Monday, February 26, 2018

Girl Power: Kacy Yom Handbags

Photos courtesy of Kacy Yom
This post is a bit of a love letter, actually. It is a celebration of all the amazing women business owners, artists and entrepreneurs that I know and admire. The power and creativity of these women are an inspiration to me every day, especially on those days when I am working alone in my home office wondering if anyone is even reading these musings I write. I know the amount of multitasking that is required by those who have commitments of work and family and yet still pursue their dreams and creative endeavors.

Most of all, I admire authenticity and originality. The people that I most love are those who are their true selves, and the only competition they are in is with themselves. When you are comfortable in your own skin you radiate something that makes the world around you move towards your light. And last but not least, laughter. I love a lady that makes me laugh. It truly is the best medicine.

And speaking of amazing women, recently I had the privildge of attending the launch of the first collection by Seattle handbag designer Kacy Yom. The collection, Soh-Lee, 소리, “Voice or Sound” in Korean, features a series of structured, modern bags with great attention to detail. Yom's own vision for a chic luxury handbag was inspired by her mother's love of beautifully made bags. I admire that she researched long and hard to find the best materials and just the right factory to bring her prototype to life, and that she didn't settle for anything less than the best.

From the handcrafted finishes on each bag, including a "Y" sewed onto the front flap, signature hardware and versatility like removable straps, Yom has hit the perfect combination of stylish beauty and functionality that make her luxury bags stand apart.

I loved pairing this bag with two different looks based on a the what jacket I chose, one classic, and one more unexpected. My look includes leather trousers and a gorgeous tweed Lanvin coat, two fabulous pieces from Seattle designer consignment superstar, Mary Bridget Pehl of MB Finds. I have said it before, consignment has completely altered my closet and I love Mary Bridget, an entrepreneur whose knowledge of design houses runs deep. It is always a pleasure to shop with her.

My red Aquazzura Downtown Spice red suede ankle booties were a find from The Nordstrom Rack downtown (available at the above link as well) and couldn't believe my luck. Someone had abandoned these pristine boots in the wrong place and I grabbed them. I adore the lower cut of the boots, which skim your ankle bone, making them perfect for pairing with both cropped trousers or a dress. Since suede is a year round look, I will be able to incorporate these sexy little shoes into my spring and summer looks too.

Instagram is really one of my biggest style inspiration go-tos, and it is a great way to connect with cool blogs and style news. Recently my friend Allison and I ventured to a new Seattle shop we had been following on Insta, Emry Boutique. Allison bought a fabulous black and white summer dress because she told me she was done with sweaters, but since I am never done with sweaters I dove right in to the cozy stuff. I bought the fabulous Lovers and Friends Maxine Sweater that has an epic bell sleeve, in of course my favorite color, gray. Incidentally, Emry has this sweater in a dress version as well.

And while the Lavin jacket had to go over my shoulders because of above-mentioned epic sleeves, my Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece AeroLoft Women's Down Cape was the perfect solution. The sleeves almost look like they are part of the cape, and considering it was less than 30 degrees during our photoshoot, that was perfect. It is a bit like a sleeping bag with arms and a collar, but I love to mix sportswear with high fashion. I get tons of compliments when I wear this poncho and even though I know it isn't sexy, it is a cool way to stay warm. The unexpected pairing of the plum coat with the red boots makes this look chic and fun. Both of these looks show off one of my favorites handbags from Kacy Yom's first collection, the chic Cho-Rong mini cross body bag.

Cheers to the all the creative women in our community and to friendship, love, and determination. Keep doing what you love. Get to know the inspiring, hardworking and inspirational women in your own community, and support their businesses, art and creative endeavors.

Be stylish, be beautiful, be you, no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake. xx

Photography courtesy of Kacy Yom. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The MOTHER of Reinvention

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

What does it mean to be original? This can be an ever-changing challenge for those of us that love showing who we are by how we dress. Personally, I am constantly being inspired by the women that I surround myself with, and I also strive to be the best "me" I can be. Sometimes seeing a look on someone else can inspire me to take that and run with it in my own way, and sometimes one just wants to emulate what we admire. The way I look at it is that there is a lot to love out there.

