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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Anna Sui For Target Fitting Room Review

Anna Sui for Target
With mild enthusiasm in my heart, I schlepped to Target last night to inspect Anna Sui's Gossip Girl-influenced designs for the mass retailer. Don't get me wrong, I do watch Gossip Girl, however, being well past high school and college, I was probably not the target demographic for this collection. With the intention of scooping up the Blair-inspired tablecloth dress (the one with the blue bow), I slowly browsed the 4 racks and noted that the entire collection, including the one dress I truly wanted, was not in stock. Knowing that they only allow six items at a time in the always-stuffy-and-never-air-conditioned fitting rooms, I grabbed a few of my favorites and headed off to snap some photos.
Anna Sui for Target
First up, the purple duet tee, which I found to be terrible itchy around the neckline due to the tulle. I tried on a size small and was happy with the fitted silhouette. The quality seemed decent, and I liked the jeweled embellishments at the neckline, however, it was just too itchy for me.
Anna Sui for Target
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The next piece I tried was the gray tee with a doily-esque neckline detail, complete with fringing. The pretty details also continue on the back of the shirt. Although the length was longer than I desired, I figured I'd tuck it in for a different silhouette. It should be noted that the tee is slightly sheer, and made of a lightweight tencel, which I found to be incredibly comfortable. I tried on a size small, and found it to be a bit roomy. (After all was said and done, this was the only piece I bought.)

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As much as I wanted to like the polyester metallic jacquard dress, it was unbearably itchy, like the purple tee, and I couldn't wait to take it off. I loved the mix of warm yellow tones with cool blue and black hues in addition to the lustrous finish. I tried on a size 1, and found it to run a bit big, as my usual size is 3 or 5. The fabric tie belt allows for a custom fit, and the threaded metallic detail can be appreciated much better in person. Just as with a few other dresses in the line, I found the hook and eye closures at the back neck to be difficult to fasten and unfasten.

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As I shopped the racks, a young woman walked by this metallic bouclé dress and commented, "wow, this is strange." Indeed, the neckline detail seemed to be executed poorly, and slightly itchy. It was also too low cut for my tastes, although the fabric was hefty, and the dress had a feature which I love - side pockets. The back of the dress (not pictured) exposes some skin, but overall, I found the boxy, A-line fit to be unflattering on me. For reference, I tried on a size 3.
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Upon inspecting the herringbone dress, I liked the velvet trim, the stud details, and the quality of the sturdy cotton fabric. The velvet trim reminded me of the cage skirts that Susie Bubble has popularized. I tried on a size 3, and liked the slightly roomy A-line silhouette, although the dress was a bit longer than I would've liked. I think this dress would look great worn to the office when paired with a cropped, tailored blazer and some mary janes. Just a quality note - upon taking a closer look at the neckline, I found some threads that could've used some trimming.
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The lace halter dress (in a size 3) had an easy fit, except for the collar neckline, which practically choked me. The back neckline closure was tricky, and found it to be too low-cut in the front. It seemed well made, although not something I could see myself wearing. Two things I liked about this frock: there is a chic champagne-colored lining, and the waistline is nicely tailored.
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The blue foulard dress, my favorite of all the dresses I tried on, had a lightweight feel, and was made of polyester. The addition of a stretchy belt was a plus, as I wear belts with many of my dresses. (What better way to cinch in the waist and create a more fitted shape?) I liked the puffy sleeves, frilly neckline detail, and the secretary-like tie. I found the 3/4-sleeve length to be awkward though, and would've preferred either short sleeves or full length sleeves. This dress was so amazingly comfortable, I think it would work just as well for summer nights as for cool fall days. I tried on an extra small, but struggled with the back zipper, as it kept getting stuck. Despite the pesky zipper and odd sleeve length, I think I may go back for this dress, we'll have to see...
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Lastly, the bird tee was an unexpected surprise, as it wasn't in the lookbook, and I didn't see it in any of the reviews of the recent Anna Sui for Target pop-up shop in NYC. I liked the bird appliqué, but thought the black polyester trim was ungraceful, as the sleeves bunched up in an unflattering manner on the inside. For reference, I tried on a small, and the fit was snug, although comfortable.
In general, I was pleased with the attention to detail and the tailoring in this collection, and liked the variety of colors and prints. I would've liked to have seen more bottoms in this collection, as it was heavy on dresses. With regards to the pricing, I think many Target customers might have trouble paying as much as $69.99 for a dress. On the other hand, Anna Sui fans may be happy to grab her designs at such price points.
When choosing what to try on, I steered clear of the Vanessa-inspired brown/orange/mustard pieces, as those colors simply don't flatter me and I know I'd never wear them. Knowing that Christopher Kane for Topshop and Rodarte for Target are on the horizon probably influenced me to buy less, as I anticipate splurging on some of those pieces.