A Savage Heart

Evanescent. No better word exists to describe cherry blossoms: the tiny pink blooms that adorn their trees for mere weeks and then fade away, leaving no trace of their presence save for the last of their petals carried on the wind. Ever since my adolescence, I felt a kinship with cherry blossoms, so much so that I adopted their name as my own.

Brunette woman treads a paved florid path.
Trench coat: All Saints (similar)

It was a lucky stroke that Belleville, the self-proclaimed “Cherry Blossom Capital of America,” sat right in my backyard. With precious time to spare before the blossoms disappeared altogether, I made a whirlwind visit to their home, Branch Brook Park. An overcast afternoon greeted me on my first attempt; dejected, I resolved to return the next day. The clouds persisted come morning, so I resigned myself to the gloom and took photos in spite of it.

Brunette ties sash on olive green polka dot dress.
Dress: Chriselle Lim Collection

Evanescence is fine for cherry blossoms; it’s one of the qualities that makes them so special. That quality, however, is one I no longer care for when it comes to describing my wardrobe. The concept of sustainability—in fashion, skincare, lifestyle, and more—has always intrigued me. Implementing it, on the other hand, has always been an entirely different animal. The amount of research needed to ascertain the sustainability of a brand is a herculean task on its own. Nevermind the most common and most salient barrier to fully adopting sustainability, for me and probably for others: price.

Brunette poses in olive green dress on decrepit bridge.

Enter the second iteration of the Chriselle Lim Collection. I can’t speak to the sustainability of the manufacturing or materials, but I can speak to the quality of this gorgeous piece, the Marie Hanky Hem Midi Dress. The fabric has just the right amount of heft while still maintaining a nice flow. Cream polka dots pop sweetly against a vivid olive backdrop, and the self-tie sash makes the waist perfectly adjustable to your unique shape.

Brunette tucks hands in trench coat pockets in front of cherry blossom tree.

As far as sustainability goes, I can confidently say that this is a piece with serious staying power that will remain in my closet for a good, long time. Not to mention that this dress as well as the rest of the Chriselle Lim Collection is comfortably affordable. That’s already half the battle won.

Keep scrolling for more cherry blossom goodness, especially now that they’ve gone from the landscape.

Brunette cradles a frond of cherry blossoms.

Brunette poses with teal handbag in cherry blossom grove.
Shoes: M. Gemi (colorway no longer available) // Bag: Michael Kors

Brunette stands atop muddy stone stairs.

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