The Yin Yang of Fashion

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I love a good contrast. The lace and leather of this feminine lace dress and black leather jacket is the perfect example of the Yin Yang concept on which I base most of my looks. The two principles bring darkness, femininity, positivity, and masculinity together, and this combination influences each part in the perfect balance. I have always felt the we speak to the world in the ways that we get dressed each day. Whether we make an effort or hide in our clothes, how we feel is often portrayed in a subtle (or not so subtle) way through our attire. Show your many sides by mixing them together and you will always have authenticity.

I consider myself to be a fan of femininity in dressing, but with a twist. I love the details of a new season, in particular the ruffles, feathers and lace that signify a feeling of lightheartedness. Alone these details are lovely, but I think they are even better paired with the unexpected toughness of a stronger aesthetic like denim or leather. It seems to be a more interesting way to wear a dress, more original, more me. You can always shed the tougher layer, and show your softer side, right?

On the lighter side, I absolutely love this Parker Black lace dress, which I scored on sale at Neiman Marcus. I really love the Parker label because the clothes seem unique and edgy, but with a girly twist. The dress isn't available on their website, but here is the same dress in a summery peach color, and a similar ones here.  Self Portrait also makes absolutely gorgeous dresses and tops. Last year they did a yellow Azaelea Guipure-Lace Illusion Cocktail Dress that was amazing. This year's version is a brilliant cobalt blue. Guess has done a version of the yellow Self Portrait one, the Marina Lace Dress, which I spotted recently at the recent Style Goes Pop Spring Trend Show at The Bellevue Collection. You can check out all the latest from The Bellevue Collection's spring cookbook and more right here!

This dress seemed to need an equally strong shoe to stand up to the boldness of the black and white details. These Miu Miu patent cage kitten heel pumps are from MBs Finds Designer Consignment, a place that I mention often because designer consignment has changed my closet. Follow them on Instagram to get a daily update of the latest finds. I also have these Valentino Rockstuds, which would be gorgeous. They are an investment shoe, although the comfort and non stop wear I have gotten out of these make it worth it to me. You can find a more wallet friendly pair in these little Sole Society Tamra Pointy Toe Pumps. The leather moto jacket works well when it is cropped, becoming an edgy jacket that makes the dress into a skirt. 

For this shoot I was lucky enough to showcase the beautiful jewelry collaboration between Seattle paper cut artist Lauren Iida and jewelry designer Aimee Oberstein of Leia Beila Jewelry. This dynamic duo teamed up to create one of a kind jewelry created with designs that are hand cut in paper by Lauren, and then electroformed by Aimee. The process of electroforming creates a thick coating of copper that encases each paper design, transforming the artwork into jewelry. The results are absolutely stunning. You can purchase these original designs pieces here. 

I met Lauren when I saw a piece she had done of a three dimensional dress made from Cambodian newspaper that I purchased, and a friendship was born. Cambodia has Lauren's heart and is a major influence of her artwork. In Cambodia she leads art tours, writes and illustrates bilingual books for children and works in her cut paper studio, the ‘mobile atelier. ​Other major influences to her work include her family's Japanese American heritage and incarceration during WWII and her Pacific Northwest home, making the Seattle Japanese Garden a fitting place for our photoshoot. 

Aimee Oberstein is also a Seattle based artist, and she and Lauren are both graduates of Cornish College of The Arts. After graduation Aimee started her company, Leia Beila which specializes in handmade jewelry she designs herself that use semiprecious stones and metals. Her pieces shine with positive energy and light and her philosophy that "Art is more than something to hang on the wall… Leia Beila believes it’s something you wear" translates in her beautiful work.

If there is anything that I love more than writing about fashion it is connecting with all the creative people in this community. I love to share my perspective on what it is like to be stylish and be yourself, no matter what age you are. And I feel grateful to learn something new every time I write a blog post or do a photoshoot with Krissi. If anything I want to be a champion for the many talented artists, writers, creators and lovers of beauty in my community and beyond. When we support each other we all gain something. 

Our Seattle weather has been a bit Yin Yang too these days, but that is the beauty of living in the Northwest. Have a lovely week. xx


  1. I love the yin/yang we can create in our looks too Lisa!!
    Great combo!


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