The Accidental Oriental Look at Lan Su Chinese Garden

Thank you for your positive feedback from my first Seattle City Guide. If you’ve missed it, you can read it here. Today’s blog post is a casual catch-up chit chatting about the outfit and the location of this photo shoot.

Lan Su Chinese Garden was such a nice surprise for us in Portland (Read my Oregon Travel Diary here!). After lunch on our second day, my boyfriend and I were just driving around hunting for cool outfit locations and had such a hard time. Parking was not free, and the popular street corners where there were lots of restaurants and shops were of course extremely busy. I ended up passing by Lan Sun and had to turn back and give it a try. There was a $10 fee per person. I felt like I needed to dress up a bit, so I changed quickly in the car into this outfit.

When traveling, especially by car, it is convenient most of the time because I can literally pack my entire closet with any shoes and accessories that I want. But it is tiring! Changing in the car is a lot of the time safe but awkward as I have to watch for people. My boyfriend often has to stand right by the door to prevent any pairs of wandering eyes. I am used to it and get quite fast these days. So yes! One of the main goals of this Oregon trip was to shoot or preshoot enough content to post for 2 weeks. I shared this with you guys on my Insta-stories couple days ago about that already. My boyfriend is back, and finally we will get back to our normal shooting schedule this weekend. And I am excited!

I knew that Chinese people use a lot of red and intricate wood decor and carving in their architecture. It’s a garden, so of course there must be a water of some sort and plants. And to my surprise, my outfit (dressed very last minute) ended up matching the surrounding perfectly. I opted for the woven net bag that I just bought from an Etsy shop Xinh and Co. (read my blog post, here!) and a pair of pearly heels. I kept my hair in a low pony with some side fringe framing the face and went for a darker burgundy red lip. I loved how this whole shoot turned out.

As we entered the courtyard, an old gentleman handed us the brochure with pictures and nice little intro to the garden. The name Lan Su Chinese Garden represents the relationship between Portland and Suzhou. Suzhou was China’s most sophisticated metropolis from 14th to 19th centuries. The garden was built using most of the materials from China, and 65 artisans from Suzhou lived in Portland for 10 months while they assembled and completed the hand-crafted structures. It was completed in 2000. The garden is not only a tourist attraction, a historical gem but also a place where people, ideas, and culture intermingles.

The rock mosaic underfoot that complement my pearly heels so well.

There were doorways and windows that form views within views. They call this gate below a circular moon gate. The inscriptions above it remind us to look for meanings and use our senses in new ways.

Standing in front of the Moon Locking Pavilion.

What do you think? Would you give Lan Su Chinese Garden a visit when in Portland? I am obsessed with the intricate windows, the plan varieties, the cute little pond in the middle, and every corner is worth a photo. Also, don’t forget to check out Urban Outfitters, they have so many amazing summer dress options, and this one if definitely is worth to have in your summer dress collection for sure! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend.


the bag: Toko net bag Xinh & Co.

the pearly heels: Jeffrey Campbell (bought last summer at Nordstrom, style sold out, but I’ve linked similar ones below.)

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Photos by Toan Chu at Lan Su Chinese Garden (220 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 1050, Portland, Oregon 97209)

An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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