1800 tickets were available, at $100 each, and it sold out.  All the proceeds were split among three local charities: Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, Cheekwood and the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.  Let me say that again, all the proceedsNordstrom underwrote the event, so the opening gala raised $180,000 for local charities – at a three hour party.  And, what a party it was.

Our photographer for the evening was the lovely Bridgett Ezzard who I’ve worked with before and loved loved loved spending time with again.

Before the photo montage begins, let me say this: Nashville has the most beautiful Nordstrom I have ever seen, and I’ve visited quite a few.  The employees could not have been nicer and the event was a huge success.  I saw so many shopping bags leaving the store.  Men and women alike were all gushing.  I can’t wait to get my girls in for the smaller sized TOMS.

Jake Owens was incredible.  I developed a little crush. I was a fan before but I’m downloading tunes today, as he’s just so impressive.

Jake Owens signing at the Nordstrom Opening Gala in Nashville on September 14th

The food, oh my.  The food was great and catered by Nashville’s own Kristen Winston. I also can’t wait to dine at SIXTH & PINE (the “hip diner” concept restaurant inside Nordstrom). And, unbelievably, I did a shot of whiskey. I mean, you know the party’s great if you decide to do a shot of whiskey, your first since college, right?

The biggest question of all was “What are you wearing?”  I went with my black wrap DVF dress that my friend Kristen gave me two years ago.  Yes, we all need a friend like that, but we all need a dress like this DVF one as well: perfect whenever you really don’t know what to wear. But, with 1800 people there, everything was on display: cocktail, black-tie, skinny jeans, too short mini’s and hot pink go-go boots. I think the award for best dressed actually belongs to man I met in the pink tweed jacket. You win!

Okay, I’ll tell you more with the following pictures, but the store officially opens Friday at 10 AM.  But, you can go at 8 AM for the Beauty Event and snag some gifts and an early peek.  At 9:59:40 the countdown begins with all the Nordstrom employees counting down from 20 seconds to official opening.

Amy Norton, Kristen Weaver, Betsy Cunagin and me, Liza Graves before we entered the Nordstrom Gala.

StyleBlueprint founders: Liza and Elizabeth

Immediate joy was evident everywhere. Handbags help that joy.


Checkin’ out the handbags… we made a beeline for these two.

The food, as I said, was really a hit:

Individual cakes

The food near the men’s section had people raving.  The bacon and the fries made a big splash.

The shoes.  Oh, the shoes.  The shoe sales people needed today off as I’m sure they were still selling into the wee hours of the night!

Sam Edelman shoes, I think.

As noted pretty much everywhere, hats and fascinators are very much on trend, thanks to Princess Kate.

Lots of great hats and fascinators

Too cute!

Alright, a few more shots of the crowd and then some more merchandise!

Todd and Libby Glisson and Alan and Brit Horn

With the Souls4Souls guys! Keith Woodley, Liza Graves, Wayne Elsey

Star Stylists from one of Elle’s top 100 American salons: Element! Strike a pose!

Anna Peeples, owner of You’re Invited along with Francie Likis and her sister and Elizabeth Fox

Elizabeth and I with great friends!

Friends all coordinating with black and white outfits! Phyllis Jenny, Leslie Carpenter and Lynn Queener.

Cathy Lewandowski, in the middle, is beaming with her new Jimmy Choo shoes! She is with friends Kim Betts and Alissa Bodart.

Okay, we’ll go back to more crowd shots a little later.  I know you all want to see more STUFF!

Men, we bring you shoes

And Ted Baker cufflinks

Male models during the event

So cool

Hello Chanel Man

Notice that the dome lid has been kissed…twice

It’s a diaper bag. Really.

In one of the five, yes five, shoe departments

Prada for kids feet? Nordstrom has it!

For my kids’ feet? TOMS. So happy to have kids sizes in all these styles.

The kids clothes are irresistible.  Great options for boys and girls alike.

She gets the award for cutest of the night. And, check out the adorable baby clothes to match her baby bump!

I’ll take this entire outfit, please.

Alrighty, back to people watching:

Ashley Clapp (that is you Ashley, isn’t it?) and Judith Bright.

Jake Owens, Lori Stein (Nordstrom Nashville’s General Manager ), Elizabeth Fox

The cigar girls were asked to pose for lots of pictures!

I was fascinated by this dress. We got tons of pictures of it. It’s so fun!

Not sure who this is, but he looked important….

Do you think one of them bought those shoes?

Shoe shines are always available in the men’s department.  The whiskey drink, on the other hand, won’t be!

Dwayne Elliott and his beautiful wife Shellian

Dana Omans , Barbara Keith Payne and Liza Graves

For more pictures, see Bridgett’s Ezzard’s blog (our fab photographer for the night) at: http://bridgettezzard.blogspot.com/


What more can I say?  Nordstrom needs to throw this party every year.  Um, John, Ashley, Lori… please?