Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nordstrom Designer Preview 2011

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Nordstrom Designer Preview which took place this past Wednesday, February 23rd, at Landmark Aviation, here in San Diego. It was an amazing event, showcasing looks from the spring collections of many American and European designers, including Celine, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu, Donna Karan, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Versace, Marni, Missoni, Emilio Pucci, and Dries Van Noten, as well as others. I, along with over 300 other guests, enjoyed a cocktail reception, runway show, and then a dessert reception as we shopped and browsed (the latter for me, in case you were wondering) Nordstrom's onsite designer boutique.  The event raised over $73,000 for The New Children's Museum, here in San Diego.

So, I have to say, this is not the type of event I usually attend, and it was incredible. About two minutes into the runway show (it took me about that long to get my jaw off the floor), I found myself wishing I could have brought all of you with me, and wow, there's going to be a lot of italics in this post, because that's what I felt pretty much that whole evening. Just a warning - this is a long, photo-heavy post.

Shots of the models & clothes from the runway show:

The "runway" was a combination of a square stage around which the audience was seated, and the floor between the stage and the audience. The show was timed and choreographed (if you can call it that) beautifully, with a block of what I think was 25 models (five across and five deep) on the stage at all times, rotating through the rows and columns, from the inside of the of the square, to the outer edges, so that the audience, regardless of what side of the stage they were sitting on, got a chance to see every single outfit. Each model, when it was their turn, would step off the stage at some point, and walk its perimeter, so that we could see the movement of the clothing, as they passed by. Then, they would walk backstage, change into another outfit, and at the correct time, rejoin the block of models on stage, to do it all over again.

Jason Wu
Jason Wu
I love this casual-chic outfit from designer Jason Wu. How amazing would it be to wear this to your kids' friend's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's (like the one I'm going to this weekend?) Yep, you read that right. If I could afford Jason Wu, you wouldn't see me hoarding his outfits for chi-chi events. Oh no, I'd be all over Chuck E. Cheese's in 'em. (The DH just read this over my shoulder as I was writing it and muttered, "Makes me wonder what you're going to wear tomorrow....")

Jason Wu
Jason Wu
How perfect and elegant a day look is this black-and-white printed silk chiffon Jason Wu dress? Have I mentioned I love him? I love him.

Jason Wu
Jason Wu
Kathryn tried on this dress this past fall, here!

Dolce & Gabbana
Uh...I thought this one would be a great look for DH. Yes. That's it. The inclusion of this photo has nothing to do with wanting to share the male-model eye candy with you. Oh no. Not one bit. 

Stella McCartney
Amazing lace dress by Ms. McCartney! So pretty!


Oscar de la Renta
Okay, so, after Jason Wu's collection, the spring collection on view at the show that I loved most was Oscar de la Renta's. When these pieces started to hit the stage is about when I started wondering where I could find myself a sponsor. You know, the kind that keeps me from succumbing to my shopping addiction by buying the clothes for me? ^_-

Oscar de la Renta (image via my iPhone - sorry about the poor image quality!)

Oscar de la Renta (image via my iPhone)

Oscar de la Renta

Before and after the show, guests were able to browse and shop all the featured garments in the special boutique that was set up specifically for this event:

Two guests shopping in the boutique. Look at that amazing jacket with feather trim! I die! This was quite possibly one of my favorite guest-outfits of the evening (and yes, we were cowardly and just snapped a photo from behind, haha!)

Kathryn wasn't able to get down to San Diego for this, so my friend June came with me, and took all the photographs. She was so fun to hang out with and I'm so grateful she was willing to come with me and lend me her photography skills. Thanks June!

The boutique featured designer shoes and handbags as well. Here are some of my favorites:

The shoes on the left are Givenchy - and, um, these might seriously be a major shopping ban/restraint buster for me (haha, look at that expression on my face! I think I was in the middle of exclaiming, "Oooooh! Look at these! SOOOOOOO cute!"). The amazing shoes on the right are Marni, and yes, if I won the lottery, I'd be wearing these to Chuck E. Cheese's (and everywhere else) too. BEAUTIFUL.

Patent nude platform sandals? By Prada? Yes, please.

Seriously, how fun are they navy and white dotted platform sandals by Miu Miu?

Dolce & Gabbana sandals. Pretty. Pretty. Pretty.
(They make me think of Jan. ^_^)

And more pretty dresses:

This Marni dress is too fun and too fabulous. Look at the colors, the print, and the giant bow. It's like candy in a dress! LOVE.

How fabulous and feminine and gorgeous is this Dolce & Gabbana number? Can I wear this to next year's Designer Preview? Please?

And another amazing shoe for good measure:

Chanel T-Straps, with flower charm on the heel (love!). Didn't know the Fashion Valley Nordstrom carries Chanel shoes? Well, they do. They're just not out on the floor. Ask your Salon Shoe sales associate for details.

And what's an event like this without some delicious catering by Waters? Just a few of the offerings (because this post is too long as it is):

And what I wore:

My thanks to Nordstrom for inviting In Pursuit of Pretty Things to this wonderful event. And as always, thanks for reading!


  1. I love that first versace dress! What a fun event. Your shoes are pretty fantastic as well.

  2. Awesome event, thanks for sharing!

    So many amazing items - the nude Versace and black and white Oscar De La Renta stand out to me.

    And the Jason Wus are rather wonderful aren't they?!

  3. Love all the pictures!!! Bee-yoo-tee-full!!! Looks like a great event! You're brave! I can never go to those things when I'm on a ban. It's like an alcoholic sitting at a bar.

    On a side note...all of the models have the I'm guessing that's so as not to take away from the clothing. But meh. Boring!

  4. I love the outfit you have on, Carol. It's super cute and oh so chic.

  5. That black and white Oscar de la Renta dress is gorgeous! And I love your outfit-- you look beautiful!

  6. All the photos are fantastic! So many pretty things to pursue. But I think I like your dress from OOTD the best. Please tell me more!

  7. If anyone else watched Make Me a Supermodel on Bravo, is that one super-hot male model Jonathan from the second season? Just wondering...

    Thanks for the post and great eye candy!

  8. It looks like you had an incredible many gorgeous ensembles! I love the dress you wore!

  9. lucky you! this seems like such an incredibly fun event to attend and your dress and shoes look gorgeous together!

  10. Thanks everyone! It really was amazingly fun - I'm glad you're enjoying the photos. I actually have quite a few more that I may put up on a second post, if people are interested in seeing more of the clothes.

    I wore my 3.1 Phillip Lim "Kiwi Bird" dress to this event, which I picked up at Nordstrom a few months ago - I think sometime in November? It was on sale then, so I don't know if there are any around now. I'm also wearing my Lanvin Platform Ankle Strap Pumps with Chain detail (the chains are removable, which is nice when I'm going for a more conservative look). I'm glad you guys seem to like this outfit - I kind of dressed in a hurry, and wasn't really sure if this outfit really worked the way I put it together, haha. I'd have preferred not to wear the tights, but it was freezing that night, so tights it was.

  11. Love ur outfil Carol, really classy, gr8 shots 2, love all Oscar De La Renta dresses...=)

  12. You look the part Carol - fab outfit. Thanks for sharing this event with us. Nordy is a bit too far away for me, but a little eye candy won't hurt :-)
    Those Chanel shoes are seriously to-die-for!

  13. Yes, more photos please!!

    That pic where you're holding the Givenchy platform sandal? Your expression reminds me of your daughter's face! You're both adorable.


  14. Hey what about descriptions of the amazing food? At least in a mouse-over caption. ;)

  15. SO rad you got to go to this. and now i really really want to make a skirt out of feathers.

  16. You know how there are some dogs that pee themselves with excitement when they get excited... that's how I felt by seeing what you got to attend! WOWWWWW! from the fashion, to the labels, to the food, to your outfit.. Everything looked so fabulous and your smile tells me that you had a fantastic time!! How fun! I totally want the Miu Miu shoes and the Dolce dress ASAP!

  17. The Miu Miu polka dot sandals... I die!!! Love the post!

  18. What a great event... I would love to go to one of these one day!! You look amazing as well :)