Saturday, December 10, 2011
New Look's bird-print tea dress – at last!
When I said that New Look's bird-print tea dress was top of my autumn/winter wish list back in August, I didn't expect the frenzy it would cause.
Modelling a press sample in ELLE's September issue, this was the first piece of coverage the dress received. More followed from the likes of Grazia, The Mail on Sunday's You magazine and Channel 4's Gok's Fashion Fix.
Now, I know many of you have been anticipating this dress hitting stores as much as I have. You've told me in your comments, on Twitter, by email and even by letter. So, when the supposed launch in late October came and went without said dress appearing, I felt your disappointment.
Having spoken to New Look, it said delivery dates had, unfortunately, been delayed. But, to placate customers (and to cater for demand), its buyers placed an order for an additional 3,000 dresses. These hit flagship stores at the end of November, with a further 182 shops receiving them at the beginning of December. Plus, the dress is now available online at £24.99.
However, the tea dress that has gone into production isn't quite the same as the sample I wore. The fabric is more satin-shiny and the miniature sequin embellishment is absent. Short capped sleeves replace the longer original, while the ruched front looks less elegant without the tiny bow details. The demure below-the-knee length has risen a few inches, too.
That said, the dress's strongest detail, the cut-out back that reveals a sexy triangle of flesh, remains. As does the front keyhole slit. And it's still a stand-out high-street piece that captures the mood of Miu Miu's designer collection this season.
So, while this isn't the exact dress I'd set my heart on, the silver lining is that with party season on our doorsteps, it's very, very now. Wear it for work drinks or cocktails with friends or more family-orientated gatherings. Just go from sheer to thick tights, faux-fur capes to cable-knit cardies and heels to smart ankle boots to match the occasion.
Another bonus is, with less sparkle and glitz than the usual party dresses at this time of year, you're sure to get further wear out of it in 2012. So, was the dress worth the wait for you? Have I convinced you of its merits? Let me know.