When I first heard Anna Sui was doing a Target collection inspired by Gossip Girl, believe you me, I couldn’t contain my delight. Anna Sui is pretty popular in Japan and I used to frequent her pretty little jewel box of a store in Harajuku. The clothes were outside of my budget though; all I could afford was her very prettily packaged makeup. Gossip Girl is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine; my sister just moved into Blake Lively’s building in Greenwich Village, so hopefully the next time I’m in New York I’ll have my own “Spotted: Serena Van der Woodsen” moment. So when the news of a GG inspired, affordable Anna Sui collection came around I was practically bouncing around in my skin.
Until the lookbook came out.
Sadly, I wasn’t that impressed; not too much stood out to me. It was alright, I guess. I’d probably crushed everything with the weight of my expectation. Nonetheless, last night, in dire need of some shopping stress relief, I tripped on over to the local Target. The collection has only been out for about 4 days at this point, but by god, was that rack picked dry. Still, I was able to pick up a couple things to try on. And what a disappointment. The material was, in general, coarse to the touch and cheap to the eye. Sweaters were scratchy and cheap, the fits of everything mysterious (the XS sizes engulfed, but the numbered sizes varied WILDLY- more on that in just a bit). I was only able to find 3 dresses in my size, and here they are, in shaky hasty iphone photo form:
I’m not exactly sure why I picked this one up; it definitely isn’t my style. I think I just grabbed it because it was amongst the scant offerings of what was in my size and well, I was curious. I’m undecided about this. I think the waist is too high and there’s just a little something TOO circus girl from the 1950s about this. I think this was a “Jenny” dress. She’s into the big puffy skirts when she’s not doing her crazy drug-addict going through a stick of eyeliner a day look.
Again, not really my style, but in my size, so I figured I’d try it on. Bad, shaky photo, but I think the polyester looked pretty terrible. And that fit, ugh! It looks like I’m trying to hide a secret pregnancy. Completely, horrifyingly unflattering, and also just WAY too big and loose, even for something that had to be cinched with a fabric belt. I think this was supposed to be a Serena dress? I suppose she wears a lot of shiny, huge, floaty things, but the material of this dress was simply too unforgiving to do anything for the shape.
This was the only dress from the collection that interested me from the lookbook. Reader, I have a terrible confession to make. I totally fell in love with this dress. It flatters the figure, the cut is fantastic, it’s the classic Anna Sui colours, and the subtle metallic sheen to the fabric is so, so pretty. Only, it didn’t fit: it wouldn’t zip up all the way in the back. So, well, I still bought it. On the impulse that maybe, just maybe, this would be a dress that one could get on with assistance. Sadly, it was not the case. In any case, I’m either going to return it or sell it. This was a Blair piece, and not hard to see why: structured, classy, but with a little bit of bite.
Ok, here’s the part where I have to rant about not my disappointment, not the fabric, but the totally arbitrary and strange sizing. I’d heard this was under “juniors” sizing, but everything was wildly all over the place. XS pieces meant to drape didn’t drape, they were like blankets from an alien world engulfing me. And the number sizes were a white hot mess. Each of the dresses I tried above was a size 3, which works out because I wear a 2 or a 4 in America. The Jenny dress fit fine, the Serena dress was WAY too big, and I couldn’t zip up the Blair dress all the way. I also grabbed this lace number in a 5 on a whim. It was so small, I couldn’t even get it over my head! The clothes were clearly built for the small-busted; if you can’t tell from these pics, I am itty-bitty in the chest area- but I still felt like these were too constraining in that area, and if a flatty like me is having trouble, what the hell is the rest of America, who, well, actually have breasts, going to think?
Oh, Anna Sui. Well. I’ll forgive you if you send me one of your Houndstooth Jaquards in a zip-uppable 5.