Nordstrom Designer Preview: A Retrospective of Fall 2015

Posted on July 30, 2015, 12:24 pm
13 mins

Nordstrom Designer Preview 2015 dazzled again this year with a crowd of stylish guests, international bloggers, street style stars and designers that showed once again that Seattle is firmly on the fashion map. The sold-out event at Pier 91 benefited the Seattle Art Museum’s upcoming exhibit, “Intimate Impressionism.”


Oscar de la Renta. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

The runway at Nordstrom Designer Preview showcases top European and American designers, including those from Nordtsrom’s SPACE, a new shop for emerging and advancing designers curated by Nordstrom Director of Creative Projects Olivia Kim. Six top trends were covered in the show: Festive Folk, Oxford Comma, Warrior, Goth Grunge, Black and White, and Sparkle and Shine. Runway models wore the sleek low ponytail that is a signature look of Olivia Palermo, which will be a key look for fall. Here is a glance at the designers and what they showed on the runway:

Christian Dior

Christian Dior Single Breasted Coat. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

Christian Dior

After three years at the helm of the iconic French brand, Raf Simmons has taken this fashion house into the 21st century. Swing dresses with oversized abstract prints like leopard, chunky Lucite heels, patent leather boots, and intarsia coats and dresses with bold color. 70s-era graphics were prominent and silhouettes were chic and mod. On the heels of the success of the cult classic Mis en Dior Tribal Earring comes the Dior Mail single paperclip style earring as an encore.

Stella McCartney Fur Free Fur Jacket

Stella McCartney Fur Free Fur Ramona Jacket. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

Stella McCartney

The show-stopping Fur Free Fur Ivory Ramona Coat paired with ivory, printed jogger pants was the epitome of chic. McCartney’s twisted pearl necklaces were worn by each model and are certain to be a coveted fall accessory. They sat on the side of the neck in a sculpture-like twist. Her famous Falabella bag was embellished with pearls or reinvented into a mini tote. Winter white and black styled together, brilliant blue, caplets and skinny trousers stalked the runway with style.

Gucci Dress

Gucci Beaded Bird Dress. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.


Flats al a Sophia Coppola were paired with dresses in feminine florals and ruffles and youthful details, such as ribbon neckties. With pieces like a stunning turquoise pleated leather dress that resembled silk, Gucci showed beautiful texture and unexpected interpretations of fabrics. The demure cream lace dress with a red ribbon necktie and the black long dress with a hand embroidered beaded bird at the plunging neckline were standouts, as were the colorful coats with bright fur cuffs.

Donna Karan Cold Shoulder Dress

Donna Karan Cold Shoulder Dress. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

Donna Karan

Black, charcoal and white dominated this collection with Karan’s signature sleek style. Cold shoulder style gowns, sheer panels and metallic shimmer gave the pieces a sophisticated edge. Longer style peplums were prevalent on bustiers as well as skirts and gowns. Belted coats, menswear style collars worn high, obi belts and slouchy trousers each made a statement, however reserved. The quintessential New York girl, Karan’s pieces were powerful yet elegant.

Undercover Borremans Silkscreen Print Wool Coat. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

Undercover Borremans Silkscreen Print Wool Coat. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.



Roksanda. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

The latest work of Nordstrom Director of Creative Projects, Olivia Kim, this collection comprises work by emerging and advancing designers and was a favorite part of the show for me. The four designers, Anthony Vaccarello, Roksanda, Undercover, and Simone Rocha each brought their A-game. I love the idea of being a champion of these up-and-coming designers and their distinct looks. I loved it all, but the standout pieces were Undercover’s voluminous varsity jacket, Simone Rocha black bonded wool coat with exaggerated sleeves, Roksanda’s cobalt blue and plum shearling coat, and Anthony Vaccarello’s sexy star shaped grommets. This is an exciting addition to the Nordstrom brand and I am looking forward to seeing how SPACE takes shape.

Lanvin Navy Cape & Feather Skirt

Lanvin Navy Cape & Feather Skirt. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.


Lanvin brought sporty chic up to the next level with silky track pants tucked into over the knee boots, sequin cropped jackets and equestrian style hats. Oversized tassels were embellishments on blouses or belts tied around bright red wool wrap coats, and rope details appeared on capes as well. The Mimosa sequin floral embellished peplum jacket over leather skirt stood out, as did the navy cape and navy gaza feather a-line skirt. Lavin didn’t shy away from making a statement, and it was definitely attention grabbing.

Valentino Graphic Stripes

Valentino Graphic Stripes. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.


