A Hint of Potpourri

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Fashion at the rim of each season is like a trendsetting neophyte. Reborn and relived in a vast array of nubby textures, hanky hems and high octane prints. The dawn of spring came sweet quilted pastel numbers and floral prints. The cusp of summer? Soon followed suit with jacquard patterns and elastomeric neoprene sheaths.

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Now that Summer has finally come to a close, we can take a cue from sartorial street style in New York and the bemused editors at Fashion Week to experiment with novel silhouettes and materials. With new season comes new trend-setting confections. What can we anticipate as the “IT” trends for Fall?

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Would it err towards edgy asymmetrical leather wraps Olivia Palermo wore during New York Fashion Week, or more curated selection of Parisienne neutral ensembles à la française (with an ample dose of cat eye + red lips). 

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In my outfit today I steered clear from the normcore trend chaperoned down catwalk shows towards a more whimsical look. One that plays up the color-blocking trend much like the Dries Van Noten collection at Paris Fashion Week filled with lavish fabrics and incongruous prints. The key to keeping a mishmash array of colors under tab in a 2-piece outfit? Make sure one color is present in both top and bottom, and that single hue is varied in pattern and texture.

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Here I have my acid wash Rag and Bone button down shirt, which serves as the neutral piece, paired with my silky leaf print shorts de Marc Jacobs. Blue was the collective color that kept the look in-line. Accessories were minimal in gold, and shoes were a simple shade of nude.

Play up the wildcard with a hodgepodge of colors? Why not dear, it’s Friday! Care to be a fashion daredevil today? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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H1 (59 of 59)H1 (1 of 59) v1 (12 of 70) v1 (53 of 70)H1 (42 of 59)v1 (1 of 70)   Top: Rag and Bone// Shorts: Marc Jacobs// Sandals: Aldo// Clutch: Urban Expression// Jewelry: Forever 21 + J Crew// Shades: Prada

Photos: Jason J

Child’s Play (Lincoln Park)

“Recall the fondest token, by early childhood earned, the spell of years is broken, the sweets of knowledge learned. Bring back the golden beaming, of childhood’s hopes and fears, bring back the silver gleaming, of early gleeful years.” – Louis N. Crill

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Lately I’ve been very reminiscent of my childhood years in Thailand. Those early mornings waking up to reverberating chimes at the Buddhist temple amidst car horns blaring through the alleyways. Those summery nights spent at the bustling night markets along Sukhumivit Road with a vast array of little trinkets for any girl to shop at her heart’s delight. Weekends were filled with fun activities like strolling through the Chatuchak Sunday Market, where antique collectors gather to talk about their recent finds, or enjoying a relishing picnic at the King Rama IX Royal Park with a beautiful view of botanical gardens.

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Those were the moments full of wonders, happiness and good cheer; no care in the world was given to worrying about tomorrow because the present was our state of mind. No concerns about the repetitious daily grind as life was surrounded by loved ones willing to share the burdened weight on those shoulders. Come to think about it, as an adult we oftentimes get carried away with running this so-called “life’s marathon” that we forget to slow down to take a breather. Life’s like a 5-course meal…you don’t go through the motion of gorging down your meal from hors d’oeuvre to dessert without relishing the fine ingredients. It takes a snippet of thyme and a smidge of saffron to spark up your entrées. So make those tiny moments count…grab a drink with some childhood friends to reflect on those golden days. Go to a park and watch the little ones run through the playground (and join them in their merriment).

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In my photoshoot I wanted to re-visit those childhood days by joining the happy campers at the Lincoln Park playground full of colorful slides and swings. My ensemble was garnished by this prismatic crop top that brought out my jovial side, and the colorful Forever 21 necklace in nude pink helped reinforce the concept of “youthfulness”. And to finish this look I brought out my favorite Tory Burch coral clutch to keep all my essentials in place. Given its effervescent glow, coral can be a great add-on to a neutral ensemble, or if you feel bold and mighty for the day, don a head-to-toe sheath! Check out Coralating Matters on how to dress in this summer’s hottest hue!

