Let’s be honest: When it comes to fashion shows and red carpet events, Bellevue Collection’s Fashion Week is truly head & shoulders above the rest. And this year was no exception! From designer meet & greets, to platters of fresh macaroons wafting through the crowd, to a famous artist giving out personalized caricatures, everything about Bellevue Collection Fashion Week 2018 was done to perfection.
Our crew of adventurers consisted of 15 fashion-loving Boise women, all ready to explore, wine, dine, and shop till we dropped! On day one, we hit the ground running with a VIP party at Nordstrom.
But first things first: lunch at the new Bento Grill, where chef Tom Douglas crafted a unique dining experience that melds gourmet Asian cuisine with take-out-buffet efficiency.
Debbie Evy, a brilliant stylist from Nordstrom’s Collectionsdepartment, showed us how to select our dish, then customize each step to create the perfect bento box experience. Top off lunch with a blended mango sake shake, and you’re in for a fabulous afternoon!
Next stop: Nordstrom’s Designer department for champagne and shopping! Debbie and her crew brought in new fall pieces from Gucci, Prada, Louie Vuitton, and more to tantalize our couture-craving crew.
While models displayed how to style this season’s scrumptious Chloe sweater dresses and vibrant Tory Burch jackets, makeup artists from Trish McEvoy primped and pampered our travel-weary faces.
On the lower level, hair stylists had style-&-go stations ready to plump, smooth, curl, and tame our tresses! With our Nordstrom treasures and beauty swag-bags in hand, we dashed back to our rooms at the Westin Bellevue for a quick clothing change…
And then off to the show!
The Independent Designer Runway Showis one of my all-time favorite events! In the past, designers from around the Pacific Northwest have competed for a coveted top spot, cash prize, editorial coverage in Seattle Met Magazine, and the opportunity to display their looks in Bellevue Square.
This year, instead of fledgling designers, the Collection graced us with a special show that brought back past winners to compete in a best-of-the-best runway throw-down!
Flip through the slideshow to be inspired by looks from: DEVONATION by Devon Yan LOURDES é EVA by Nore Suárez Cute Like Mad by Jeanette Svensk Li Poppyseed by Rebekah Adams Valentina & Valenti’s by Milena Natanov Deyonte’ Weather Collection by Deyonte’ Weather Chany Venturini by Maria Venturini
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This September 2016, we booked a Style Spy Girl Getaway travel group to New York for shopping, exploring, dining, sightseeing, and some incredible Fashion Week shows. Here is a recap of the incredible time we had together! (Most photos in this post are by ammophotog.)
Who We AreHeather, Jody, Tina, Lisa, Tanya, Amanda, Maria, Amber
Each Style Spy Girl Getaway is a slightly different crew! Some ladies have joined us for every trip, while others pop in and out as they are able to accommodate costs and dates. For New York 2016, we had a wide variety of lovely friends from Idaho, Arizona, and Washington state; bloggers, hair stylists, media pros, entrepreneurs, business owners, and more! Despite our varying backgrounds and hometowns, a love of adventure and girl time bonded us together. ❤
Where We Stayed
Our crew loved coming home each evening to our bright, posh rooms at the Innside New York Hotel by Melia! It was such a calm oasis in the midst of a very busy city; no construction, no crowds, super central location, and easy to catch a cab to anywhere in town. On our first night in town, we met for cocktails, got settled in, and then headed to Times Square for an unforgettable experience in the heart of NYC! Did you know you can shop there all night long? Sephora at 2:00am is a very unique experience! Excuse me, but which lipstick makes me look like Kylie?
Where We Shopped
Where do I begin?? Our goal on this trip was to be inspired by the fashion shows and street style around us, and explore all of the places we don’t have access to in Boise. We started off with a bang, piling into a limousine for a jaunt to Tiffany & Co.on 5th Avenue in downtown New York, where we were served champagne and guided on a private tour of this historic flagship store! We had such a blast, oohing and aahing over all the gorgeous sparkly things, and appreciating the heritage of this iconic American brand.
Throughout the rest of the trip, we explored a wide variety of shopping options, including Bergdorf Goodman (with a Chanelapartment pop-up inside!), Saks Off Fifth, Chanel (of course!!!), as well as street shopping in NOLA, Little Italy, Chinatown, and really cool consignment stores around the area, too.
Of course, the heart and soul of a New York Fashion Week Getaway has to be FASHION SHOWS! We had a blast at two major runway shows on this trip, both of which blew our minds: Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row show (above) starring Arianna Grande, Iris Apfel, Betsey Johnson, and more… and the FTL Moda Show (below) that challenged our hearts and our views of what beauty truly looks like.
