Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

NorthPark Fashion Show News

Ensemble by Mulberry
Ensemble by Mulberry

TRAVEL HERE: 50TH ANNIVERSARY FASHION SHOWS AT NORTHPARK

Last week I started sharing my experiences at NorthPark’s 50th Birthday celebration.  Now it’s time to share the fashions.  Along with the Nordstrom Beauty Trends show, I saw runway shows for Mulberry, Nordstrom, CUSP by Neiman Marcus and Elie Tahari.  Here’s the highlights.

Mulberry

Mulberry is an English company which started out making leather handbags, so it’s not surprising most of the outfits were paired with delicious looking examples of their leather craft.  Being English the ensembles looked a tad warm for the Dallas climate, but I can imagine working individual pieces in around some lighter choices.

The thing which stood out to me most was the great big clunky shoes worn with each outfit.  I’m just not ready for that, especially not a very short dress with dark socks and over-sized loafers.  I imagine my feet would look like I’d taken to wearing cement blocks if I wore some of those sturdy shoes or short boots.  There were also a number of outfits with crop pants, another of my least favorite looks.

However, I think their target audience is significantly younger than I am, so bully for them.  The colors and fabrics were delicious.   I was able to grab a video of the finale with a quick peek at many of their selections. What do you think?

Nordstrom Fashion Show
Nordstrom Fashion Show

Nordstrom Collectors Department

My husband attended this show with me and took over the photography.  To me, theses clothes were prettier than the Mulberry fashions, but I didn’t embrace all of them.  One look that stood out to me was the Herve Leger Bandage Dresses, but it looked more like Bondage.  Bill loved one of the Bandage dresses in Aqua and it was pretty, but I’ve seen one too many bridesmaid dresses in that shade for me to love it.  Missioni offered up several print dresses which looked to me as if they’d been drawn upon by kindergartners.  The gorgeous white dress with red roses is a Dolce & Gabbana.   I’d wear that in a minute.  Which dress do you love?

LOVE it Neiman's!
LOVE it Neiman’s!

CUSP by Neiman Marcus

I love Neiman Marcus, but with a few notable exceptions, I was disappointed by their offerings.  In the Mulberry and Norstrom shows I wasn’t in love with everything I saw, but I felt as if I was looking at new, fresh and different.  The CUSP show seemed like a repetition of what I’ve been looking at for several years.

I did like the patterned hose, which I’d first noticed in the Nordstrom show. I absolutely loved that RED is back, which is great, since BOLD LIPS are making a comeback too.  Creamy dreamy winter white was there too, which I love.

I also saw some interesting outerwear choices, but like Mulberry I feared they were way too warm for most of our winter days.  Neiman’s was also the only store to include men in their show, so that was interesting.

Even though photography was challenging, I got lucky and was able to capture part of the finale on video.  Excuse the two heads in the way.  That’s what I had been trying to photograph around all through the show.

Elie Tahari

Great Blues Elie Tahari!
Great Blues Elie Tahari!

I was pretty much in love with everything in the Tahari line-up, especially when it was in blue.  They called the blue Oasis, but the shade seemed too intense for its name.  And speaking of names, the collection was called Urban Forest and the commentator pointed out the natural fabrics.

I was able to capture this finale on video also.  Doesn’t it make you want to go out and buy something?

And finally, here’s the rest of the pictures.  As I mentioned last week, they aren’t great examples of photography, but perhaps you’ll get some ideas for your winter wardrobe.

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ART, Decorative Arts, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Remembering Neiman Marcus Fortnights

My Fortnight Christmas Ornaments

TRAVEL HERE: NEIMAN MARCUS FORTNIGHTS

So you think Black Friday is a shopping experience?  To me, it’s just a feeding frenzy.  If Sam Walton has been successful at anything, it has been getting us to focus on price.  I sort of liked the world better before Walmart.

The World Before Walmart

In those days price was certainly a factor, but it wasn’t the only factor.  Designer names were guideposts, not a decoration plastered across the seat of a pair of sweat pants.  Developing your own style was more important than being in style.  In other words, going shopping was about more than consuming.