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In a nutshell “all the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust”. So let’s give Peter Pan a run for his money and cast out those sprinkles that’ll take us back to those childhood days. Do something beautiful and magical…there’s got to be more to life than Tinker Bell’s pots and kettles right?

Xoxo~ Lena

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Top: Nordstrom// Pants: Hudson// Shoes: Aldo// Bag: Tory Burch// Necklace: Forever 21

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://jasonjphotography.zenfolio.com

Pretty Little Laces

From one season to another, the cusp of summer to the dawn of fall, fashion trends quickly come into the scene as they quickly go. From sleeveless, sport-inspired dresses with closet high-necks in 2013 to peekaboo cutouts with strategic slits in 2014, styles introduced by designers and their runway muses are irrefutably avant-garde and trailblazing enough to compel fashion protégés to follow suit. Though a novel trend can be hot-off-the-press fun for inquisitive minds to try, to experiment, and to remodel, it lacks the “fashion staple” element that makes it classic, timeless, and infinitely pairable with other items in your wardrobe. What’s a positive bearing of a timeless piece you may ask? Granted it’s been tried and tested over past seasons and yet still defies being donned a “one hit wonder”, it’s bound to be fashion faux paus-proof!

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With the likes of fashion staples we gravitate to all year-round, certain fabrics we use to thread and weave garments also transcend space and time. One material that many of my fashion staples use is lace, which is an embroidered cutout design known for its classic and exquisite look. To add a “blossoming” spin to my lacy couture apparel, I chose a crocheted dress in my photo shoot today to showcase another signature trend that never goes out of style — floral prints. Florals, much like lace and other classic designs, have a timeless element in its framework, as the petal-infused design was introduced as early as the beginning of Japanese kimonos in year 794 to the spawn of Genoese velvets in the 1400s.

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Though sheer petals and lime green hue may be reminiscent of a season before us, the lacy floral sheath can also be a transitional piece from summer to fall. Pairing it with a bold accented scarf in a muted shade of black and grey would prep your outfit ready for those breezy nights at the brink of fall. Don’t pack away your summer pieces just yet! Call it a warm cover-up or an embellished accessory, a light-weight scarf like this skull print one can be a great addition to a feminine pastel dress that you’re not quite ready to toss into the back of your trunk 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://www.jason-j-photography.com/

Creatures of Wonderland

“From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I’ve been told where I must go and who I must be,” says Alice Kingsley. “I’ve been shrunk, stretched, scratched, and stuffed into a teapot. I’ve been accused of being Alice and of not being Alice. But this is MY dream. I will decide where it goes from here.” – Alice in Wonderland

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As a child we were introduced to the spectacular wonders of adulthood through the stories livened by our elders. The achievement of a career well-pursued after. The moment a couple walked down the aisle in celebration of forever together. The minutes, hours, and days prepping for the arrival of a firstborn. Whether a particular second was resonated with a complete stranger, or a span of time shared between two love birds, there’s no definite weight to such special and invaluable moments other than those marveling in them. Oftentimes I find myself sit alone in a crowded arena and watch a bevy of passers-by materialize their characters with words and movements. I would wonder what their stories are–where they come from, and where they’re going to.

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Every person’s like a novel–though some may have covers more embellished than others, the depth of ink scribbled through the pages can only be captured once perused through. I think our lives are the same way–we often become enwrapped in the glitz and glamour of chasing after fleeting, nonchalant wind but only come to realize (sooner or later) that they slip through the corners of our hands. Sometimes I feel like my life is like a helium balloon; much like the breezy air sweeping me off the ground to lands untraveled nor foreseen, I forget my humble beginnings and the reason behind the commencement of my journey (see HERE). Which is why when I found out about the Wicker Park carnival this past weekend, I wanted to re-connect with my inner child and her playful spirit by engaging in adrenaline-pumped rides, zippy merry-go-rounds, and elevated ferris wheel above concrete and humanity to resonate with the early stage of life when everything was jovial, simple and carefree.

