this year that all changed. The Gilt Warehouse Sale finally came to the good ol' Northwest and once I saw the event pop up online I cleared my schedule. Prior to the days leading up to the sale, I decided to educate myself by watching YouTube footage and reading endless reviews of shoppers in other cities. All they did was make me nervous.

On the day of, there were 4 different sessions scheduled for crowd control purposes. I was in the 2nd session with a couple of my girlfriends, and we thought we were in a good position to still snatch up the good stuff. We decided it was a good idea to divide and conquer by taking over one specific category - shoes, bags, clothes. Once we walked in and saw the rows of racks, pile of handbags and the stacks of shoes the plan flew out the window and it was "you're on your own sista!"

This doesn't even capture the madness of the clothing racks.

Total shoe chaos. The ladies were diggin!

The sale takes tons of patience and lots of energy. After a few hours digging through all the goodies, I ended up purchasing just a necklace. Many of the items I fell in love with had been snagged by fellow shoppers, didn't look good on me or were much more than I wanted to spend (ie: $500 dress came down to $150). I walked out of the building with my newest accessory, bottles of Aqua Hydrate, loads of VitaCoco and CocoCafe and an Uber gift card (which I may have been more excited about than my necklace.) Still walked away a happy girl!

My nOir necklake I copped! The neon got me.

My friend's Rag & Bone shoe find! Orig. $500 Sale. $99

If you went to the sale, I'd love to know your thoughts and if you purchased anything!

10 Fashion & Style Instagram Accounts You Must Follow

Nowadays, who doesn’t have an Instagram account? Fashion and style have created a huge presence on the hip social media site and I’m here to show you my top 10 picks for “Instagrammers” that are a must-follow for you fashionistas!

sydney fashion blogger instagram
sydney fashion blogger instagram

1) @SydneyFashionBlogger

This Sydney-based stylist and creative producer is one of my favorite Insta-fashion accounts. Although she tends to rock a lot of expensive designer wear, including that Chanel brooch that appears in many of her posts, I love taking inspiration from her “bougie” outfits.

Beyonce Instagram
Beyonce Instagram

2) @Beyonce

The famous singer jumped on the Instagram bandwagon fairly late in the game but nonetheless she has an account that I turn to a lot for style tips. I bought a pair of houndstooth print loafers and leather leggings earlier this year because I saw that Beyoncé posted a photo of herself clad in sexy leather leggings and an eclectic pair of loafers.

Sincerely Jules Instagram
Sincerely Jules Instagram

3) @SincerelyJules

Julie Sariñana is a fashion blogger and a popular “Instagrammer.” I found her account one day while browsing through some of the photos that made it to the Popular page. I enjoyed her laid-back style and how she puts together sophisticated feminine clothes and accessories with some designer pieces (like that irresistible pair of studded pointy-toed Valentino stilettos she owns!)

jnelv instagram
jnelv instagram

4) @JNELV

This Insta-famous fashionista has an urban flair to her style and she’s not afraid to take a risk with bold prints and bright colors. I love how she doesn’t try to follow any trends but instead she forges her own personal style with her eccentric clothes, accessories and shoes.

katrinacamille instagram
katrinacamille instagram

5) @KatrinaCamille

Another Insta-famous fashionista, Katrina Camille, posts cute and mostly casual ensembles. She spreads the pieces of clothing, the accessories and shoes out on her floor – unlike the majority of Instagrammers who model their #OOTD (outfits of the day).

Jessica Fang Instagram
Jessica Fang Instagram

6) @JessicaFang

This account is for jewelry lovers! She showcases accessories from body chains to stackable rings that you can purchase on her website: mod4rntrend.com.

karrueche instagram
karrueche instagram

7) @Karrueche

The infamous on-and-off-again girlfriend to R&B singer, Chris Brown, has the best Instagram account if you’re one for streetwear. Karreuche Tran sports clothing from Karmaloop, Dimepiece, Crooks & Castles, and Jeffrey Campbell among many others.

ewat24 instagram
ewat24 instagram

8) @ewat24

The other half of football player, Victor Cruz, has an Instagram account that will have you drooling over her high fashion and designer style. Although her photos don’t typically make it to the Popular page, her everyday ensembles and red carpet gowns are going to wow you.

monicarosestyle instagram
monicarosestyle instagram

9) @MonicaRoseStyle

The stylist to the Kardashians has created a name for herself by posting pictures of her adorable toddler, Alaia, in miniature versions of outfits that her mom would be dressed in. She also showcases her picks of the latest trends and of course, photos of the Kardashians styled by her.

