Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Currently Loving: Anna Sui

I think everybody secretly wants to be a gypsy. Just a little bit. There's some romantic (and idealized, I know) about the nomadic lifestyle, and I mean, who didn't dress up as Esmeralda from Hunchback of Notre Dame for Halloween? I know I did. Summetime always makes me want to go a little boho, but peasant skirts and tops are a little boring. That's why I channel gypsies. I know literally dressing up as a gypsy on a daily basis is a little ridiculous, but there are ways to acheive that boho, folky, dark, quirky style in real life. That's where Anna Sui comes in. Her slightly dark take on that classic bohemian style is timeless and seriously covetable. Her stuff is generally really expensive, but Net-A-Porter has a bunch of Anna Sui on sale right now, and Anthropologie also carries a sort of Anna Sui diffusion line for less than $300. Here are my Anna Sui picks for right now:

Embroidered Pompoms Dress, $812 at, Colorblock Sleeveless Dress, $497 at, Scholar's Garden Dress, $198 at Yes, it's ridiculously expensive, but that black and white dress is so darn cute. The balance between the mini-length and boxy shape is perfect, and instead of looking kitschy, the pompoms look cute and festive when moderated by the black. Black/white together are a big trend for fall, but sometimes I think the combination can be a little harsh sometimes. Here it works because the black is obviously the major color, and the white is purely decorative. Plus, the pattern has a bit of a tribal vibe, also on-trend for fall. The shape of that middle shift dress is so classically chic and flattering (see how it comes in a bit at the waist?), but the purple/fuschia color combo is really fresh and young. I love the funky details of the y-shape at the neck and the geometric/floral patterns on the bottom hem. This would be a really easy piece to dress up and down too, and would be so, so cute with a little motorcycle jacket and some woven sandals. This last dress is from the Anna Sui/Anthropologie collaboration, and the print really reminds me of Spring's Miu Miu collection, with the classical, mosaic-esque pattern. The trim at the neckline and waist are really flattering, and the skirt is so fun and full! And less than $200 for Anna Sui is a seriously awesome deal.

Butterfly Rose Garden Dress, $1,861 at, Multicolored Silk Print Dress, originally $520 down to $364 at, Printed Bandeau Dress, originally $410 down to $287 at I know that caftan-esque dress is totally unrealistic, but it's SO CUTE. In white and red, or white and blue, or any other colors, it would be a little kitschy and overwhelming, but in contrasting black and white it's almost a little goth, with a bit of a tribal/folksy vibe. That quirkiness, combined with the cropped sleeves, makes this a seriously statement-making mini-dress. I want to float around a tropical island in that dress and a pair of oversized sunglasses and pretend to be famous. Just kidding. Kind of. These last two dresses are a really good deal. The middle dress is bright enough to fit into the neon trend, but still subtle enough to be wearable beyond next fall. The draping and ruching on the bust is flattering and adds a lot of visual interest, and the split skirt and light fabric mean that the dress is going to move so well. And how cute is that print? I love this last dress. Yes, it is the infamously unflattering babydoll shape, but I think the short length and the slimness of the skirt mediate the high waist-line. The buttons down the front and the horsey print are so folksily adorable, and the dress' shape keeps the whole look modern.

Of course, Anna Sui isn't the only place to get this look. What differentiates boho from what I'd call 'gypsy' is that a gypsy-esque look is boho, but it's also quirky, folksy, and a little darker/edgier than the traditional boho look. Think Esmeralda, not Sienna Miller.

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