Haiku Style




Come outside too

just to see

this spring moon


Haiku, a Japanese poem structure, strives to capture the fleeting moments of time guided by simplicity of form and carefully chosen words within a three-line format. In the English language, that would translate into syllables of 5-7-5 with a total of 17 syllables for all three lines. The Japanese poems may not match this exact syllable count as the English language format of syllables is not used.  The 5-7-5 is the closest representation that can be achieved…using the English language… to capture the same brevity and style of the Haiku form.

The Haiku poet creates beauty within the expanse of one moment.  The poem above was composed by female Haiku poet Tei-jo  There is a long history of Japanese poets who carved out moments of time with their words just as there are many Japanese woodcut artists carving their visions into pine blocks.   I use all these Japanese traditions for inspiration as I carve out my own style.  These forms are found in many of my style stories.


beautiful, seen through holes

made in the paper screen:

the Milky Way


The Japanese aesthetic is a style story I greatly favor.  Erte and the Art Deco Period style embodied a strong Orientalist flavor.  I love Erte’s work and studied the shapes and silhouettes he created in his designs.  His designs, in the first half of the Twentieth Century, frequently borrowed elements of the Japanese style:  the kimono, obi belts, long flowing robes, clean fluid lines, and delicate ornamentation of the pieces and accessories. 

I also love the Japanese wood cut art form for the same reason. The traditional Moku  Hanga Japanese prints captured my imagination through their use of beautiful fluid lines, vibrant colors, and simplicity of form. These are some of the same principals that guide the Haiku form of poetry. I greatly admire the work of  HOKUSAI.  He is considered a master artist of the traditional Japanese woodcut print.  I hope you have the time and opportunity to admire his work.



The stillness!

the voice of the cicadas

     sinks into the rocks



on a bare branch

a crow has alighted…

autumn nightfall



I am wearing a light cotton tunic from dogstar, an Australian based line with a Japanese aesthetic.  I love their pieces and try to add a new piece each season. I have on my signature piece; the Eileen Fisher black harem pants.  Eileen Fisher captured the fluidity and lines of the Art-Deco/Japanese style in this particular piece.  The drop is very low and offers maximum comfort.  The volume is controlled by the gather at the ankle.  As a result, the Erte “vase-like” look is achieved.   Rather than an obi belt, I have used a perforated black leather belt from Marni which I found at the online consignment site, The RealReal.  I am wearing a necklace from Elk … an Australian based jewelry line.  The black “beads” of the necklace are in the shape of Ginkgo leaves.  I found this necklace at the Art Institute of Chicago gift store last summer.  The earrings are Monies and the bangles are vintage Bakelite.



Battle-weary kites

whip their tails against the wind

in a tilted war

                     Lisa White  *me

Below, you will find a collection of pictures that highlight my signature garment; the Eileen Fisher black harem pants.  I use them in many of my Japanese/Erte style stories.  Here, I have styled them with several different tops.  In the large picture on the right hand side,  I paired them with a top from Laura Tanzer.  It is in an Italian red linen and it is simply divine!  This is one of my spring/summer/fall favorites!

Other tops and sweaters are from Etro (sweater with one red sleeve), Storets (ruffle sleeve wrap blouse…check out their new jacket line!), Issey Miyake Pleats Please (peach top with Elk necklace paired with it), Stylewe (wide sleeve linen top with thin vertical stripes…again the Elk necklace is featured), Zara white kimono top with Madame Butterfly wrap, a white linen cape top from Free People.  The obi belt style feature is used in most of these outfits.



4 thoughts on “Haiku Style

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