Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spring Skirts With A Carnival Twist

A-line dress
With springtime fashion right around the corner, many designers have put out some fashionable designs. But the one that some women are telling me to watch is almost surprising — the colors are bright, the patterns vibrant and the style somewhat redesigned retro.

Of course, not all of them are bright and indie pop cheery. There are a couple of designs that retain a more mature and muted look from the new Ferris Wheel line from Shabby Apple. And even if none of those seem to fit, the always interesting designer has plenty of darker lines.

When life feels bright, there's always Ferris Wheel. 

Much of the allure of these spring-to-summer skirts that add some West Coast spark is the emphasis on high waists that carry a classic glamour. The general idea is to bring up the waist and add some length to the legs, making some women look slimmer and taller all around.

What made the line really stand out are the colors. Most of them are bright and festive, creating a carnival-like feel much like the name of the line suggests. The Ferris Wheel line adequately captures the shoot location — these are boardwalk and amusement park designs that are casual and eye catching. The hero of the line‚ the Calliope skirt, makes the right the statement.

dirndl skirt
The Calliope skirt (above), as it is called, takes a standard A-line cut and then dresses it up with a tie sash, negating the need for a belt and adding a festive, exotic feel to the look. It's a little bit retro feminine, decorated with a multi-colored lemon print.

This isn't the only print that defines a line of skirts that brought in the waist before adding some flair around the hips. Some of the other colors are maybe a bit more sensible in solids or small checkers. With a little creativity, accessories could make the skirts look a little tougher too.
sun dress
Not everything about the new Shabby Apple line is about free-flowing skirts. The theme goes beyond a single cut to include dresses that feature a fitted bodice with full dirndl skirt or fitted dresses with trumpet skirts. The latter is one of my favorites, a throwback with a sophisticated disposition instead of so sunny.

The material for the style called Ocean Plunge is a bit different too. It's 100 percent rayon while the skirts are all cotton. The rayon likely gives it some sheen and helps the dress fit to the body. And it's easy to tell that the style was inspired more by the 40s as opposed to the 50s like the skirt. (Ferris Wheel also includes some blouses that fit nicely with Capri or skinny pants, reaching for the 1960s as well.)

A little more about Shabby Apple. 

This isn't the first time that Shabby Apple has caught some attention, mostly because the styles tend to find balance between femininity and feminism. Some people might find this an odd mix, but it really isn't once you learn a little more about co-founder Athelia 'CK' Woolley.

She was never a one-dimensional woman, but rather someone who had an interest in everything from dance and art history to neuroscience. Unfortunately, her decision to study dance was cut short as health problems forced her to return home right out of graduate school.

Fortunately, even after being diagnosed with Addison's disease and learning she would never dance again, her return home eventually reunited her with long-time friend Emily McCormick. She too was looking for an alternative career, maybe a business. After reading an incredibly simple book on fashion design and placing a fabric order, the two suddenly had a business.

The Ferris Wheel Line By Shabby Apple Shines 6.5 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

According to Woolley, she originally turned toward making a more vintage look because she had some curves and always felt older cuts fit her better. Today, a few years since the start of the business, Shabby Apple has become synonymous with modernized versions of these timeless vintage cuts.

You can find the complete Ferris Wheel collection at Shabby Apple. Materials and prices vary, with this collection being among the most modestly priced. The collection ranges from $38 tops to $98 dresses. The skirts themselves are a steal at only $55. The skirts, but not every design, includes a slip.
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