Spring is in the air, which means it's time to pack away the winter clothes and refresh the closet with spring dresses. Everyone (including yours truly) was buzzing about bubble dresses last season, but things have gone a bit overboard. Functionally, how many bubble dresses does a girl need? One. Okay, two at most. You wouldn't want to be known around town as the "tulip girl," would you? Thankfully, there are plenty of non-bubble styles for the new season.
A dress shape that can be worked in a myriad of ways is the silk tunic. It's a ladies-who-lunch style for the average woman. Zara is really pushing this look - carrying plenty of bold prints worked into capped, three-quarter and long sleeve silk dresses that fall at various lengths above the knee. In the cooler spring weather they go well with skinny jeans or mid-calf leggings, and when warmer weather hits these will look great with bare legs and sandals. While we love certain pieces from Zara's affordable collection (starting at RMB 399), our favorite find was Kookai's black, white and crimson V-neck dress with its beautiful floral pattern, wide sleeves and obi sash (RMB 2,390).
Speaking of dresses, anyone who has opened Vogue in the last three months would have seen FCUK's ads featuring a short-sleeve, black mini-dress with chunky, gold sequined stripes. This dress is hot! It's a glammed-up version of the T-shirt dress - another of spring's must haves - except better, because it ain't cotton or jersey. Beijing's French Connection store finally has it in stock, but only in black (RMB 1,499).
Let's get back to that silk tunic... for those who don't want to bare the legs, the tunic-cut works fabulously as a top. It adds a bit of class to a pair of jeans, or tones down the office uniform. Shanghai Tang, the purveyor of all things silk, has a gorgeous V-neck top with bell sleeves and Chinese-inspired embroidery (RMB 1,910). Also in store, and keeping with the spring-vibe, their chinoiserie take on the classic trench coat is another winner. It's pale beige silk, with off-center Chinese buttons, and the bottom is peppered with the funky embroidery of a city skyline. All that loveliness will set you back a pretty penny, however. The salesgirl at the Hyatt store couldn't find the price tag, but it retails at USD 785 online. I guess affordable luxury is an oxymoron after all.