3.1 Phillip Lim Instagram
3.1 Phillip Lim Instagram

10) @31philliplim

The fashion designer has a high-end clothing line but that’s why I love following the Instagram account of 3.1 Phillip Lim! I enjoy looking at pieces from his collections and taking inspiration from them. I saw his embroidered Souvenir Jacket (which looks like a floral bomber jacket) and soon after purchased my own from Crossroads in the U-District.

Who are your favorite fashion and style Instagrammers?

------

Courtney Liu is a Hawaii native in the journalism program at the University of Washington. She loves clothes and styling herself and her friends. She hopes to pursue a career in public relations or in the fashion industry.

Find Courtney on  Twitter, and view all of her posts here.

Seattle Style - Nordstrom Designer Preview

I've always found it exciting when any fashion event takes place in Seattle 'cause let's be real, not many big productions occur here. I haven't been to many shows and when I was presented with the opportunity to attend Nordstrom’s 2013 Designer Preview Show, I jumped at the chance! (Thanks Jess!)

Let me break down the evening and my thoughts during the show:

1. The venue was absolutely amazing and came with a gorgeous view. Seattle you are beautiful!

2. Cocktails + Desserts + Shopping = Deadly Combination.

3. We saw F/W 2013 Collections from 15 designers total.

4. Jess posted a ton of my favorites in her post, but majority of my favorite pieces came from Oscar De La Renta, Valentino and Givenchy.

5. The accessories caught my eye - shoes, handbags, earrings, clutches galore!

 6. The head-scratchers.

Although I love me some fashion, there were a few pieces throughout the show that left me wondering, would someone really wear that?

 What do you think? Let me know your thoughts!

All photos credit Team Photogenic

------

Sarah Basto is a born and raised Seattleite. She’s a former merchandise marketing student of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and is currently working as a marketing manager at a local nanny agency and serves as the PR & marketing intern for local luxury swimwear company Adicora Swimwear. She’s obsessed with all things Seattle and is interested in just about everything – this explains why she considers herself an entreprenista in the making! Outside of work Sarah loves spending time with her family and friends, baking, exploring the city, and being a full-time happy hour guru.

Find Sarah on Twitter, and view all of her posts here.

A Stylish Seattle Thursday Pt. 2: Nordstrom Designer Preview Recap

My stylish Thursday could not have been any more picturesque and chic! There's so much fashion eye candy in this post that I'm going to keep this short.

Nordstrom Designer Preview is the retailer's annual benefit runway show for Seattle Art Museum, held out in Magnolia in the cruise terminal. Before and after the show, Nordstrom's personal styling clientele, SAM patrons and other ticketholders can peruse the designer fall collections they'll soon see in Nordstrom stores, and shop straight from the runway!

The beautiful view from the cruise terminal. What a perfect first impression for visiting cruise passengers!

With my girl / Fresh Jess contributor Sarah

The scene Vogue's West Coast editor Lawren Howell (interviewed on FJ last week!) represented the publication in their first partnership with Nordstrom on this show. She left us with five big trends to look for in fall:

  1. The It Coat: your everyday peacoat gets a major refresh this season with eccentric shapes and detailing.
  2. Discreet Chic: prim & proper austere meets demure minimalism
  3. New Take on Evening: not just for the floor-length dresses anymore! Think tunics, pants, long & sheer flowy skirts and bead or sequin embellishments
  4. Stealing from Men: pinstripe, houndstooth and plaid get a feminine makeover
  5. 40s, 50s & 60s Glamour: need I say more?

