For big names like DVF, it seems reasonable for their textile designers to draw inspiration for their eclectic patterns from other countries' fashions. But for one small vintage boutique to send its team to Africa's Ivory Coast to gather as much locally made tribal fabric as they could find for a series of highly original dresses – well that's unheard of! But that's just what Kristi Paras, owner of downtown vintage boutique, Zachary's Smile, did.
First I heard, then I got excited, then I saw the prices…ouch. Boutiques are known for having more highly priced goods. They often sell small labels or American-made clothes (rare these days). But this chic boutique is called Zachary's Smile for a reason – and what a smile I have now. Two silhouettes in 60 exclusive prints will be available throughout the summer, under the Zachary's Smile White Label on sale at Athropologie for just $298 each. Still think that's pricey? Here's why it's worth your dollar:
"There is so much variety, so many fabrics, that there is very little chance someone will have the same dress as you," Paras says. "So much of what we already sell is one of a kind, so it's pretty cool to see someone like Anthropologie embracing that individuality."
One of a kind? I'd say that's pretty close to couture.
This dress and other Zachary's Smile dresses are only available in store at Anthropologie or Zachary's Smile in NYC – so for the rest of the population we've found some great tribal print dresses that you can buy right now – literally.
African prints and global ethnicity were prevalent on the runways for spring and this Oscar de la Renta piece ($1225, was $2450) is no exception. Cut in a flattering and unfussy style, the pockets allow you to work a relaxed silhouette for day.
A cinched waist gives this Nieves Lavi Sleeveless Dress ($264) an elegantly feminine appeal.
The Isla Ibiza Dress ($248) from anthropologie.com looks more African than Spanish to us with its beaded bib and silky leaf print.
For more summer styles, shop our trendy Dress Guide .