Ladies, Luck and the Beauty of Innovation

Posted on May 03, 2016, 3:32 am
8 mins


It has been a few seasons since I was honestly inspired by the upcoming fashion for the spring and summer. Not that I didn’t love certain looks or trends, but it can be hard to get fired up about warm weather looks when the season in the Pacific Northwest can be so incredibly short. This season, however, has been one to celebrate. Lady Luck has shone upon us once again, and spring has proven to be a sunny and warm gateway to summer. The fashion to go along with the warmer months is a fresh take on the season this year. I hope you’re as inspired as I am to up your style game this summer.

Lady Luck #3

Recently, I attended the EMP Reveal: Northwest Innovation in Fashion event, and it was crazy good. Five local designers put on a fantastic show and it really had me coveting some major pieces from these locally based talents. This look is a combination of two designers I admire greatly: Silvae and SCHAI. I chose the lacy and feminine Hofmann Top by Silvae and paired it with the high waisted Oki Mega Culotte in cotton linen denim by SCHAI. Embrace the wide legged culottes for this summer; it is a major look and SCHAI makes the perfect summer pants. The Silvae top touches on two trends for this summer: cropped and lace. I like the understated elegance of the LumillaMingus LAIA bone colored foldover clutch, which can serve double duty as an iPad cover. Step out in one of the great sandals of the season: the wedge, this one by Dries Van Noten in gorgeous, alligator print leather. And speaking of luck, I love the elegant simplicity of a Jade ring, a Chinese symbol for luck. 1st Dibs is a great website to find original pieces, and this Burle Max Jade and Gold Dome Ring offers a great pop of color for this low key look. If you’re headed to celebrate Mother’s Day or another special occasion, don’t forget to bring a bunch of peonies—a gorgeous, favorite flower.

Lady Luck #2

Luckily for you, I couldn’t decide which of these jackets I loved more, so I’m including them both in this low-key cool look. SPACE in Nordstrom—the project of Olivia Kim—curates pieces from up-and-coming designers, and they never disappoint. The Tu es mon TRÉSOR military jacket has a sprinkling of black tulle flowers across the front and back of the jacket and is a cool piece to toss over the Rachel Allegra Sleeveless Drawstring Dress in soft lilac. For a more wallet friendly jacket, wear the standout Floral Embroidered Bomber Jacket from Zara. Embroidered details are huge right now and will continue into fall, so look for this great detail on clothing, handbags and accessories. It’s all about layers in jewelry right now as well, so how about stacking these great raw opal and tourmaline rings from the local spot, Moorea Seal. I follow Takara Designs on Instagram, a great way to check out the latest from independent design artists. Their Night Shield Necklace calls back to the black details in the outfit and looks good stacked with simple gold chains. Baby & Company always seeks out the world’s most unique and beautiful finds for their store, and these Odran Flat ballet flats by Opera National de Paris Shoes are amazing. The Ballet de l’Opera national de Paris is the oldest ballet academy in the world, and their master shoe maker, Merlet, has created a line of ballet slippers for both home and the pavement. Made in Limoge, France—it doesn’t get any better than that. And since we’re talking about luck this month at Vanguard Seattle, you may feel quite lucky being the owner of this Gucci Bamboo Shopper, since bamboo is another known Chinese symbol of good fortune. If you’re looking for something unusual to give as a gift or to plant in your garden, the black parrot tulip is always a stunning choice.


Lady Luck #1

Lastly, this breezy summer outfit has a hint of nautical and a whole lot of chic going on. The wide legged 1.STATE Stripe High Waist Sailor Pants are an easy match to summer tops. This SEA top caught my attention at the Nordstrom Beauty Trend Show, where a runway model was wearing it with a perfect pop of color bright lip. It has a split personality, with an easy blue and white striped front and rows of open fringe decorating the back. You will definitely leave a good impression behind you. Mules are back with a vengeance, so get yourself a pair to lighten your step this summer. I like this flat Jenni Kahn pair in pretty blue suede with a pointed toe; it’s one of my favorite looks. Adding blue lens shades always seems quite summery to me, and of course Ray-Ban is a classic.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kate S. Mensah at a couple of fashion events this past month, and was quite taken with her personal style. This Parisian born designer has translated her African heritage, her Parisian roots, and an Asian influence to the luxury apparel and accessories she designs here in Seattle. The cowhide and leather lambskin Victoria bag is a great laptop bag, but I would wear it as a uber fabulous clutch. For luck, I included the Takara Kali bracelet, a stack of five gold Jules Smith bangles, and an awesome Giles and Brother railroad spike bracelet to make a lucky seven on your wrist. Don’t forget a bunch of blue hydrangea blossoms to give to your favorite Mom or someone you love.

We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by great talent in all kinds of art forms in this city, and now more than ever, we have an opportunity to check out the emerging talent of apparel and accessory designs. Investing in the great innovation you see around you will always help you tell your own unique story—and what better time to shine than summertime.


Lisa Cole is the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle, and her work includes covering fashion news and events, runway shows and boutiques. She has her own fashion and lifestyle blog,, and is a member of Independent Fashion Bloggers and Fashion Group International.