Without futher ado, here are my favorites from the show!

So Rooney Mara! Azzedine Alaia. Photo credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

J'adore the new twists Dior has added to the classic wool dress, sweetheart dress and wool coat.

Christian Dior. L & R photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic; Center photo credit Hoang Nguyen / Team Photogenic

Trinity from Matrix by day; fly Bond Girl at night. Gucci. Photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Such a fan of these classic, demure shapes in textures like leather and organza.

Erdem. Photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Hella. Perfect.

Donna Karan. Photo credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Givenchy with the FUN. Bambi!

Givenchy. L & R photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic; Center photo credit Jennifer Richard / Team Photogenic

Chic modern evening wear

Jason Wu. Photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Whimsical but not overly girly

Lanvin. Photo credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Tomboy flair

Stella McCartney. L & R photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic; Center photo credit Hoang Nguyen / Team Photogenic

Dramatic evening garb

Michael Kors. Photo credit Hoang Nguyen / Team Photogenic

Doin' the most.

Oscar de la Renta. L photo credit Hoang Nguyen / Team Photogenic; R photo credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Probably my favorite set of the night.

Valentino. Photos credit Vivian Hsu / Team Photogenic

Which ones are your favorites?

A Stylish Seattle Thursday Pt. 1: Barneys New York Breakfast

The independent writer/consultant life often lends itself to days spent in lounge clothes or sweatpants. So when I had two fancypants fashion events to attend last Thursday, I definitely turned up the style dial. 

The day began with an intimate breakfast for Seattle media at Barneys New York. Barneys illustrious creative ambassador at large, Simon Doonan, and Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura were in town to host an event benefiting The Parkinson's Project the evening prior. They spent the morning sharing Barneys' vision for fall offerings, highlighting designer collections exclusive to the store.

I'd gone shopping with my girl Dana of Sustalux earlier in the week and scored this gem of a vintage maxi dress. I never go for all-over prints like this, but I am also always down to do something different! The fit and shape of the dress along with the flow of the skirt were irresistible. Since Simon Doonan makes it a point to wear a floral print shirt, I figured he might appreciate another floral print in the house :) A simple low bun, a red lip and some gold accents finished my look:

Vintage maxi dress / Zara heels / DogEared Jewelry earrings c/o Lucky FABB conference / vintage Christian Dior belt

Barneys prides itself on concise editing of what they offer, often selecting upcoming designers' "big ideas" or pieces that are more for the fashion risk takers than the style conservatives. Greg Lauren (son of Ralph Lauren), British Columbia native Raif AdelbergZero Maria Cornejo, and Shinola watches are among the exclusives you'll see at Barneys now. 

With Tomoko Ogura. Need that jacket!

As far as fall trends go, Doonan and Ogura drew attention to black and white Saint Laurent heels and Dries van Noten jumpers; Margiela sneakers/flatsduffle bags from Alexander Wang and Narciso Rodriguez; and big clutches from Beth Oren. Barneys also has a soft spot in its heart and buying portfolio for Japanese designers, being one of the first American retailers to embrace Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Commes des Garcons. Chitose Abe of Sacai has some stunning classic pieces with laser cut detail and feminine flair.

With Simon Doonan. Loved his Adidas with the floral shirt :)

I had a great time at the event; it's not often that we get time to speak with and learn from the likes of Doonan and Ogura in Seattle. Now that Barneys has completed their Seattle store renovation, I'm sure there'll be a lot more fun events there in the future!

Stay tuned for part 2 of A Stylish Seattle Thursday: Nordstrom Designer Preview recap!

Nordstrom Designer Preview - 2013 Sneak Peek!

Every summer, Nordstrom hosts its Designer Preview show benefiting the Seattle Art Museum. This Thursday, these beautiful creations and more will be gracing the runway as Nordstrom gives us a preview of their fall designer collection offerings. I'm so excited to cover the show and can't wait to share my favorites with you! 

In the meantime, here are some sneak peeks Nordstrom slid on over to me of some of my favorite designers - Oscar de la Renta, Dries van Noten, Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler and more.

