Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rachel Zoe and Nordstrom

Last Thursday night, I had the pleasure of attending a Rachel Zoe personal appearance event at Nordstrom, here in San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall. Rachel Zoe is a pretty well known figure in fashion and pop-culture circles, but for those of you who don't know her, let me introduce her as a celebrity stylist (she's done red carpet styling for Hollywood A-listers such as Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner), the founder of  The Zoe Report, author of Style A to Zoe, star of Bravo's hit reality series "The Rachel Zoe Project," and now a designer of her own line of apparel, footwear, and accessories collections.

Yeah, did I mention she had a baby this last year? Mmhm. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Anyway, while I knew of Rachel Zoe, prior to this event, I didn't know a lot about her. So, I did my research (consisting mostly of signing up for The Zoe Report - super fun stuff - and watching some clips of  "The Rachel Zoe Project" online), and well - she's this incredibly energetic, creative, and well...wacky (you'll understand if you watch the show) individual. She's also an incredibly gifted stylist and designer - listening to her talk about the pieces in her collection was truly fascinating. She came across as funny, articulate, and really intelligent about what looks good on women's bodies (I know people say that about all the designers, but it's really true) and what might be useful in a woman's wardrobe.

The event took place in the Collector's department of Nordstrom, which was curtained off to provide a sense of intimacy and also exclusivity (I heard that only 100 people were invited to attend) and featured a fashion show of Rachel Zoe resort and spring 2012 collections, narrated by Rachel Zoe, with some additional commentary by Ferdie Lopez, Nordstrom's national senior designer retail director. The clothes were really beautiful, and listening to Ms. Zoe discussing each glamorous piece (you'll see what I mean below) actually made me start to think that I could pull some of these off, even with my very ordinary life.

All of the Rachel Zoe pieces featured in this post are available through Nordstrom, however, many are not yet available on their website. For more information on purchasing, contact Nordstrom customer service.

Please note - this is a very photo-heavy post.

The setting for the event, as people were beginning to enter.

I attended the event with the lovely Maya, of Kinzie Says, and we had nearly as much fun admiring the clothes, shoes, and handbags (oh, the handbags!) of the other attendees as we did looking at Rachel Zoe's collection.

Sipping grapefruit liqueur cocktails while we waited for the show to begin. Wine, still and sparkling water, and a variety of delicious hors d'oeuvres were served as well.

Rachel Zoe introducing herself to the audience, with Ferdie Lopez, Nordstrom national senior designer retail director.

First, I love the color and drape of this dress. The way the silk moves as the body does, is just fantastic. It manages to be stunning, despite walking a fine line (or maybe because of?) between ancient Grecian nobility and peasant-dress. Rachel mentioned that she's worn this dress herself on a number of occasions, and finds it very versatile - can be casual and also very dressy, depending on how you style it.

I about died when I saw this outfit. Those of you who follow my twitter account may already know that I'm obsessed with that leather blazer. The cut of it is so fantastic, and the leather is buttery soft as well as un-stinky! (I'm not a fan of strong leather smells.)  Love, love, love!

Um, shirtdress? Ruffles? Understated houndstooth print? Yes, please!!! (I tried this on and loved it. See photo at bottom of post.)

Rachel Zoe Print Silk Halter Dress and 'Blake' Sandal

Rachel talked about how she loves animal prints, but likes to do them like this - and to be honest, I have to tell you, until she said, "animal print," I didn't even realize that's what it was - it's pretty subtle. This dress is just astonishing - so dramatic and beautiful and elegant. Added bonus? Rachel mentioned that she travels with this dress a lot, and the silk doesn't wrinkle or crumple in her suitcase! (Good for the iron-challenged, such as myself.)

Maya and I both gasped when this dress appeared, and I can tell you that Kathryn has also noticed it (and has asked me to try it on - which I plan to do tomorrow - keep an eye on those tweets!). It's just darling, and it kills me that I don't have anywhere to wear this sweet little number. How perfect would it look layered under any number of cardigans in my closet? Or that fantastic leather blazer...? (Someone, please, invite me to a dress-up party, now.)

No joke. If ever I were to decide I was going to wear a sequin dress, this would be it. Really.