Sadly, the Zoolander models were nowhere to be seen. Nonetheless, Valentino did not disappoint. Bold black and ivory striped skirts and dresses had elegant movement and showed elements like graphic stripes, with Valentino’s iconic Rockstud accessories in noir. Elegant long sleeves and contrast piping brought exquisite detailing to the forefront. The black shift gown with an attached cape that swept the floor was perfection.

Dries van Noten overwrap skirt

Dries van Noten dragon embroidered top and overwrap skirt

Dries van Noten

“Grounded Glamour,” the theme of this collection, showed brocades, damasks, jacquards and iridescent beading paired with utilitarian khaki and navy fabrics. Wide-legged trousers and tie-front skirts anchored the grounded end of things, while playing host to high-neck sweaters, jackets and tops in deep aubergine, dark green, chocolate and navy. Waists were nipped with belts on coats, and a gorgeous beige full skirt had an overskirt tied at the waist and cascading behind in a beautiful dark purple.

Chloe Maxi Coat

Chloe Maxi Coat. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.


Chloe showed a feminine but fierce side by pairing flowing florals and paisleys with suede over-the-knee boots and masculine vests. The cape made an appearance on this runway as well, with military-style buttons in grey wool. The black floral/botanical print gown, shift dresses and cuffed wide-leg pants worked a 70s vibe. I was smitten with the navy maxi coat with its gold military buttons—the ultimate in chic.

Dolce & Gabbana Sweater & Embroidered Skirt

Dolce & Gabbana Sweater & Embroidered Skirt. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

Dolce & Gabbana

The runway looks here were straight off the pages of Dolce & Gabbana’s glossy magazine ads with a celebration of Italian family and a mother’s love. Models wore sparkling crown-like headpieces as they walked the runway in prints, such as a long-sleeved children’s print black dress with a fluttery hemline. Jacquard fabrics, brocade and embroidered red rosettes (roses being a traditional gift on Mother’s Day in Italy) were attached like brooches where they embellished dresses and skirts. The scene was ladylike glamour with very personal touches.

Givenchy Asymmetrical Skirt and Motorcycle Jacket

Givenchy Asymmetrical Skirt and Motorcycle Jacket. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.


Jet black Victoriana pieces showed in a spectacular fashion for Givenchy. Sleek and edgy dresses with sheer sleeves or panels, red piping and velvet made for gothic glamour. Ruffled skirts and black motorcycle jackets kept Givenchy’s edgy look, while a black baby’s breath patterned skirt and shirt worn with black over-the-knee leather sandals made for a showstopping look.

Oscar de la Renta Gown with Floral Lace Embroidery

Oscar de la Renta Gown with Floral Lace Embroidery. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

Oscar de la Renta

For his debut collection at the house of Oscar de la Renta, Peter Copping paid homage to the late designer’s distillation of ladylike glamour while adding a touch of modern flair of his own. Timeless designs like the black cocktail dress were reimagined with embellished gold cap sleeves. A tulle champagne-colored gown and a black strapless gowns with a spray of floral lace embroidery were pure fantasy, while the bright navy windowpane coat was a lovely “real life” piece to treasure.

Marc Jacobs Mohair Coat

Marc Jacobs Mohair Coat

Marc Jacobs

Mr. Jacobs did not disappoint with his creative twist on classic pieces, like his cocoa-colored worsted wool dress banded with tiny bugle beading and a pleated skirt with tulle inserts. He was definitely mad for plaid, in the form of a gorgeous mohair coat, a beautifully embroidered long blue cape, and cropped pants. The deep browns, blues and greys had luxury touches and embellishments like giant fur sleeves on coats and sequins that made a very grand finale indeed.


Caroline Issa (right) with her fall collection

Caroline Issa (right) with her fall collection. Photo by Jed Sarmiento.

The Scene

Local bloggers, fashion editors and the fashionable all came together to take a look at the best of Fall 2015. Event attendees included Chief Executive and Fashion Director for Tank Magazine Caroline Issa, who looked gorgeous in pieces from her latest collaboration, including this Nordstrom Signature and Caroline Issa Annabelle Wool & Silk Coat, worn elegantly over her shoulders, of course. Blair Eadie from the style blog Atlantic Pacific was stunning in a white Paskal Clothes dress.  Also spotted among the guests were bloggers Cara Loren of Cara Loren and Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook.

This event raised a record $210,000 for the Seattle Art Musuem, which will host Intimate Expressionism from the National Gallery in October. The show will include 71 still life pieces, portraits and landscapes by the likes of Cezanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir and van Gogh. Seattle is the final stop for this traveling exhibition. Tickets for this show went on sale on July 15. For tickets, go to or call (206) 654-3121.

Lisa Cole is the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle, and her work includes covering fashion news and events, runway shows and boutiques. She has her own fashion and lifestyle blog,, and is a member of Independent Fashion Bloggers and Fashion Group International.

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