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In my outfit today I paired my vintage mint pleated skirt with some strappy sandals to bring out the unruffled, “gone-with-the-wind” look. I added color to the assemble by adding in a green belt of a seemingly darker hue and accessorized with double-tiered necklaces. My favorite item from this getup is my straw hat — the coral and mint bandeau added a pop of color to my pastel dress while resonating with its color hue. Completing the look with a mandarin-toned bag from Phillip Lim (similar HERE), which allowed me to carry just the essentials, I was ready to run with the chirpy little ones in line for the 10-story high revolving wheel! Up up and away, where my eye level soon became in tandem with the flock of birds flying by. As images materially unfold in front of me in a different light, I started to see my life more clearly. I was happy. And I felt more free 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena  images

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://jasonjphotography.zenfolio.com

 

Enchantingly Yours

“Wandering silently, though the wilderness wood, far and away from the potholes of well beaten pathways. The soft breeze slowly rousing the shadows of the moonlit night, charily past the thorny stems of time.” – Harlon Rivers

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Finding a lush forest in the middle of the city is like discovering a little gem in the middle of a haystack, full of wonders and mystique. For a city girl like me, the immobile concrete and wailing sound of sirens are what I’m accustomed to on a day-to-day basis. So when I decided to shed my metropolitan shell and drive up to Evanston’s Lighthouse Beach this past weekend (read here), I was as jubilant and excited as a little girl winning her first stuffed animal at a county fair–needless to say “bouncing off the walls” with joy.  So while driving back from the beach, in awe of all the beautiful sceneries we’ve been bestowed with, I noticed an enchanted forest burrowed in the midst of a few suburban houses. So I halted my car by the side of the street and stepped out on the gravel, only to find myself steps away from this ethereal world none like what I’ve ever seen before.

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The thriving greens, the pristine meadows, the balmy rose garden lightening up my sense buds…these little trinkets of nature led me through the thorny patches to this ivory tower. In its massive architectural form fully enwrapped in burgeoning leaves, the tower had a dual effect on me — it was haunting yet I felt so sublime in its presence; it was archaic yet I felt rejuvenated in its aura. For a sheer moment I felt comfortably “at home”, like this was where I was meant to be at that passing moment in time. The world was quiet, the branches swept against my legs were non-existent, and the bird chirping was harmoniously mellow.

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Slowly I climbed to the top of the mansion and looked out into the far distance. There I saw the world in full motion again–sandy beaches, the glistening waves, families playing a round of beach volleyball. At that moment I realized how reclusive I was, that though the world in its organic form offered me happiness, serenity and peace, I didn’t have any loved ones up there on the eroding floor panels to share this special moment with. I smiled. I laughed. I took a deep breath. And I bid my adieu. Calmly I walked down the metal-ridden steps and made my way to the bottom. Feet firmly on the ground, I walked past the flowerbed and greeneries, turning one last time to paint that mental picture of perfection. It was an ideal image, one that’s so surreal and cathartic that I know going forward I can always resort to when life throws its chaotic curveballs at me.

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I made my way to the vast openness where the sand touched my feet and I lingered a bit to embrace the excitement, laughs and giggles reverberated from a few hundred feet away. This was the real life–exhilarating, spontaneous, imperfect and fun! Not to mention with folks around you enjoying the same spell-binding view of the waters. Taking off my sandals, I ran to the border where the powdery sand caressed the restless waves. “This is where I’m meant to be”, I told myself, “and I don’t have to beat acrophobia to fully enjoy the moment!” I was happy. I felt free. Come what may tomorrow, but today I’m basking in the lakeshore’s “any way the wind blows” glory. Now where did I leave that sombrero? 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena  images

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://jasonjphotography.zenfolio.com