By Tina Smithers, Guest Blogger [Ruby Slippers NYC] "Pleasantly surprised" describes how I felt when I popped into the Gramercy Park Hotel to preview Ann Taylor's Spring 2011 collection earlier this month. I envisioned simple shift dresses, solid blocks of color and career separates, well suited for the hopeful Park Avenue fashionista. But what I got was a slew of classic pieces, each with a unique, eye-catching update. Bold prints on classic-cut shirts and dresses — think floral and leopard — along with rich textures like lace, metallic and fringe, prevail for spring. Styles like a polished seersucker blazer paired with dark denim shorts and a nautical-inspired sweater/shorts combo accessorized with boxy bracelets and a jeweled belt both caught my eye, and they perfectly defined Ann's motto for spring, "...the new casual as a polished way of dressing down." A beautiful burnished medallion necklace gifted to preview attendees was honestly the icing on the Spring 2011 cake.
Kudos to creative director Lisa Axelson - at I Heart Heels, we love the entire collection!
P.S. After the preview, guests were invited to an exclusive rooftop cocktail party at the GPH where tons of celebs showed, including Elizabeth Banks (below) Katrina Bowden and Olivia Palermo.
[Photos Courtesy Nitrolicious.com; Will Raggozino, Patrick McMullan, courtesy of Ann Taylor]