What’s hot in dresses for this summer.
By Susan Peck
Whether it’s the cabana calling, an outdoor café for dinner with friends or a backyard garden party, the one thing that’s spectacular on the beach or the street is a sizzling summer dress.
For sultry summer days and nights, you’ll want to embrace these cool trends from the latest resort wear to dresses for a more gala event.
While there’s no such thing as one quintessential summer dress, Zach Kay, owner of Found Objects, a Manhattan-chic boutique in Birmingham, is passionate about one thing.
“This summer, it’s all about lightweight layering,” he said. “Putting a flowing T-shirt over a light jersey dress and adding a summer jacket or fringed cotton cardigan will give you a completely polished look. And there’s the added benefit that if you’re going from the outdoors to air conditioning indoors, you can take off or add pieces so you’re always comfortable.”
Two current summer arrivals would work perfectly as the foundation for this look: either the solid black or black-and-white bird print muscle dresses from designer Pam & Gela. Just add a wispy layer and go.
Cranbrook and Parsons grad Kay says another trend is two-piece light knits that can be worn separately or look like a dress when worn together.
“We have designers that are offering a mix-and-match collection of pieces. One top will go with two different skirts that you can wear together or separately,” Kay said. “This makes it effortless to go from day to night just by switching a piece or your accessories, and it’s so easy and breezy for the summer.”
Found Objects is featuring a matching (or mix-and-match) print skirt and top from Mara Hoffman that will give you that kind of chic versatility.
You’ll also find artfully curated items at the boutique, such as their specially made over-sized Himalayan Trading Post hurricane candles. They add the perfect glow to your patio on a warm night.
Beachy Summer Fashion
Luxury resort and swimwear retailer Everything But Water at Somerset Collection in Troy is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a collection created by 30 of their most exciting designers, including Ale by Alessandra, Becca, Nanette LePore, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and more.
This limited-time only collection contains pieces inspired by Hollywood moments that include icons such as Rita Hayworth, Brigitte Bardot, Bo Derek and Angelina Jolie. This season, fantasy becomes reality as you don a replica swimsuit or sundress that’s Oscar-worthy by land or sea.
For a smashing summer look, check out Mara Hoffman’s black maxi tank gown with gold hand-beaded detailing inspired by The Great
Gatsby or Camilla’s Home of Deity silk caftan inspired by cinematic icon Elizabeth Taylor.
Everything But Water is your destination for head-to-sandy-toe beach style offered year-round. It also carries an exclusive selection of hats, sandals, travel accessories and D-plus bra-sized swimwear.
Some Like It Haute
Not every summer invitation calls for ultra-casual attire, so when you need to make a sensational fashion statement, Coqueta boutique in downtown Birmingham has the latest haute couture from Paris and Milan to create an unforgettable moment.
Owner Lama Tayeb is obsessed with her travels to New York and Europe, and her newest fashion destination, the Middle Eastern city of Dubai, to “find the perfect piece.”
“I travel to these fashion meccas all year long to recover stunning high-end dresses, shoes and handbags fit for fashion royalty,” Tayeb said. “In fact, Queen Letizia of Spain was seen carrying this Tissa Fontaneda Italian napa leather bag that I showcased in the store this summer.”
What’s haute this summer from Coqueta: The show-stopping fuschia silk dress from Italy with flamenco Spanish sleeves and a stunning Swarovski crystal neckline. Also, the Audrey Hepburn-
inspired black A-line dress with white stitching from a Parisian designer, perfectly accented with a pearl and gold Eiffel tower layered necklace. Dazzling exclusive Italian leather sandals and handbags in bright summer colors like orange, yellow and pink are perfect for rounding out your fashion with luxury flair. Remarkably, Tayeb isn’t interested in naming designers she showcases in her boutique.
“I don’t like to broadcast the exclusive designers I buy from because I don’t want others to get the lines that I have,” she said.
“It’s important I keep pieces exclusive to Coqueta boutique so when you buy something here this season, it’s unique as well as the the most interesting and elegant fashion.” NS
Everything But Water
2800 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
168 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham
142 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham