Reviews: Perennial Blooms Shift, Land Of Springs Dress, Soft Borders Shift, Quiet Blush Dress, Kingston Road Dress, Tippi Dress

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Perennial Blooms Shift ($248) by Anna Sui, size up for curves
style #20404034, yellow (079)

To call the Perennial Blooms Shift ($248) a shift is deceptive -- on the hanger sure it looks straight, but once you try the dress on you discover that it's got some subtle tailoring to it. In truth this dress is very difficult to wear and is only going to flatter a select few. Why? It's cut loose up top which is great for larger chests, and there's an odd curvature to the midsection of the fabric. So if you're straight, boy-shaped or a pear, this dress is going to give you fits. Petites might have issues with where the curvy seams of the fabric hit -- if it's proportionally too high or too low the dress will look and feel odd. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

This dress didn't look perfect on me but I think it was tailored for an hourglass shape similar to mine. I think the funniest part of this dress is how it made my butt look rounder...curvier...something! I'm usually a 4 or a 6 in Anna Sui, but in this case I had to size up to a 10 to slide the dress over my thighs. This left the top portion loose, though not as loose as I expected. The sturdy linen material feels like a hardcover book. It's thick, which makes me wonder how comfortable the dress would be in the summer. I adore the pattern though. A mixed-size print that is executed very well. Still, I'm not as excited about this dress as I want to be. I gave this dress 4 stars because I like how it looked on me, but be warned that this dress is an odd duck. Wishlisted!

Land of Springs Dress ($118) by Weston Wear, TTS
style #20665717, blue motif (049) or red motif (069)

I see great potential in Weston Wear's Land of Springs Dress ($118), just not on me. I imagine the paparazzi snapping photos of one of the MTV reality chicks from out west in this dress. She'd look easy, breezy and tan with this dress loosely flowing too and fro. Introduce my curves to the mix however and the result isn't as flattering. Perhaps this has something to do with the thin horizontal stripes which emphasize my hips and thighs. Or maybe it's the stretchy rayon/spandex mix that works OK in tops but isn't really helpful in dress form.

My usual size medium slipped on easily. The top portion of this dress is very fun! The shoulder knots and drop neck (with a layer underneath, thank goodness) are casual and cool. I like the draped looseness of the top section. It's not overdone. I pondered adding a belt to the mix but the truth is it wouldn't help the stretching across my thighs. I don't think this dress is meant for me. Points for being made in the USA, but not enough to win me over. Back to the rack.

Soft Borders Shift ($298) by What Goes Around Comes Around, TTS
style #20410288, pink (066)

I wonder how Anthropologie collaborations are born. What Goes Around Comes Around just so happens to have a store two doors north of the Soho Anthropologie here in NYC. Does that mean that one day the Anthro team strolled to their right, met the label designers and a partnership was born? Perhaps the deal was sealed over drinks at Cipriani or pizza at Ben's. (Or a sandwich at Rheon, RIP. Sniff!) Many of you probably know the brand through Rachel Zoe. But for those who don't WGACA is one-part amazing vintage collection (mostly 70s, mostly $$$$) and one part in-house design/modern trend label. I was afraid to go into their store for a long time because of the imposing black metal stairs and intimidating signwork but truth be told the store is very fun and cute inside!

The in-house label releases really cool designs. Very 20-something trendy pieces with impeccable fabric choices. I don't know if Anthropologie has carried this line before but I'm excited to see it now. I'm not surprised that the first piece is a 70s-inspired peasant frock but I do hope to see some of WGACA's more modern, colorblocked pieces eventually. The Soft Borders Shift ($298) is an ethereal piece of Fleetwood Mac heaven rendered in silk and paisley. Anthro's website would have you believe this dress is pink...I'm going with brown, maybe peach at my most generous.

A medium fit well. I like the slightly puffy sleeves and the loose elegance of this dress. It sorely needs a belt on me but otherwise looked and felt great. Wide pleated smocking in the back helps with shape while the front placket keeps the dress from being too 1-dimensional. This dress is not my style at all but it is beautiful. Is it worth full price? I think so. Back to the rack for me, but highly recommended!

Quiet Blush Dress ($168) by Moulinette Souers, TTS
style #20367496, pink (066)

Nope. There's my one-word review. My guess is that Moulinette Soeurs' Quiet Blush Dress ($168) was supposed to be this year's Drifting By Dress -- a dreamy, super-feminine dress that cooed to Anthro fans everywhere. The ideas here are right. Pleated skirts are on-trend; the midcentury shape recalls housewives of yore. It even has the same oddly sheer shoulders as its predecessor. Yet this dress falls far short on execution for me. Rayon/polyester? No thanks. And that's just the beginning.

The pleats are wide -- too wide in my opinion. They look messy and make the top portion look heavier. The big pockets aren't helping. It's nice that this dress has a clearly defined waist (the sash was missing on my dress) but wow does this dress make me look wide. That is not the look I'm going for. Pass, pass, pass. I tried on a medium for reference.

Kingston Road Dress ($228) by Eva Franco, TTS
style #20690236, yellow (079)

This is the prettiest beach towel I've ever worn! I had a towel with these exact stripes as a kid; I wish I had a photo to share. It lent a deep sense of nostalgia to the Kingston Road Dress ($228). I love the model shot of this dress but knew immediately I was in trouble as the v-neck is quite low cut. The material is nubby cotton as Anthropologie puts it that feels light and airy.

My usual size 6 fit perfectly, even over my jeans in the dressing room. The sash is pleasantly like the one the product shows and can be tied either forwards or backwards. Again my only issue is the low cut v in the front. For me this means a layering cami is necessary which reduces this dress's utility. It would make a great bathing suit cover-up, but a very expensive one. Wishlisted for reconsideration at sale time.

Tippi Dress ($268) by Anna Sui, TTS
style #20050183, blue motif (049)

As this set began, so too shall it close. Anna Sui's second appearance in this reviews set comes via the Tippi Dress ($268), a whimsical frock that I am in love with! The pretty blue-green base hosts a landscape of spooky houses and a flock of birds that feel slightly Hitchcockian with a Suessical twist. The dress's shape is endlessly fun too -- I left the drawstring waist quite loose so the dress could just fall, but you can also draw it in to define your waist.

My usual size 6 fit easily over my jeans. The slight ruffle along the neckline is a nice touch and the skirt moves wonderfully as you walk. The lightest silk is used to make this dress and it feels chill on. I am in love! Throw a blazer over this one and I'm wearing it to work. Wishlisted for now.