The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: Anna Sui for Target

I had a ball trying on the latest designer collection for Target by the great Anna Sui, which launched in stores and online yesterday, perfectly timed with tonight's season premiere of Gossip Girl. The color palette reminded me of Halloween: Pumpkin orange, yellow ochre, lots of cat black, dark purple and splashes of blood red.

Fabrics ranged from flowy, chiffon-like polyester blends, some jacquard, some silk, even mohair for the wrap sweaters, cotton tees, to stiffer tweed and brocade-like fabrics with metallic threads running through two of the dresses. Lace trim, velvet ribbon, tassles, and beads added fun and unique embellishments. The theme running throughout the collection was inspired by the main characters in the popular teen drama Gossip Girl: Vanessa, Blair, Serena and Jenny. (But you don't have to be a fan of the show to fall in love with this collection!)

Styles ranged from a Downtown-cool puffer vest to a prim-and-proper Uptown dress with a high-collar, long cuffed sleeves and bow detail (my favorite piece in the collection!). I also loved this herringbone dress for its versatility, and this seersucker dress, an utterly unboring LBD that could pass for designer.

However, I was sorely disappointed by the price tags! There is no reason why the dresses in this collection should cost more than a typical GO collection, since by all measures, the quality was the same. As you've probably seen online, dresses range from approx. $44.99 to $69.99. Gulp! Despite my enthusiasm, I decided to wait a while before making any purchases.

Which pieces do you love? What did you buy?

All those pieces look lovely on you. I went to Target yesterday in hopes of seeing this collection in person, but my they haven't brought it to my local store. I love that orange/brown sleeveless wrap dress.
#1 The Cheap Chica (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 11:40 (Reply)
i meant to say my store didn't have the anna sui collection in
#1.1 The Cheap Chica (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 13:35 (Reply)
i've been unimpressed with target's collaborations recently, but all of those pieces are AMAZING!
#2 cupcakes and cashmere (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 12:11 (Reply)
I'm so depressed! Everything was sold out online!!!
#3 Grace (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 12:22 (Reply)
I am selling the Blair Table Cloth lace dress in a size XS on Ebay. I bought this w/o trying it on and sadly it doesnt fit Hopefully someone else can enjoy this cute dress!

the item number is 230377906505
#3.1 Suzy on 2009-09-14 21:13 (Reply)
I saw some of the collection yesterday and was totally underwhelmed, they do look nice on you all the same.
#4 Deb on 2009-09-14 12:40 (Reply)
Man oh Man, I went through the same thing. I traveled the distance to the Target that carried it looking for a skirt I spotted in a magazine. They didn't have it but I love that blue dress. The prices are too high for Target. I found a dress for $60. No thank you!
#5 Dina's Days (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 13:18 (Reply)
I have to agree. I checked out all the pieces but couldn't stomach buying a dress for $60 when I didn't think that the quality was all that fantastic. They are however very cute, and do fit well, so maybe if anything is left I will pic up my favorite at a later date.
#6 Jill on 2009-09-14 13:32 (Reply)
I ended up getting the black and cream wrap dress similar to the orange one you tried on. Price was kinda steep but I think I'll get alot of wear out of for many seasons. It doesn't look like it will become dated like some of the other pieces. I felt too many of them were costumey.
#7 Tracie on 2009-09-14 13:36 (Reply)
i can't seem to pay that amt for a dress from the Target Go Collection. i'll probably wait for it to go on sale and then reconsider :-D thanks for the pictures, they look real good on you!
#8 leeh on 2009-09-14 13:48 (Reply)
Hmmm, I'll just wait until December/January when this hits the clearance rack for like 75% off. lol. IMO, Target pieces should never be $69.99.

Everything looks fab on you though.
#9 Joann on 2009-09-14 13:50 (Reply)
My fav is the one you're wearing in the second set of photos, the first dress. And your photos look much better than those on the Target site! But $60? I'm sure they'll be on sale in a week or so.
#10 Katie (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 14:39 (Reply)
What a gorgeous array of dresses! But dang, you are right - why the price hike, Target?
#11 Sally (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 14:52 (Reply)
i ponied up for the herringbone dress, but that's because i'd been patiently stalking it for MONTHS, couldn't find it in store, and things were already selling out online. i had already built outfits around this dress in my head. I HAD TO DO IT.

stupid target and your stupid jacked up prices. boo.
#12 hanna (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 16:03 (Reply)
It's great to see some real life photos of the dresses. I didn't realize the line was so expensive. I'll probably wait to check it out when it's on sale/clearance so I don't tempt myself into buying anything.

I was actually wondering what black flats you're wearing in the photos. I'm always on the look out for comfortable, black, round toe flats with a somewhat substantial sole.
#13 G on 2009-09-14 16:08 (Reply)
The flats are from the Gap, last winter I think. I wish I had bought a couple pairs because they are the most comfortable flats I've ever owned.
#13.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-09-15 19:26 (Reply)
I tried on the dark blue with black lace details and the bow in front (your 6th picture) and was quite impressed with the quality and the fit. I loved the color of it.

However, I didn't feel like paying $69.99 for it! So I put it back. Boo.
#14 LA Daze (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 17:02 (Reply)
I loved the cute dresses in this collection, and was surprised to find them a few days earlier than advertised in my local Target. However I cannot justify spending $60 on a Target dress, no matter who the designer is. I think I'll wait for these to hit the sale racks!
#15 Annie on 2009-09-14 17:16 (Reply)
I am never excited about the designer collections at Target, and this one is no exception. I think the clothes are hideous. Honestly, I really like what they have been doing with their Merona collections and would rather spend my money there.
#16 killa kate on 2009-09-14 17:39 (Reply)
Anna Sui's collection is not part of Target's Go International series. Its just like what they did with McQueen, which explains the steep price tag. And although they claim that the series is Gossip Girl inspired; most of these dress of simply recreations of looks Anna Sui has done before. McQueen did the same thing, and also a steep price tag.

