Our gal stalks fashionistas, Mrs. DJ Jazzy Jeff and mini-Chipwiches at Nordstromania, then finds a little more than child’s play happening at the Delaware Children’s Museum first anniversary bash.
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The Gods of Fashion Are Upon Us
To view photos from this party, click here.
When you’re out for the evening, and your most disconcerting thought on etiquette questions whether it’s uncouth to put your black-cherry mojito down in close proximity to a $10,000 pair of Jimmy Choo boots, then chances are your night can’t get much better.
Yes, Gabby knows, you’ve all been to the Nordstrom by now. You’ve died a million deaths over the Robert Rodriguez and Tadashi Shoji collections. But if you weren’t at the Nordstrom pre-opening gala, you missed out on the 302 glitterati at its most fiercely daring, interesting and straight-up glam.
Before Gabby dishes about the soiree that was, in her superior judgment, the most stylish gathering of 2011—on a Wednesday night, no less—she has a question for the ladies: Where the heck have you been? Gabby gets more than an eyeful of gams and gowns on the regular, but never like this. You’ve seen one black cocktail dress, you’ve seen them all, so Gabby was floored to see some very fashionable women pull out all the stops. Backless, ruffled minis. Sky-high studded rocker-chick booties flawlessly mixed with dainty, diaphanous lilacs and pinks. Expertly draped bijoux (Wilmington councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz, I’m talking to you. I saw you with all those gorgeous baubles coiled around your neck.) A plumage of peacock accessories. Bodacious in-your-face floral printed silks. Every kind of silhouette you can imagine—no plain-Jane shift dresses that night.
The dudes were spot-on, too. Gabby spied your super-slim lapels, hip white dinner jackets, dashing ties and colorful, throwback hats (Paging Ebbie Alfree: Do you copy? Or are you still rooted to the floor, salivating over those Tods shoes?).
Dare Gabby say it? It’s teetering on her tongue like a pair of Louboutins fresh from the tissue, but … oh, heck. You all deserve it. It looked like Manhattan. Who better to comment than ex-Manhattanite-turned-fresh-princess-of-Bear, Lynette C. Townes—aka Mrs. DJ Jazzy Jeff? The stunning PR savant of Remix PR asked, “Who are all these fashionable women? I need a directory. I’m new to the area, and these women need to be my friends. Now.” Townes didn’t bring Jazz out—Gabby hears he was busy prepping for a European tour—but she did bring headmistress Chandra Anderson, the L.A.-born accessories guru behind Cha by Chandra, sporting one of her own fabulous headpieces. Next time you’re at Nordstrom, check out Townes’ and Andersons’ must-see collections: “Rag & Bone, Rebecca Taylor and DVF,” Townes said. “They’ve got some great looks up there in that section.”
The band did big things on the main concourse, and the spread did little things: Gabby’s favorite Callahan Catering options were the mini-fish tacos, mini-bottles of Coke, and the pièce de résistance: mini-Chipwich ice cream sandwiches on a stick. If they wouldn’t have melted, Gabby would have stuck five in her clutch for later. There was dancing, there was drinking, and by God, was there shopping, especially in women’s shoes, where the Big Four—Pete, Erik, Jamie and Blake Nordstrom—held court. Gabby lost count of how many shoes Wilmington’s Tom Resch sold to the giddy women surrounding him.
When Gabby was struck stupid by a hot pink Betsey Johnson mini, Springer teacher Dawn Camfield snapped her out of her trance by saying to her mother Donna Gregg that she wanted to bring her 5-year-old son to partake in the high-fashion for children. Now that is superb parenting. Camfield and Gregg were enjoying girls’ night out, as was Audrey Loew, who looked striking in a lime green and gold J. Crew Collection ensemble. “I haven’t had time to really look at the merchandise,” Loew said. “I’m too busy people-watching. I belong to [Hockessin Athletic Club] and I’ve seen tons of other members. I can’t help staring at how different they look out of their exercise clothes!”
The energy, the ambience, the luxe goodies gleaming from every surface: blame it all on Terisha Johnson, general manager. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here,” said the 11-year Nordstrom vet. “This is my first store opening.” With bold eye-shadow, chic short-cropped hair and a traffic-stopping electric blue Catherine Malandrino, Johnson personified Nordstrom. “We can’t wait to start connecting with Delaware,” she said. “This is a compelling area to shop. And tax-free doesn’t hurt.” You don’t have to tell us twice, lady.
If there was one thing Gabby learned from Nordstromania, it’s that style is ageless. Just ask Nancy Hebner, who wasn’t shy about her age in the least. “I’m an old lady,” she said. “But I’m having a ball.” And indeed she was: “My favorite part,” she said, “is the vodka tonics.” You go, sister.
Gabby’s final word: To the quartet of rowdy women who barefooted it out of the store around 10 p.m., champagne flutes and stilettos in hand, singing to Lady Gaga before jumping into a stretch Hummer: Gabby salutes you. That, my friends, is Wednesday night done right.
Page 2: Night at the Children's Museum