Take this fantastic Zebra Don Drop Shoulder Coat by Annette Görtz, for example. I saw it on a woman I much admire, GRAY Magazine Editor Jennifer McCullum, in a blog post from the iconic Seattle store, Baby & Company. I mean, how lucky are we to have so many amazing local businesses that bring beautiful fashion to our city? Add an amazing woman wearing their clothing and you have fashion magic, baby. Baby & Company is the place to go if it is originality, beauty, and inspired pieces you desire. In the above-mentioned blog post, I loved how Jennifer was styled with a polka dot patterned blouse with the coat's zebra stripes. It showed its endless possibilities. And that I needed to own it.

Now that I do, I wore mine with the sparkly front J.Crew Collection Striped Shirt, because the zebra stripes, like any animal print, are a neutral. What does that mean? It means wear it with whatever you want, and if this means sequins in the daytime to you, even better! This particular shirt is sold out but you could pair a menswear striped blouse or a sequin tee and completely reinvent the look with either one. I like the idea of a pop of bold color underneath the stripes too. Endless possibilities...

Now, onto denim. Finding great fitting denim is a little bit like discovering the holy grail of fashion. A closet staple and often the cornerstone of a wardrobe for many of us, it is almost as personal as shopping for the perfect bra. The world of denim has completely exploded, and that is a great thing. Coming up for spring, denim ruled the runways in tailored jackets, cool skirts and dark denim circa the 90s. Speaking of reinvention, denim style is on the constant move, which means lots of fabulous choices.

For me, I am a tried and true FRAME denim girl, but I have favorites from Rachel Comey, Madewell, 7 for All Mankind and more. I have been on the lookout for a bit of a closet reinvention lately, so when I was in Fremont I stopped by another great local boutique, Pipe and Row. It was one of those days where I must have tried on a zillion pairs of jeans but nothing was quite right. Then, I tried the MOTHER Hustler Ankle Fray Boot in the black wash "Not Guilty". The high waist rocks, the fit hugs perfectly and the frayed slight crop boot cut is modern and cool. Sold.

My go-to black heels are this snake Miu Miu pair I bought from MBs Finds Designer Consignment. They look amazing with everything, including showing off the frayed hems on these Mother of all jeans. Some things don't need to be reinvented, and the classic pointed toe heel is one of them.

Is "necessity the mother of invention"? Or....reinvention?  If it is necessary to you to continue to grow and change and become a better version of the person you were yesterday, than yes. And not just because you have cool new jeans on. ;)

I always feel a bit reflective as I head towards another birthday and think about my previous trip around the sun. I feel grateful, I feel hopeful, and I feel strong. I continue to be inspired by a community of amazing women, and I treasure the true and real friends that I have in my life, the ones that love me for being me.

This quote is such a good one, because even though it can drive home the point of the obviousness of being disappointed by someone, it can also be the opposite. It tells us to trust in those people that bring light to your life. May you have many.

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
 ~ Maya Angelou

Friday, February 2, 2018

Kick Up Your Heels: The Sock Sneaker

Photo by Tamara Tremain

This time of year, I am in the mood to spice things up in my closet. I have been slowly purging things over the past month and now that my closet is a little more organized I can see what I have and what I may want to add. Although I love the winter sales for snagging that coveted piece I have been considering over the past year, I usually like to invest in things now that I can transition into the next season. I am loving all the cool shoes out there and after diving headlong into the sock bootie trend this fall and winter, I was excited to rock a sock sneaker next. 

The Loeffler Randall Scout Sneakers are a stretchy metallic-knit that make them one statement-making pair of kicks. They have a striped sock topper finished and a slight platform sole, giving them that certain je ne said quoi. These cool girl shoes look as great with a skirt or dress as they do with a pair of cropped flare pants. Plus, so so very comfortable! 

It is all in the details on these kicks, down to the tri-colored wavy soles! I rocked these babies with my rag and bone Jubilee sweater and skirt and they were perfect even in this crazy Seattle rain. 

Photo courtesy of goop

Apparently Gwyneth and I have the same taste, since I saw that she has featured these sneakers on her the shop goop section of her website by the same name.  So I guess that means we are besties now. Awesome! ;)

Although I have serious disdain for people that live in their workout gear every day (I get it, its get dressed!), I love the way athleisure wear has become a legitimate part of fashion. When done well, with creative design and interesting materials and construction, athletic inspired pieces are so versatile. Sure you can dress them down, but you can also mix your more feminine pieces, like a skirt or a blouse, for an unexpected but super chic look. With so many choices out there, it is easy to find a fun sneaker shoe that reflects your personal style. Remember, fashion is fun! Happy Friday! xx