Yay! I get to bring you some Althea Harper love on Valentine's Day! I can't believe how that worked out. Seriously, I've been very blessed over the last year to have gotten to know this incredible (young and talented and totally awesome to hang out with) designer. There is so much to love in her line, and I do believe Althea has something for every woman (even though some of us may be scared off by form-fitting comfy dresses). Did I just say "formfitting" and "comfy" in the same sentence? Yes I did! So many of Althea's dress are exactly that. Anyway, I digress. Let's get on to the new selection because there is so much I can gush about. And gush I will!
First off, here's why I love this collection so much:
- The Color Palette - the purples, greys, blacks, even darker burgundy and wild prints are all shades I personally could feel comfortable wearing.
- The Separates - you can mix and match so many of these pieces. I think you can do this with so much of Althea's collections, but this in particular seems so much more accessible to being able to add pops of "Althea" to your own personal style.
- Accessible Glamor - None of these looks are over the top "OMG! How could anyone wear that???" Not that many of Althea's items ever fall into that category. But so much more so than any of Althea's other collections, I can see pieces for many types of bodies. You'll see what I mean.
Let's start with outfits that look like they fell out of my dream closet, shall we?
An Outfit Just for Styrch!!!
Me Me Me Me Me!!!!! Seriously, when I saw this outfit it yelled "I BELONG IN YOUR CLOSET, STYRCH!!!!" and then it said "NOT IN YOUR CLOSET, YOUR LAUNDRY BASKET BECAUSE YOU'LL WEAR PARTS OF ME ONCE A WEEK AT LEAST!!!". I'm counting skirt, shirt, arm warmers and scarf. A hefty haul to be sure. But this is how I like to dress on a regular basis, particularly when traveling. Items can be dressed up or down, and I can use each piece with something else. But I am in love with the styling here and would wear it as is. Sign me up, Althea - you have my order right here!
The Awesome Dress I'll NEVER Wear...
The dress to the left seems to be the signature piece of the collection. I say that because normally Althea's collections have one or two items that just make your jaw drop. This dress is one of them. Best yet, if you dig the skirt but aren't sure about the plunging neckline the same motif is expressed in a skirt:
I at least want the top off that outfit above.
The WOW Dress
Ladies with tiny waists rejoice! This is the dress for you! This is also probably the dress my husband would adore. In fact, I asked him last night and it was the dress he picked, hands down. He loves a flouncy skirt, and this fits the bill!
Dressed Down Sexy-like
Easy to wear, slouchy and comfortable. The above piece is clear winner in my book. I picture myself trying to wear it with a coordinating tank underneath.But if you prefer it without the waist tied...
Althea's got you covered there too!
Variations on Previous Themes From Previous Collections
With the success of the Spring 2012 dress with the straps with the sleeves off the shoulder, I think Althea has decided to play with lengths, neckline, and indeed sleeve length in the next few iterations:
Shoulder Cut-out 1:
I'm in love with this dress too. The larger images show the traditional Althea Harper form lines in the dress. They are muted because of the color but the effect is the same. If you want to accentuate and compliment the female form, this is a dress for you. For practicality reasons, it may be the dress I choose. Note the deep v-neck instead of the more demure square neckline of the previous spring incarnation.
Shoulder Cut-out 2:
And then Althea gives us her signature knee-length form fitting dress but with sheer sleeve cut outs. LOVE!
Shoulder Cut-Out 3:
And then the sheer sleeves got longer! See... if you look closely those are sheer sleeves.
Shoulder Cut-out 4:
And then they became more pronounced.
And the Shirt-Dress is Back:
And the Longer Version too...
And of course, it is also just a shirt...
And of course we have Jackets!!!
This seems to be the BLAZER of the bunch. I can't say I dig it as much as the Browning Jacket from Fall 2011 but that's ok because Althea's also showing something different that interests me...
It's like a vest! But like a Blazer! Oh my! I must have it. I must!!!!
But I'm not so into this other jacket/wrap thing at this time...
Notice the awesome leggings from Fall 2011 have gotten an update. There are the same sheer cut outs, but this one has zipper details. Yes, the leggings go on my wishlist too.
You can see the leggings again in this outfit pairing...
These leggings are slightly more revealing but I'm digging the apparent zippers. I also want to see more of that shirt!
The GOWNS I haven't shown you yet...
Because there are always more gowns.
I'm digging the shape, but I don't like the color-print on this one. It might be one of the few things that I don't like in this collection.
A floor length gown paired with the arm warmers I was admiring earlier I think. Note the sheer sides. They dip further inward than Althea has in the past. I'm sure this is an opportunity for many of you side-boob lovers out there. If you've got gorgeous side-boobs, go for it!
Here are some exceedingly basic, but very Althea, items that I consider staples...
This dress may belong in my favorites. It easily has a place in my wardrobe. I can only hope that this tank dress is as comfortable as Althea's Sittella line. If so, yes please! I do want to see what's going on on the right side of this dress... the model looks like she's holding a string. Does it cinch? I think I see ties...
And a sweater!!! I always love Althea's knitwear. It always looks so cozy.
And then there's an outfit I don't understand...
Maybe it's the shoes or the pose, but I'm not totally digging two slouchy things at once here. I may need to look at this in more detail later on. Hopefully I'll be able to see it in person. There is an advantage to seeing Althea Harper's clothing in person - for me if I don't like it the item is often better than I originally thought.
So what caught your eye? Anything? Me... EVERYTHING! I am ready to take my current fall wardrobe to goodwill and grab all new stuff from this. I had better start saving!
Photos and video are courtesy of Althea Harper.