Photos by Jed Sarmiento
At the end of July, Nordstrom held its 29th annual Designer Preview Runway Show, benefiting the Seattle Art Museum. Attendees included local fashion industry experts and jet-setters from across the country, all dressed to the nines with a creative, competitive edge, in everything from floor-length gowns to two-piece dresses and eccentrically colored suits.
I stepped into Pier 91 on the waterfront wearing slouchy ankle pants, a statement necklace and a splash of designer with my Diane Von Furstenberg heels. It was hard to choose where to look and where to prioritize my attention—the guests, or the pre-show displays of new designer items, including looks from Valentino and Marc Jacobs. All the while, suited men were borderline gavaging the guests with champagne as Nordstrom associates were giddily dressing attendees in some of these new looks. Even the Nordstrom associates looked sleek in their primarily black outfits.
As if to join in the friendly, unspoken competition among guests to draw the most approving attention, the Puget Sound outside presented a dazzling sunset. It was one of those perfect Seattle moments—the cool summer dusk giving a diffuse light over the water, the chatter and laughter of a party enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a bustling balance of rebellious and demure styles. In some ways, high-fashion will always be a little rebellious in Seattle, as many people here either ignore it or openly bash it. You wouldn’t have known it at the Nordstrom Designer Preview Party, and that was one of the most refreshing parts of it all.
Check out looks from the runway photographed by Jed Sarmiento below and read Lisa Cole’s break down of the trends here.