I swear this dress was trying to elude me. I went to London Edge at the beginning of the year and spent a big chunk of my time there at the Collectif booth, pawing through their vast and beautiful line of SS16 releases, as well as a lot of their AW16 pieces (it’s going to be so amazing you guys, omg, just wait.) Aida Zak is one of Collectif’s house brands, like their 60s inspired line Bright & Beautiful, and I can only think I didn’t check that rack as thoroughly because I did not spot this Erina dress while I was there. It was only once I came home and watched some of the London Edge catwalk videos on Retro Daisy’s Instagram (a pinup shop located in Worthing, England) that I saw this dress. It was instant love-lust-gimme.
I wanted it for my birthday celebrations and there was some mild worrying on my part as to whether it would be released in time. I wanted to purchase it from Retro Daisy, since they had been so lovely to me about helping me track down which brand it was, but due to Collectif getting their new releases online before everyone else, including their own stores, let alone stockists, I had to guiltily order it from Collectif directly to get it in time. You’ll see why any second now, because my birthday celebration was a giant picnic fun day, and tell me, isn’t this a perfect picnic dress?
Dress: Erina dress by Collectif
Hat: Old season Primark
Thick Woven Bangle: Natural Woven Bamboo Bangle 3pk by Splendette
Bamboo Bangle: Bamboo 6pk by Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Laser Cut White Ballet Flats by Matalan
While this is definitely a picnic dress, there’s something about it that feels a li’l bit country and western, probably the tiered style skirt, a style which is a real favourite of my right now. I was sorely tempted to whip out my cream stetson gifted to me while I was on vacation in Texas last autumn, but I decided to go the picnic route fully this time around. The print is made up of tiny white cherries and cherries are not something I typically abide by in my prints but they’re so small they seem like flowers at first glance. Add in the daisy lace used in the tiered skirt and I’m half convinced my brain will always remember them as daisies anyway.
This dress is 100% cotton, lined only in the bust, and closes with a back zipper. It comes with a matching slide belt, but I do find it loosens up easily and annoyingly there’s no loop on the belt to keep the extra length tight to your body, so it will poke out freely unless you can tighten it enough to slide it through the very, very thin cotton belt loop. Mine still pings out when I do that, so my resolution is to use one of those clear tiny elastic hair ties doubled over onto the belt to tuck the end into. It’s not visible except up close and it’s better than the alternative. The skirt can take a medium to very full petticoat, as it’s a full circle.
The neckline is square, which I love, but I did find the straps were a bit long on me, resulting in them slipping off my shoulders. I’m not really mad at that, because I think that gives off a subtle girl-next-door sexy slouchy off the shoulder look, but I probably will take them up since that’s a small fix and finding a good square neckline is rare, too good to waste. Plus, the alteration might be unnecessary as I haven’t yet tried wearing a padded push up bra under this dress to see if taking up that extra space zaps the roominess out of the straps.
I ordered this in the 16 since it’s 100% cotton. The waist flat measures 34, spot on to the size chart, so follow that closely as there is no stretch.
The Erina dress costs £62.50 and comes available in red or navy blue in UK sizes 8 to 18. It also comes in pink and green in a polka dot printed version, rather than these cherries, available in the same sizes but for a slightly cheaper £55. Collectif ship internationally and have stockists all over the world, as well as several brick and mortar stores in the UK.