On September 6th, across the nation men and women went out to shop. And not just to shop, but to experience elegance in a place that usually is in desperate need of it – shopping malls. I spent my slice of Fashion’s Night Out at Pacific Place, which had been transformed for the occasion into a fashion performance hall.
For those who haven’t recently visited or live in Seattle, Pacific Place is a mall in the downtown core connected to the flagship Nordstrom. It’s a fairly fancy shopping center, with a range of shops from Williams-Sonoma to Lululemon. (I have spent more than a wee bit of time there thanks to their Trophy Cupcakes booth.) It has a slightly unusual setup: a large, open atrium with shops ringing the edges on each floor.
The fashion show took place on the ground floor, covering most of the available space. As Pacific Place was open late for the evening, people were watching the show set up from every floor. The energy was intense, with everyone on their phones, probably hoping to be ready to tweet the newest from Eileen Fisher or Mario’s.
After checking in, I wandered up to the lounge. There were actually two lounges on the second floor: the VIP lounge with its plush sofas, and the standing-only lounge with tables. Wait staff offering staggeringly large trays of nibbles at both, and cocktails from Skinny Girl and wine from O Winery. Each of Pacific Place’s restaurants offered hors d’oeuvres, from Il Fornaio’s crostini to Johnny Rockets’s strawberry milkshakes. It was a great way to sample all of the restaurants, something I hope they do again soon.
Poison Waters, our MC for the festivities, came out decked out in a purple sequin-encrusted dress that really was, to quote RuPaul, eleganza. Then she managed to get everyone to their seats and quiet – or at least as quiet as you can in an open mall – and the show started.
It went by in a blur of fall colors: rich purples, greys, browns, and hints of leather and gold. It felt dark and somber in tone, but focused on detail. My favorites were probably the grey and leather jackets from Nordstrom and the burnt red coats and floaty embellishments from Alhambra. While I’m not someone who focuses on fashion, it made me crave a drop in temperature just enough to wear layers without sweating through them walking to class. Right now, though, I’m going to enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.
My only real frustration with the evening was how fast the show went. Few of the models were stopping to pose long at the end of the runway, so I could look down to tweet about an outfit and the model would be long gone when I looked up. When it was over, I went home with a swag bag, stuffed with reminders of Oska’s opening and more fashion ideas from Nordstrom. It all made me feel ready for fall in one stunning evening.