I am indebted to DisneyRollerGirl for highlighting the Antoni & Alison dresses that have been designed for John Lewis to celebrate the retailer’s 150th anniversary. Sadly by the time I clicked on the links on her post, most of the dresses had sold out on line. So when I saw them on the shop floor of the Oxford Street John Lewis (I was just passing….) I nearly embarrassed myself in my hurry to grab my favourite.
I really wanted one of the gorgeous Antoni & Alison oversized digital print dresses when they first came out a couple of seasons ago. But they were quite expensive and by the time I got my act together, I missed the best ones. I couldn’t believe my luck when the pair collaborated with John Lewis to produce a range of similar styles this summer. They are very lovely, 100% silk dresses with full linings (in polyester) although only available up to a large, and that’s not huge.
It’s the prints that make them, they’re a weirdly attractive mix of oversized images of reality, mashed up in a decoratively placed manner. At £150 they aren’t cheap but they are delightful – I love their timeless appeal and that they are very easy to wear, I was sorely tempted to buy two, but ended up editing my (considerable) changing room try-on pile to just the Number 5 Real Rose dress, which I bought in the large.
It has a lovely easy neckline, elbow-length sleeves and the print is fabulous. There are 3-4 styles, I tried them all and I found the fit on the straighter one best for me. The Number 4 Jam Sandwich dress was a close second, but the neckline is more scooped (trickier with bra straps) and the sleeve length probably better on the slender. If you are slender, buy this without hesitation….
If the No1 Fork Dress had been there, I suspect I’d have bought that too as it feature the Barbara Hepworth sculpture that adorns the side of the Oxford Street store The sleeveless style is a generous fit but y’know, sleeveless. There were lots on the shop floor, so maybe there are a few around the country too. If you like the look of them, either watch the website or nip into a biggish branch sharpish and see if they have any left. And then there’s the really delightful Lucienne Day printed cotton range, particularly this mono print 1954 Cocoon Dress . Lucienne Day was a print designer who worked for John Lewis 1962-87 and this is one of her exclusive designs, available for the first time in clothes. The dress is again a lovely generous fit, and hit my lower mid thigh (I’m 5’7″). I suspect this would be very good on shorter readers with a love of mid 50s prints ( you know who you are….).