Rachel Zoe Gold Sequin Mini Dress

Um...unless, of course, I decided to wear this sequin dress (more animal print! Again, not totally obvious, right?) How does a gold sequin mini manage to look this adorable

Rachel Zoe Sheer Silk Blouse and Palazzo Pant

The outfit above is in striking contrast with the one that follows:

Rachel Zoe Empire-Waist Gown and Cardigan

I wish you could have heard the collective gasp that went up from the audience, when this number appeared. Just beautiful.

Rachel Zoe Printed Silk Halter Dress

There's something incredibly provocative about a woman's shoulders and back, and Rachel Zoe's halter dresses really know how to capitalize on that allure. The print of this dress really grabbed me. It makes me think of the patterned coloration that happens as waves wash in and out at beaches with variegated sand colors. Or layers of sediment under a river. Either way, it evokes both earth and water for me. I really love that.

Maya, Rachel Zoe, and myself 
As Maya put it so eloquently, we had to fight our way through a throng of women dressed in fur-vests and leather pants to get to Ms. Zoe in order to take this photo. (I love her outfit. Can I have her outfit please?)

Rachel Zoe dresses being live-modeled after the fashion show portion of the evening.

What shopping event would be complete without some shopping? I tried on two things - and loved both. My budget being what it is right now (eaten up by holiday expenses), both had to stay in the store. But they're totally wish-listed for sale time. (Though I am trying to convince the DH that he really wants to get me the blazer for Christmas. ^_-)

And the jacket I keep raving about - the photo on the left isn't that great, but the one from the back (above right) really shows off the amazing cut of this blazer - it makes my waist look so tiny! And I can tell you right now that the truth is nowhere close to that. It's like a magic blazer. Magic.

Thanks for sticking with me through this epically-long post. And thank you to Nordstrom for the invitation to this fabulous event. I had such a great time, and am so glad I got to share it with you!


  1. Oh Carol, what a fun and amazing opportunity!! You got to meet Rachel Zoe -- I DIE!!! Her collection looks amazing and how cool that you two were invited to attend this event, a real treat!! The flowy dresses have stolen my heart, and all I'm missing is a villa somewhere in the caribbean islands or brazil so that I can wear those flowy frocks....

  2. How exciting!  I love the RZ collection and would DIE to see the fashion show!  I have 2 of her bags on my wish list (and either or request - the Mandana or Jane in taupe); hoping hubby pulls through with one.  Love the leather blazer-just gorgeous.   If only her blazers were cut a little more true to size (I find them to run really small) I'd snap one up immediatly. 

  3. OMG I dieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! I love Rachel Zoe!!! I am sooo jealous of your guys! I am glad you had fun though! The two of you looked beautiful as always!

  4. how fun!!  love love love rachel zoe!  you look great & i love that blazer!  thanks for sharing :)

  5. Seriously. You must get that blazer. It looks SO SO fantastic on you! (DH~ get it for Carol!) Looks like a great event, thanks for sharing.

  6. I love this collection! And the dress and blazer you tried on looked so cute on you! Thanks for sharing!

  7. love the collection.  That black sequin dress.. gasp! I want!  And that dress you tried on needs to live in my closet! love it.

  8. I want to be invited ANYWHERE so I could wear one of those amazing pieces.  That blazer is beyond gorgeous.  A total investment piece but it looks so versatile.  I love RZ.  I'm always inspired after watching her Bravo show to dress a little less ordinary.  She's so darn stylish.  I have to ask...how tiny is she IRL?!?!  

  9. I agree - the whole entire fashion show made me feel like, "I could do that. I could wear that!" Hahaha, and then I went home to my two small children and husband. =) Rachel is ridiculously stylish - I really loved her outfit. Those necklaces she was wearing! And that long white dress, with the navy blazer - so fantastic, even in the middle of December! As for her size, she was small, but she didn't seem emaciated or anything. Just...slim and petite, if that makes sense. I didn't think I wanted to feed her a sandwich or anything, if that makes sense.

  10. I know - there are several things from this collection that need to come I've in my closet. =)

  11. Thanks! And thanks for reading!

  12. I'm relaying your message to the DH. =) Thanks, Alicia!

  13. Thank you! It was super fun - and she's so great. I'm totally converted, hahaha.

  14. Thanks, Midory! It was crazy fun to get to go to this event. Wish you could have been there!

  15. You made it feel like we were all there- thanks so much- bananas! Rachel is the best at what she does and she does it with such flair.