First up: Macy’s! This show had everything, from Flo Rida welcoming us to his house, to light-up Samsung wrist bracelets that sparkled and flashed to the music, and Arianna Grande rocking our socks off with her incredible voice and energy. Everyone got swag bags that included whimsical glasses inspired by fashion icon Iris Apfel, along with the Samsung bracelets and other fun tidbits. The fashions rocked, and the show was non-stop high-velocity glam from start to finish!
My personal favorite legendary designer Betsey Johnson wowed us all, when she followed her new collection for Macy’s with a frolicking, joyful sashay down the runway herself, bedecked in stripes, bright colors, and her signature tutu. Jaws dropped and the audience exploded, as she threw herself into an exuberant cartwheel in the middle of the runway, her traditional grand finale move! The 74-year old rocking designer ends each of her shows this way, as a tribute to her personal battle with breast cancer, and commitment to live each day of her life to the fullest!
Our next major show was for FTL Moda, featuring a variety of stunning and inspiring fashion designers! The entire evening was about diversity, culture, identity, beauty, and courage. We saw half-veiled faces, live snakes (!), and one brave and stunning model who was missing part of an arm, but used the other to literally carry the word “RESPECT” with her down the runway. That moment was deeply moving in itself, but nothing could prepare us for what came next…
Acid attack survivor Reshma Bano Qureshi, who was only 17 when a vicious attack by her own brother-in-law destroyed her left eye and half her face, stepped out onto the runway. She’s 19 now, and the second she appeared, bedecked in a white gown by Mumbai-based designer Archana Kochhar, all the air left the room… I can’t speak for every woman, only myself, but my heart shattered in a million pieces when she appeared! In that moment, she stood facing the world, with tears in her eyes and scars tracing the grooves of her skin… In that moment, she was every one of us; every woman who has ever been a victim, or been afraid, or suffered injustice… In that moment, she squared her shoulders and marched down the runway, towards the crowds and flashing lights, and showed us all what true courage looks like. And our hearts marched with her.
Reshma, you are my hero!
Click here to read more about her campaign to help other women like herself here: MAKE LOVE NOT SCARS!
Girls’ Nights Out!
One of our favorite things about adventuring in New York was the nightlife. We adore our walkable downtown Boise, but one thing that’s lacking back home is rooftop nightclubs. Trust me; get a group of women standing on an open high-rise balcony overlooking a glittering Empire State Building and all the lights & sounds of NYC, and magic will happen! Every place we went was stunning and unique, from 230 Fifth Avenue to The Skylark. Some nights we walked, some we Ubered, and a couple we ended up deciding a limo was the best way to travel! Whatever the reason, or the destination, we all had a BLAST. Thank you NYC for taking such good care of us!
Of course, you haven’t seen The Big Apple, until you’ve walked in Central Park. With it’s acres of grassy knolls, regal trees, ponds, pathways, and explorers, it’s easy to see why this place is considered such a magical oasis to its residents. Once you’re in it, the Park is far bigger than you realize! We loved lunch in the center, at The Loeb Boathouse, right on the water. While we waited for our main course little turtles paddled up to the edge of our feet, vying with huge fish for dropped crumbs! Most of the time, the fish won.
We had a great adventure aboard the Hornblower sightseeing cruise as well, learning about the history of this gorgeous city from it’s stunning bay. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial, and of course the Statue of Liberty. All around us were visitors from across the globe, gathering to gaze upon her welcoming face and outstretched arm! We had no idea, mere months ago, all of the changes that a newly-elected president would soon enact on our nation’s borders… For us in that moment, as we stood contemplating those who came before us – our grandfathers and grandmothers from every nation of the world who came to these shores seeking freedom and a better life – we were deeply proud to be Americans. ❤
In all, we had 6 days in NYC, and we seized every opportunity to make the most of it! At the end of the week we were exhausted, but headed home with our bags packed with fashion souvenirs, our cameras full of once-in-a-lifetime selfies, and a new sisterhood of friends forged by our shared New York minute.
Until the next adventure, ladies, cheers and hugs!!!
Do YOU want to join the Style Spy Girl #TravelPosse on our next adventure?
It’s open an any and every woman who’d like to adventure with us!
Click below to find out about our next epic trip: AMSTERDAM AND PARIS, SUMMER 2017!!!
I believe every woman is beautiful, not for what she wears but for WHO SHE IS!!!
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!
This show is all about honoring the women in our lives who deserve to hear how precious and wonderful we think they are… and how BEAUTIFUL, inside and out! 😀
Here, for my StyleSpyGirl friends, is an EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK at the first 5 minutes of the Pilot Episode! I hope you all will join me on October 11th at our Red Carpet Screening Event, to see the entire show and meet everyone involved!