Consider it the off-duty equivalent of your failsafe LBD – the shirt dress is as much a daywear essential as your Breton stripe tee and boyfriend jeans.
But it’s a design that can get a bad rap. “It’s really hard to make a good shirt dress, because it can look quite corporate, and not very ‘fashion’, says Sydney-based designer Anna Quan.
The winner of the 2017 Prix de marie claire Next Gen Award, sponsored by Lexus, would know: she’s the woman behind the crisp white shirts with oversized cuffs that have taken Instagram by storm, thanks to street style stars like Amanda Shadforth, Sara Donaldson and Camille Charriere wearing them like they’re going out of fashion (hot tip: they’re definitely not).
But back to her latest creation. “A lot of the time people design shirt dresses that look like an elongated shirt, but I wanted to re-conceptualise it, make it more fitted, find small ways to tweak it that would have profound impact on the overall aesthetic,” Quan says. “Anna Quan is about brave design – it’s about taking the everyday, elevating it and making it special.”
She’s done just that: with its billowing sleeves, gently cinched waist, gleaming gold buttons and distinctive high neck, this is a shirt dress that’s classic yet deliberately off-kilter.
“By tweaking a few of the key elements that would make up a regular shirt dress we can defy that corporate perception and create something completely different and make it slightly off-centre, and that is what Anna Quan is all about,” the designer says.
Expect to see it popping up all over your Instagram feed any day now.
Lexus is proud to support Prix de marie claire, and the Next Gen Award, which recognises and supports emerging fashion talent.