More info on the Nordstrom Designer Preview and tickets here.

Holla if you'll be there! Would love to see you! To follow the action on social media, follow the #NordstromxVoguePromos hashtag for tweets, Instagrams and such from Nordstrom and yours truly.

Fresh Style: Le Voyager Coquette Raincoat by Elizabeth Roberts

The reason I mention Seattle weather so much is because it's so variable, you really never know what to expect on any given day. Earlier this spring, I was gifted with this amazing raincoat by local designer Elizabeth Roberts. I figured it'd be cloudy and possibly rainy the day I chose to take these photos (in early April) but of course, the weather gods decided to throw a beautiful sunny day our way instead. 

Elizabeth Roberts designs for the quintessential Seattle style-conscious in mind. She combines functional elements that are very tech-friendly with attention to detail and fabric that rivals the most coveted couture lines. This particular style, "Le Voyager Coquette," features a hidden hood, deep pockets that fit EVERYTHING, midi mitts, a forearm pocket and waterproof, breathable fabric. All of Elizabeth's jackets protect wearers from the invisible but real dangers of electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones via Elizabeth’s exclusive SMARTSHIELD pocket linings.

A native New Yorker now living in the Pacific Northwest, Elizabeth says:

“What I want more than anything, like so many women, is more time, so I created the first jackets to minimize the transitions in a woman’s life. Designs that could take me from a morning walk to midday meetings to a night out on the town, from nonstop rain to bright sunshine and everything in between. The result is what I call high yield, scalable fashion.”

Like so many others I enjoy writing about, Elizabeth also fuses style with philanthropy, focusing her efforts on the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and early learning.

Special thanks to my aunt Penny for taking these photos! She's second from right, and we're here with my mom and sister.

Elizabeth Roberts 'Le Voyager Coquette' raincoat / Duro Olowu for JCPenney dress (similar) / Report Shoes coral wedges (similar) / TOMS sunnies

Aces Interview: Eddie Borgo via Nordstrom

Eddie Borgo recently launched his latest collection at Nordstrom with an appearance in their Downtown Seattle store. I love Borgo's aesthetic and style and was delighted to get some insight on the inner workings that eventually become fuel for his designs. Read on:

Who or what inspired you to be a jewelry designer?

I am specifically interested in the jewelry and adornment that we attribute to the different realms of NYC subculture; how and why a padlock around someone's neck can immediately establish their identity. My collection plays with the ideas we have of subculture, and then how those points of view trickle up into the luxury fashion market. My aesthetic has to do with this idea; it is high-end meets street.

What's your favorite piece you've designed so far?

Our cone bracelet; it has really become such an instantly recognizable piece for our brand - and also within the jewelry space today.

Who are some of your modern-day muses?

Our ad campaigns reflect who we see as modern-day muses. Each season, we photograph our friends as models. Past campaigns have included: Vanessa Traina (fall/winter 2009); Lauren Santo Domingo (spring/summer 2010); Kate Lanphear (f/w 2010); Giovanna Battaglia (s/s 2011);  Tabitha Simmons (f/w 2011); Cecilia Dean (s/s 2012); Alison Mosshart (f/w 2013); and Anja Rubik (s/s 2013.)

What's one of your favorite highlights in your career so far?

Winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, being awarded the CFDA/Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, and being awarded the Tiffany & Co. Development Grant - all within months of each other.

What's on your music playlist right now?

  • David Bowie

  • Iggy Pop

  • Lou Reed

  • The Rolling Stone

  • Patti Smith

  • The Kills

Describe your personal style.

Uniformed.

What are you reading?

I always seem to be reading a few books simultaneously. I recently started I Dreamed I was a Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell and it's great!

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

We always have special projects in the works at the studio - I continue to be excited and inspired by the innovate, progressive development processes our team consistently realizes.

My concentration for the time being is spearheading our fine jewelry division.

Thank you! All images and video courtesy of Nordstrom, via The Thread blog.

Read all of my Aces interviews here.