Nordstrom and Topshop Resurrect '90s Punk

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It’s the era of the high/low collaboration in fashion (Neiman Marcus and Target’s upcoming Holiday collection being the ultimate in incongruity) and Nordstrom has entered the fray this week as Topshop, one of Britain’s most beloved trendy high street retailers, set up shop in 14 of their stores throughout the country and online. Seattleites can shop both Topshop and men’s spin-off Topman, at Nordstom in Southcenter Mall, but not at the Downtown or Bellevue Square stores, which are perhaps the more expected locations to install this young, urban, hipster store-within-a-store.

Topshop has been selling on-trend “fast fashion” to Europeans for almost 50 years and their cache among the style-set is legendary. Shoppers, bloggers and other media freak out over their capsule collections by big name fashion elite, including Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou. Think H&M, only more expensive. And I mean, a lot more expensive – most prices hover close to $70, topping out at $400 for a fabulously sequined ‘80’s bodycon dress (shown below). Bob Mackie revisited.

Topshop most definitely skews young. If I were 25 I’d be both psyched and bummed by its arrival. I’d want to wear everything, but wouldn’t be able to afford any of it.

Fall is all about studs, from studded denim hot shorts ($70) to a peace sign-studded leather jacket ($360). Many, many pieces are bedazzled with some sort of embellishment, some to better effect than others. Punk is prominent, something the Brit’s do well, and is a hot look right now – even the venerable Met Gala has announced a punk theme for next year’s event. New inventory is expected to hit the stores weekly, though, so it’s going to be hard to keep up.

Other nods to fashion nostalgia include a floral shirtdress ($92) that look like something Bridget Fonda wore in Singles. In fact, the '90s rear up here and there with a camo jacket or two, patent leather high top Doc look-alikes (another punk icon) and slouchy oversized sweaters. Historic British style is represented with some very chic coats in wool, houndstooth, tweed and boucle, and there are enough prim Peter Pan collars to make British "it" girl Alexa Chung jump for joy.

Men’s is a mash up of casual wear – novelty pattern tops, hoodies, a denim vest (!), posh Fair Isle shawl collar sweaters – and suits with a very skinny silhouette. It’s a look that any well-heeled Capitol Hill hipster boy would look smashing in. The 150 bus goes to Southcenter – take it.

Topshop is just as hyper-trendy as what you’d find at H&M or Forever 21, better designed and definitely made with higher quality fabrics. What you don’t get at Topshop at Nordstorm, which is awesome, is the crazy-making loud, throbbing music pumped through H&M and its ilk. As always, Nordstrom is keeping it classy.

If you’re over 35, Topshop from top to bottom is not your look.  But a hot, trendy item here or there never hurt a wardrobe – just choose wisely.

Curiosity piqued? There’s a big all-day Fashion and Style event this Saturday, September 15 at the Southcenter Nordstrom to celebrate the launch – stylists, a sneak peek at their soon-to-launch makeup line, a gift with purchase, a huge contest and more.

Your Local Gift-Giving Guide

Your Local Gift-Giving Guide

Avoid the Black Friday nightmare and shop on Seattle's smaller scale
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Seattle's Rachel Ball is just one local Etsy retailer who creates handmade goods perfect for holiday gift-giving

The retail tables are turning: during the last holiday season, a greater percentage of shoppers did their gift-giving online, edging out traditional brick-and-mortar stores for holiday shopping.
It makes sense. I mean, who needs the hassle of the holiday in-and-out, the stress of navigating sales at big-box stores and dealing with manic crowds, when you can complete your holiday shopping with a few clicks of the your mouse? And, might we add, while binge-watching new Gilmore Girls episodes and drinking hot cocoa? (We’d suggest stocking up on Fran’s Dark Hot Chocolate or Chocolopolis drinking chocolate for the winter).
What’s more, shopping online gives you the opportunity to bypass traditional everyone’s-getting-it gifts for purchases with a personal touch—and a local benefit. Here’s how to shop locally in Seattle this holiday season, and better yet, how to be the gift-giver everyone wishes was their Secret Santa.

Think Etsy

Etsy is chock-full of unique items made by Seattle producers. Some of Seattle’s best creatives even started there before graduating to their own grown-up companies. Check out some of our favorites picks:

Perks of Aurora: Pop culture is in (just ask the former EMP museum). For the movie/music/TV show connoisseur in your life, gift handmade cards and mugs adorned with images from the likes of Saved by the Bell, Golden Girls, Friends and Parks and Recreation.

Kani Botanicals: Natural, handmade and organic skin and body products like face masks and lip balms.

Seattle Candle Company: Bring the scents of Seattle rain, fresh coffee and the pine forest into your home with all-natural hand-poured candles.

wrenbirdarts: Whimsical embroidery that features hand-drawn and hand-stitched patterns, like a colorful donut or Big Foot. You can even request custom orders. It’s not just Grandma’s craft anymore!

Image credit: wrenbirdarts

Andrews Reclaimed: Give a home a rustic feel with recycled wood gifts like a succulent planter or jewelry rack.

Three Bad Seeds: Evoke the forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest with sculptural woolen pillows made to order.

elephantine: One of our favorite Seattle bloggers offers modern, handmade jewelry perfect for any taste, including a jewelry of the month club. You can also check out Mignon, her house- and officeware shop with gems like a travel candle or a dog bone cookie cutter.

Image credit: elephantine

Shop Online—Locally

What’s better than supporting your favorite local artists from home? Ring in the holiday shopping season (and avoid Black Friday lines) by exploring the goods from a select group of local PNW vendors participating in their own three-day online event, A Holiday Pop-Up Market by Hello Friends and Things, from November 25-27. The online happening offers discounts on featured gift items along with raffle prizes and donations to local charities. Participating small businesses include Fort Boards, Flourless Goodies, Uphill Designs, Moxie & Oliver, Moon Valley Organics and Chart A La Carte. Turn on the Christmas music and click away. 

If you do, perhaps, feel like stretching your legs for more traditional shopping (or maybe you just need more hot chocolate), plan to visit The Fourth Annual Handmade Holiday Market, a showcase of more than fifty local artists and their holiday offerings. The event, held on December 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Second Use Building Materials (3223 6th Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98134), is free and open to the public. 

Reap the Rewards

Shop small for the holidays and earn rewards. Celebrating for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, a group of local shops in Seattle are joining together with the Little Boxes app to offer discounts and raffle prizes for supporters of small local businesses. By downloading the app (or the paper passport), visiting Little Boxes shops and entering codes, Seattle shoppers can reap the benefits of shopping close to home. Codes unlock discounts and entries for raffle prizes, like an iPad Air, a stay at the Ace Hotel, spa and restaurant gift certificates and more. Visit Little Boxes for more information about participating shops and reward instructions.