When you see runway shows, the majority of the looks are all for women, but what about the fellas? Doesn't a Jaunty Gentleman deserve to feel stylish and be a fashionable standout?? Nordstrom and GQ Magazine was the match made in heaven at this year's Bellevue Fashion Week. For the last few years, the Nordstrom show has always been one of my favorites, putting some really beautiful ready-to-wear looks together, reminding you that you don't have to do haute couture to make a statement. This year, they made the bold choice to go with nearly all menswear (as you can see from this shot of the final runway lap, there were a few ladies in the mix!). This was a great decision, not just for bolstering the spirits of fashionable fellows wanting inspiration, but for this annual fashion week as a whole, mixing things up and showing that style is not owned by any single person or gender, it's an expression we can all participate in.
Just like previous Nordstrom shows, this year's show benefited the Detlef Schrempf Foundation, a wonderful local group founded by the celebrated pro-basketball alumni, Detlef Schrempf and his wife, Mari. They assist with other nonprofits to help raise funds and awareness for their causes; instead of being focused on a single issue, they are able to spread their influence and support to many groups that assist local families and children. This year's benefit recipients for the Nordstrom show included the Bellevue Youth Theatre Foundation and Inspire Youth Project (formerly Rise n' Shine), both incredible groups that focus on getting at-risk children involved in social activities and encouraging their creative spirit.
There were also local celebrities mixed into the runway show's themes! This was a nice touch to keep the event fun and remind everyone that while it's wise to consider our wardrobe, don't take it all too seriously. It was a mix of local athletes, musicians, artists, broadcasters and luminaries in the restaurant and writing/social stratosphere. They all pulled their catwalk strut off without a stumble, and it was so charming to see their faces flush with a bit of bashfulness as all eyes and cheers were upon them. Bravo for that.
French Affair: I don't think you have to wear these exclusively in France, but the layered garments and mix of textures made for a lovely European look. This could have just been called Autumn, because I was inspired to pull all my coats and sweaters out of storage.
University: Very preppy, gingham and bow-ties aplenty, with a hefty dose of bespectacled models. I was a happy girl. I love layering in general, so this was great inspiration to be unafraid about choosing different patterns and colors. The decorative sweater craze is a trend hitting everywhere. And yes, that is Sounders midfielder Andy Rose - he looked very comfortable on the runway!
Greyscape: How silly am I that I wish they called this 50 Shades of Greyscape? Come on, it'd have been funny. Great exploration of grey garments, from business to casual looks. I'm in love with the Alexander Wang leather shawl collar jacket on the female model of this group. And how can you not be totally enamored with how darling Brian Canlis of Canlis Restaurant fame is, as he cracks a smile and a laugh when the crowd cheered his runway walk?
Pop Ski: I love that you can wear all these looks and not know a thing about how to ski. Ah, the vicarious pleasures of fashion. All these looks are great casual, everyday wear for Seattle weather, the great thing here is the pops of color, in statement pieces or smaller accessories. This, of course, was a crowd favorite, as it featured the "It Gets Better" project founders, writer/pundit Dan Savage, and husband, Terry Miller, who looked very much at home, since he is a professional model. It was fantastic to see this power couple in person.
Moto: Similar to the previous ski look -- you can wear all these sleek biker looks and not even own a motorcycle. And that's OK. This is very much the casual-professional look for a lot of people; it has the perfect balance of comfort with denim, and a jacket that isn't a blazer, if you feel like sportcoats are too formal. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, that is, indeed NBA star Isaiah Thomas!
Urban Farmer: This collection felt Seattle-perfect, as I see a lot of these looks with vests, high-cuffed trousers to show off great shoes, and a somewhat dressed-up approach to gingham and tartan patterns. Hipsters go country! This collection also featured the members of local band, Campfire OK, who did a beautiful performance before the show. They have a gorgeous, atmospheric folk sound with an indie rock edge. Definitely check them out. And band members Aaron Huffman, Andrew Eckes, Brandon Milner and Mychal Cohen can say they moonlight as runway models now.
Night Moves: Yes, I may have had Tina Fey's Liz Lemon character in my head singing, "Workin' on the night cheese," when I saw this title, but silliness aside, beautiful evening looks. This isn't a black-tie, evening gown kind of area, and that's fine by me. When everyone looks like a penguin, it all looks the same. An evening look can elevate typical professional daywear by choosing pieces that have an element of luxury with material and the length of a coat.
Keep an eye on the Magpie -- I've still got one more post full of runway photos to brighten the gloomy days of a departed summer. The next post will feature photos from this year's big event, Front Row Fashion by Vogue Magazine!
Jaunty Fine Print: Photos by Denise Sakaki