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Spring fashion heats up

Hot Shop Runway show and local shops go spring

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All eyes were focused on the center of the hot shop at the Museum of Glass last week, though the action wasn’t the typical glass-blowing creation of art.  Instead, the evening centered on the Nordstrom Hot Shop Runway spring fashion show, presented jointly by the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass. Models sashayed and worked the runway, set up in a stepped and circular pattern, which might have accounted for some of the intent expressions I saw adorning the models’ faces.

Of course, during that event, glass was also enjoyed, courtesy of J.P. Canlis’ clear, graphite grey bamboo installation in the center, which projected the colors of both the light and the models as they passed.  As a centerpiece, it was both striking and nondescript, a fitting metaphor for the venue.

When the first models appeared on stage, a story of bold patterns (primarily polka dots) and solid neutrals, the crowd became rowdy, rising to fever-pitch when the men appeared.

Dresses, business suiting, more bold, “pop” patterns with bright colors, and feminine dresses were paraded across the stage, with ultra-feminine lacy dresses with ruffles, eyelet lace, and ruching finishing off the evening on as light a note as moods were to begin with.

Primarily, the women’s silhouettes were moving to a sleeker, slimmer bottom, with a voluminous top finishing the look. Trapeze and baby-doll shapes were king — er, queen — on this night, with some filler from patterns and shapes evocative of multiple eras.  Katherine Hepburn-esque ‘60s, bold ‘70s, and slinky ‘80s (though not, thank Deities, bad shoulder-pad ‘80s) represented, with jeans — and even men’s trousers — hearkening back to the early ‘80s when the skinny leg was king.

Other handbags were large, as well, though the clutch is sneaking its way into a comeback. No need for a comeback for metallics, which glinted their presence in handbags, shoes and jewelry, holding on to whatever momentum they gained last summer.

In shoes, the golden glimmer showed upon everything from strappy sandals to skimming ballet flats. The wedge is still hot, though the shape has gone a little streamlined on the bottom, with some even sporting cut-outs.  Is it to lessen the weight of the shoe? Or just to look cool? Either way works for me.

What also works for me: the fine folks of Nordstrom created a list of essentials for spring.

They recommend, for fashion: a day dress, graphic prints, chic shorts, something metallic, a trapeze jacket, lean pants, big bangles, patent belts, bags, and footwear.

And don’t think the men were left out.

Men’s essentials include a modern suit with slim-cut jacket and lean trousers, gray suiting, small-scale patterned ties, utility jacket, patterned trousers or shorts, woven shirts with new graphics that include neo-noir prints, urban graphics, and religious icons; jeans are dark for spring, heading toward distressed and raw styles emerging for fall.

And while Nordstrom — which will be working in earnest on rebuilding from the rubble that was Mervyn’s — is a fine one-stop shop for all the above mentioned items, some local boutiques have offerings for all the spring styles you could need.

At Dame Lola, Miguelina dresses and pieces go uber-feminine, with Rebecca Taylor designs highlighting the flirty, fun side of suiting, and LA Made pieces playing with the scale of the season.

Farther down St Helens, Rocky and Cocos carries Diane von Furstenberg, credited as being the definitive designer behind the resurgence of the ever-flattering wrap dress.

Carrying the affordably, functionally funky torch, Tiki Lounge carries feminine, flirty romantic styles alongside bold geometric prints and possibly the cutest, full-skirted wrap skirt I’ve ever seen (although my legs looked eastern-Euro stump-like in it, but hey, I’m Hungarian.)

Additionally, the dudes are represented, with denim and print-shirts in full effect, though not so much on the suiting side.

My eyes have also spied, farther down the street — toward the dining center of the Tacoma universe that Sixth Avenue has become — a sale sign at Red Line, alongside of which some really cute BCBG dresses beckoned.

Think the bosses would spring for a raise?

[Nordstrom, 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma]

[Dame Lola, 711 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma]

[Rocky & Cocos, 750 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma]

[Tiki Lounge, 17 N Tacoma Ave., Tacoma]

[Red Line Style, 2503 6th Ave., Tacoma]

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