With that said I'm guessing that Rodarte will be part of Go International, which has a history of offering designer collaborations at a much lower price, than designer collections.

I've tried on all the pieces myself, and although they look great on and in person they are very overpriced. I'll stick with Forever21, for trendy pieces like these.
#17 Rene on 2009-09-14 18:58 (Reply)
I love those Anna Sui styles!
#18 Patrick (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 19:07 (Reply)
Went to Target at 8am and tried everything. Everything ended up looking amazing on! it was really difficult figuring out what to buy. I ended up with 5 pieces: the blue dress (MY FAVORITE), the colorful shimmer sleeveless dress, reddish/orange silk dress, LBC with caged skirt design, and the orange wrap dress. So pleased with everything I purchased. Although the price was steep I honestly couldn't afford to wait for them to go on sale because Im certain that my sizes wouldnt be left. Tons of girls were there with me at 8am!
#19 jackie on 2009-09-14 19:20 (Reply)
will they be restocking!! SOMEONE ANSWER! *dies lol i really wanted that blue dress but its out of stock !!
#20 pigsy on 2009-09-14 19:30 (Reply)
I tried on everything and nothing seemed to fit right, I have a big butt! They look great on you though! I was actually going to purchase something for a special occasion if anything fit. Steep pricing but love the collection.
#21 Chrissy on 2009-09-14 20:18 (Reply)
I bought the orange/brown/red/blue long-sleeved dress and it didn't look right on me. I may take it back and exchange it for the puffy vest. Most of the dresses are adorable but are a little "young" or impractical for me.

I also bought the gray long-sleeved tee with the butterfly logo...feels very soft and comfy! I also got a red and cream blouse that's way adorable.

As with anything Target, it's hit and miss but quantum leaps better than the McQ line. I've been a fan of Sui's work for a long time and I was pleased to see it's true to her aesthetic.
#22 StrawberryGirl on 2009-09-14 21:11 (Reply)
I didn't buy anything! I tried on this sheer black dress that had a bow around the neck and I looked horrific in it! Also tried the top middle one you have up there, also looked terrible in it...

You really look good in those dresses! You should get at least one of them!
#23 Pretty Lil' Things (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 22:23 (Reply)
Hey BB, agree with you on the price point--I wonder who will buy them on eBay for even higher prices!
#24 Mary Hall (Homepage) on 2009-09-14 23:17 (Reply)
I bought the cropped leather jacket at $150 at my store...its the cheapest genuine leather jacket I've seen in a while and the leather quality is quite good. Buttery soft IMO.

I have to agree w/ some of the above posters in regards to pricing. Although I felt that the leather jacket was a steal, the other styles in the line particularly the dresses seem very steep. None of the dresses I tried in my size fit me. Moreover I went up a size from my usual and those barely fit me or fitted me really wierd.

BB, I have to say though...those dresses look fantastic on you. :-)
#25 talia on 2009-09-14 23:53 (Reply)
Wow, the styles of dresses are cool tho! It is kinda hard to get quality for cheap, ya know? I've found some sites that offer decent prices. I posted them on my blog. I'm always looking for a site with good deals.
#26 Styles4Less (Homepage) on 2009-09-15 02:31 (Reply)
I haven't seen them at the stores, but they look great on you for sure! And I agree with everyone else, no way I'm pay $60 for a Target-quality dress.
#27 Maddy (Homepage) on 2009-09-15 08:45 (Reply)
I bought the blue dress (but intend on wearing it as a long tunic) and the seersucker dress. The price points are definitely higher than I would normally pay, but I really liked the look of it, and though the quality wasn't too bad for those dresses in particular. I'm holding onto the receipt, though, just in case some of my sizes are still available when the collection goes on clearance. However, unlike some of the GO stuff, I feel like these pieces might go faster, and so if I didn't grab them now, I'd never get them. I was able to get the McQ blazer on 30% off last time, but I think that was a bit of a fluke and most of the other pieces, except for some of the really hideous ones, were gone at the stores and online.
#28 Lynda on 2009-09-15 09:21 (Reply)
All of those look great on you! Target was pretty picked over when I went. I liked a lot of the pieces, but agree that the line is too pricey. The black lace dress was my favorite, and the ones that I was most looking forward to--the white dress with blue bow and the grey dress with sequins--I was most disappointed by.
#29 Becky (Homepage) on 2009-09-15 14:36 (Reply)
I bought the herringbone dress and loved it!
It is very flattering, I am going to try and get a lot of use out of it this winter/fall. I also bought the shiny blue/gold dress, it's cute but I"m not sure how versatile it is. I got a great jeweled t-shirt from the collection too, that is very cute! I'm excited about the GG stuff!
#30 Heather on 2009-09-15 14:43 (Reply)
some of the items from this line were AMAZING...while others, not so much. i did a review on this collection on my blog as well :o) you look nice in the dresses!
#31 fashion court (Homepage) on 2009-09-15 16:30 (Reply)
This is the sweetest budget babe blog post to date. Gorgeous you in adorable little frocks! Come on! There is no substitute. KILLER, Dianna. Anna Sui would be proud. Perhaps she can cut you a discount for looking so fabulous in her creations?
#32 angie (Homepage) on 2009-09-15 19:35 (Reply)
I agree with everyone that this is cute but too expensive for Target. Hope it goes on sale!
#33 Patty on 2009-09-15 21:19 (Reply)
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