Wonderful, Wonderful Fortnight

A perfect example of this was Neiman Marcus Fortnight.  During a two week period in the fall, Neiman’s would transform their Dallas stores into reasonable facsimiles of some exciting destination.  The straw ornaments above are from Bavaria and were purchased in 1983 during  the German Fortnight.  D Magazine gives you the details of Fortnight, but I want to convey the experience.

For a middle-class kid living in Dallas in the Sixties, Fortnight was a window to the wider world.  On a special evening, Mom would dress us up in the our best.  The minute Dad got home from work he’d load us in the car and take us to Neiman’s flagship store in downtown Dallas – but it didn’t seem like a store at all.  In fact, once I entered Neiman’s, I felt as if I’d stepped off a plane into a faraway place.

Granted, back in those days I’d never been on a plane, but I thought what was happening to me then must be just like arriving at a long awaited destination.  See, Mom didn’t just dress us up and make us go shopping with her for the evening, she carefully primed us for the experience.  All year we played a guessing game about what country Neiman’s might focus on for Fortnight.  If the evening news mentioned a place we’d never heard of, we discussed why or why not it might be a good country for Neiman’s.  As we studied our history and geography lessons, Mom would ask, “If this country were featured in a Neiman Marcus Fortnight, what products do you think would be stocked in the gourmet food department?”

In additon, Mother took us shopping at Neiman’s all year long, so we’d know the latest in fashion and appreciate quality.  Then we’d go to Titche’s and buy our wardrobes with Mom’s employee discount.  But a splashy ad in the Dallas Morning News Neiman’s would announce our Fortnight destination and I’d be giddy for weeks until our annual Fortnight visit was scheduled.

During Fortnight, we’d wander through the retail wonderland all agog.  The ultimate treat was dinner at one of the NM cafes tricked out like the featured locale and serving their traditional fare.  Along with many items from the featured country for sale, each floor of Neiman’s hosted special exhibits and demonstrations.  We’d watch traditionally garbed dancers perform exotic dances.  We’d see animals, artisans and actresses.   Our family added very little to Neiman Marcus’s bottom line during this annual pilgrimage, but Fortnight was such a retail success, in spite of folks like us, that many stores attempted copy cat experiences.  Yes, shopping was fun back in those days.

During the years I was busy going to school and living the disco scene, Neiman’s sort of fell off my radar.  Then I became an official consumer with a credit rating.  A Neiman Marcus charge card provided a plastic invitation to another world.  Among the most important privileges offered was postal delivery of the famous Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog with its legendary His and Hers gifts of opulence.  Trust me, nothing on the internet can replace that catalog.  The recipient of a gift, in the store’s  traditional shiny red Christmas box with the gold Neiman Marcus logo, expected no additional wrapping paper and bows.  Adulthood arrived when I received my own Neiman Marcus credit card.

I have to confess I did not inherit my parent’s frugality.  I found it impossible to merely visit Fortnight and buy nothing but dinner.  I went to the store as often as I could during those special two weeks to buy myself and others as many little treats as I thought I could get away with.  Being at Fortnight was one of those particularly Dallas experiences, like visiting the Great State Fair of Texas or seeing the Christmas decorations on Beverly Drive.

Now Neiman Marcus has stores all over the world and they belong to some big corporation – not Mr. Nieman and Mr. Marcus.  Most middle class kids in Dallas have flown somewhere before they reach their sixth birthday.  Someone took Fortnight out of the Neiman Marcus budget, but I miss it.

I still have my Neiman Marcus credit card and it gets plenty of use.  Neiman’s is my luxury store of choice.  Having lunch at Neiman’s is one of my favorite indulgences.  I will always love giving gifts wrapped in nothing but a Neiman’s logo.  Nowadays I shop at Neiman’s and buy my wardrobe at the Allen Outlet Mall, because even though Mom retired with her discount intact, department store shopping isn’t as much fun as it used to be.  Drat that Mr. Walton.