the bravern in bellevue is finally open and i had planned to spend a fun friday night checking out the new neiman marcus before going to a “tweet up” (i am not on twitter) at moksha on the ave. unfortunately, i did not leave the day job until after 6pm and then by the time i had gone home, attended to the dogs, and went to go pick up The Boyfriend from his office, it was already 7.30pm and neiman marcus closes at 8pm. highlight of the night ended up being a cute new oversized filigree ring i got at moksha (sorry, no picture; it came out blurry. if only i had an iphone 3gs with the new auto-focus feature!). there was a big let down having to do with being promised a spot on a list at a club where a friend was dj’ing. too bad she didn’t show up until like 5 minutes before she was supposed to go on…which was also about an hour after the list closed. needless to say, after leaving puppies 1 and 2 at home alone practically all day and night, i was a much happier camper just going home and chillin with them.
so The Boyfriend, the dogs, and i didn’t actually end up going to neiman marcus until today, which was almost better anyways, since the rest of the bravern didn’t actually open until today. stores of particular interest to me beyond neiman marcus were the new anthropologie (which now means whenever i trek over to the eastside i’ll be able to basically get all my stores banged out in one go. score!), tory burch, jimmy choo, and dna 2050. there was also a louis vuitton store and a masins store, but like most of the rest of the shopping center, they both seemed smaller than they should have been and the selection much more limited than expected. for those who don’t know, masins is a furniture store. i swear the entire store was about the size of an 1100 square foot condo’s living room (i.e. the size of my living room). how do you justify renting a retail space where you can only display 1/50 (i’m guessing) of your inventory and where your staff just defers all interest to one of your larger locations? i hope to god these people are not paid on commission. or lucky for masins because they found them some suckers.
anthropologie was the only store that i was actually impressed with. the decor, as always, was amazing. so much so that The Boyfriend tried to buy a mini chess set that, while tagged for $2.99, was actually just part of the merchandising. i found the floor space was actually satisfactory considering. unfortunately, that plenty by tracy reese coat i want wasn’t in stock yet. i did end up getting this nice ruffley red cardigan.
the main draw, neiman marcus, was somewhat of a letdown. i mean, it’s absolutely great that we finally have a neiman marcus and i totally know where i’m going to go the next time i need to buy a cocktail dress (because that happens SO often). but compared to the neimans i’ve been to in vegas, nyc, and cali it was teeny tiny. it wasn’t merchandised that well as in nothing jumped out at me and screamed, “you must own me!” i was also disappointed with the contemporary selection. i had hoped it would be bigger. granted, it’s neiman marcus and it’s all very high end designer, but let’s be honest, i’m not buying that stuff. i’m buying the contemporary labels. or at least, i wanted to.
The Boyfriend had better luck than me. he was getting lots of attention from cooing bellevue ladies for carrying pj around. by the end of the trip though, i had to admit that it wasn’t that pj was cuter than ruffus, it was The Boyfriend. when he carried ruffus around for a few minutes, mr. fuss actually got more attention than pj. sucks to have armed him with cute dogs to attract every other female in the world. anyways, he came away from neiman marcus with two civil society shirts. one was a burgundy plaid short sleeved woven shirt with a matching tie and the other is pictured here. the turquoise really brought out the blue of his eyes.
another bust for me was the jimmy choo store. i was surprised that they displayed mostly handbags rather than shoes. needless to say, i moved on quite quickly. on my search for the anthropologie, i stopped at tory burch. i hadn’t thought i’d find much of interest there. i haven’t gotten into her much lauded flats and when i visited the tory burch boutique in vegas i was just, “eh.” happily, i found the pictured sweater in grey. unhappily, it took freaking forever to actually purchase the damn thing. first, they only had smalls on the floor so they had to go to the “off site” storeroom to find my size, which was on the second floor (not exactly what i consider off site). then apparently they couldn’t find it so they were going to order it in from another store for me. i had already been walking around the bravern for about 3 hours at this point and i was thirsty. jimmy choo had been serving beverages, but we didn’t stay long enough to partake so i straight asked the tory burch staff if they had anything to quench my thirst while i waited. i ended up with a diet coke, which was more than i was hoping for, but i have the sneaking suspicion i took a staffer’s break time beverage. i would have felt bad except my salesperson who had my credit card to ring up my shipment disappeared for at least 10 minutes! eventually i asked a salesman (whom i’ve seen rotate through several other higher end stores in the past) to check on my salesperson to make sure she hadn’t fallen and was injured in the backroom. i’m serious. i couldn’t understand what was taking so long i was convinced she had to be immobilized and no one else was in the back to help her. turns out the top was in the store somewhere and she was tracking it down. i just wish she had told me because The Boyfriend was starting to get annoyed, waiting on me.
the last place i want to touch on is dna 2050. it’s a pretty cool shop with a rather stark black and grey palette and i recommend it for at least a browse. apparently there are a few other locations scattered across the country but no good online presence or i would include a link. it was very hip and now. lots of boyfriend jeans for girls and jeans for boyfriends. the slant of the store was a bit too modern for me, but The Boyfriend was quite pleased with his denim options. he ended up getting a new pair of evisu’s which you don’t find too often in seattle.
overall? go. at least check it out once. it won’t be my new spot but if i’ve been to uvillage too recently and it’s a nice day it’ll be nice for window shopping in the open air. be forewarned though that the self parking entrance is off of 8th. yes, you will feel like you are going to end up on the 405 south on ramp, but the drive is there. it will look like you’re pulling into a valet area because you are, but if you turn directly to your right you’ll head towards the parking garage.