As written for iheartheels.com
"Pleasantly surprised" describes how I felt when I popped into the Gramercy Park Hotel to preview Ann Taylor's Spring 2011 collection earlier this month. I envisioned simple shift dresses, solid blocks of color and career separates, well suited for the hopeful Park Avenue fashionista. But what I got was a slew of classic pieces, each with a unique, eye-catching update. Bold prints on classic-cut shirts and dresses — think floral and leopard — along with rich textures like lace, metallic and fringe, prevail for spring. Styles like a polished seersucker blazer paired with dark denim shorts and a nautical-inspired sweater/shorts combo accessorized with boxy bracelets and a jeweled belt both caught my eye, and they perfectly defined Ann's motto for spring, "...the new casual as a polished way of dressing down." A beautiful burnished medallion necklace gifted to preview attendees was honestly the icing on the Spring 2011 cake. Well done, Ann!