Top drawer

Sew what

• Who she is: Alana Hodde

• What she’s wearing: a dress she made.

• Why we love it: Simplicity is touting this pattern [see picture] as the “it” dress, and fashion magazines are parading variations on the theme. Kimono styling takes on different personalities (Geisha, peasant, gypsy … ) depending on the types of fabrics used — here, Alana’s dress suggests a worldly Little House on the Prairie in blue florals with mauve trim. Luxe velvets, washed silks and jersey knits also work.

Try this on

If you can’t shell out designer dollars for the “it” dress and you’re not sewing-machine-savvy, look for retro versions of the peasant gown at second-hand stores. Here, two recent finds at Madam Butterfly on Lexington Ave.:

The red dress features a faux-apron and patchwork detail, while the beige gown has a buttoned bodice and nature-scene skirt. Just add a crocheted shawl and tall boots.

These Frye engineer slouch boots — perhaps the “it” footwear to go with the dresses on this page? — are available locally at Tops for Shoes (

[For more local fashion visit]

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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