Nordstrom Designer Preview Show Fall 2011

CHANEL

MICHAEL KORS

MARNI

GUCCI

MISSONI

AKRIS

MARC JACOBS

VALENTINO


GIVENCHY

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

LANVIN

I had the pleasure of attending Nordstrom's Fall 2011 Designer Preview Show at the Mall of America on Thursday. This is the second year they've turned part of the womenswear department into a seated runway event; I managed to snag a seat at the end of the runway.

Before the show started, I caught up with Senior Public Relations Specialist John Bailey who explained that the preview is part of a annual tour they're bringing to select Nordstroms around the country. The models come from all over the US and wear looks styled by Nordstrom employees. It's also a charitable event, with proceeds from the Minneapolis show going to the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

You probably remember some of these looks from New York Fashion Week in February — that's when these collections first appeared. Nordstrom's stylists used the F/W 2011 shows as inspiration for their own presentation.

Gucci was my favorite segment — I loved the noir-esque vibe with dramatic colored furs, wide-brim hats and pencil skirts; the red chiffon dress with its pleated bust and blousy sleeves was particularly striking. And, of course, big, sexy sunglasses always step things up a notch.

Marc Jacob's polka-dot-themed collection gave a whimsical feel to structured, tailored clothes. Styled with retro pillbox hats and stacked wedge boots, it stayed true to its New York debut, with a firm nod to the '70s. Everyone went wild when he showed these pieces in February, and they're still exciting to watch in action now.

Each look that came down the runway during the Chanel segment was easily recognizable as the iconic French brand. Dead giveaways included refined, tweed and wool dresses and coats, classic cuts and a pop of sequins. I most coveted the signature quilted bags slung on a few arms; those babies'll never go out of style.

Marni's double-breasted, geometric-print, green and black coat was adorable. A bit impractical with the cropped sleeves, but that wouldn't stop me from making room in my closet.

My initial impression of Missoni's pastel, boho collection was mixed. I've been known to tire of the brand's omnipresent use of its signature psychedelic print, but it really worked this season. The models looked like cool California girls who listen to obcsure rock and roll and date skateboarders.

Michael Kors proved once again that he's the king of clean, minimalistic clothing. With a simple palette of greys, creams, blacks and camels, each piece is designed to showcase a sharp cut or elegant drape — and maintain a modicum of sex appeal with low, high or strategically placed slits.

What a glamorous sneak peek at some of the finest clothes autumn has to offer. Thanks so much to Nordstrom for a beautiful show!

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