Traveling Light

“The things that you carry on a journey should be very few, no more than what you can put into a small pack.”

Yasumi Roan, A Collection of Essential Travel Tips (1810)


As we embark on summer travels, I can’t wait to return to Kyoto. The city is a second home for my family, a place I grew up with, and a special place for me personally and creatively.  When I was a child, my mother, a fashion designer, traveled to Japan for years to work with Takashimaya, the venerable Japanese retailer. She always loved Japan, and that love was passed on to me. The level of craftsmanship, the honoring of traditions, the artistry in the making, is deeply moving.  The sense of quality, heritage, and materials is unparalleled.

I find so much integrity, refinement, and philosophy behind each object. A piece might look simple, but there is perfection in every stitch. Today, those ideals still underpin my work, and this journey is a moment to re-immerse myself in the poetic life of Kyoto. Exquisite fabrics and incense, temples and forests, will all be part of my pilgrimage.

Packing Light 

I’ll be traveling light, bringing essential, multipurpose pieces that move fluidly and effortlessly from day to night. All of our pieces are flexible, designed to be worn together or alone.

Anticipating the summer heat, cottons and silks will keep me cool and comfortable. The new Typewriter Cotton Wrap Dress and Charmeuse Pleated Long Wrap Skirt Silk are paper-light and graceful.

I always bring a couple of Wrap Skirts, both in cotton and silk, for the versatility and lightness they allow. The Wrap Skirt transforms other pieces to suit a variety of moods and adds playfulness. I'll wake up and put one over my nightdress for a walk to the local cafe. Then, switching to a t-shirt or blouse later, I have my look for the day. 

Both the Parachute Dress and the Liquid Silk Dress transition perfectly into evening (and don’t wrinkle!). They are comfortable enough to lounge in, or can elevate into sexy evening wear. 

Add a Floor-Length Silk Wrap Skirt to the Liquid Silk Dress for a more dramatic look, amplifying it's volume and silhouette. Another little touch that transforms either piece is our Leather Obi, also lightweight and packable. 

For cooler evenings, the dresses layer effortlessly with a sweater, or our new featherweight typewriter cotton Painter’s Coat or Painter's Jacket.




My go-to travel shoe is the iconic Repetto Zizi Oxford (Serge Gainsbourg wore them in the 1970s with pinstripe suits). I’ve worn them everywhere from San Francisco to London and, as dance shoes, they are a supremely comfortable, elevated alternative to sneakers.

I'll bring one carry-on suitcase with an LJ Everything Bag or Maison NH Grand Shopping Bag for inflight essentials.  I always pack a folding tote bag for any new goodies on the return journey.



And for shielding myself from the sun, especially when on a bicycle (Kyoto is a bicycling city, everyone rides. It reminds me of my childhood), I love Maison NH Paris’ Noa hat.



I always put a few of our lavender sachets in my bag, to put in my wardrobe and under my pillow during my stay. Its sweet fragrance is calming and refreshing.


In Flight

The flight time from San Francisco to Kyoto is just over 10 hours, so I pack what I can to make the time cozier, and kinder to body and mind. Our Tissue Weight Cashmere scarf is an essential, soft yet light, and is long and broad enough to wrap around the upper body and snuggle in.  For my skin, I like a multi-purpose, rich balm against the arid environment of the plane cabin. I’ve just crafted my first batch of  salve made with calendula flowers grown in my Sonoma garden. It’s incredibly soothing on hands and face.




When I touch down in Kyoto, one of my very first destinations will be Farmoon, the sublime restaurant of chef and friend Masayo Funakoshi. Masayo’s reverence for raw materials and her devotion to artistry are inspirations. 



I was delighted to recently receive a text from a traveler who had discovered our perfume, Ink, at Farmoon through Masayo. Ink is our signature fragrance, hand-bottled here at our San Francisco atelier. We are currently preparing a new batch to share with her, and with you. In its slender, roll-on black bottle, it is perfect for travel. 



For me, there are few experiences more truly divine than soaking in an Onsen, Japan's natural hot springs. It is a reconnection with nature, and healing for the body and mind. To evoke that experience, I love the aromatic Revitalizing Mineral Soak by Nature of Things.


As I head to Kyoto, our Content Director, Alisa Carroll, is heading to her soul city, Paris. She will share her travel insights with you in the next journal. 


We wish you a safe and inspiring road wherever your summer journey takes you.