Springing Ahead: Amber Sakai S/S 2011 Collection

Amber Sakai, known for sophisticated, sexy, yet everyday women’s wear, knocks it out of the park once again for the Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

One part Brigitte Bardot, two parts pirate Anne Bonny—these are the ingredients that went into Amber Sakai’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Taking a swatch of toile emblazoned with seafaring adventurers as her starting point, the designer presents a range of sweet, yet salty pieces that combine flounces and frills with traditionally masculine fabrics and silhouettes.

Once again, Sakai’s signature bodysuits form the basis of her collection, but this season, they’re given a distinct girl-meets-boy twist. Some are made from provocatively weightless fabric with subtle pinstripes. Others, in draped jersey, are edged in bright piping that gives a sporty spin to their sultry, plunging V-necklines.

This borrowed-from-the-boys motif isn’t restricted to the bodysuits. By using a crisp men’s shirt fabric, Sakai adds a tomboyish touch to pieces such as a romantic, puff-sleeved blouse and a convertible dress. One of the key pieces in the collection, this unfussy frock can be worn in a number of different iterations, including strapless, one-shouldered, halter-style, or folded over as a skirt.

Elements of lingerie design—another Sakai staple—also take on a more masculine air for spring. A slouchy boyfriend blazer is rendered in sheer black lace. The flirt factor continues with a series of tailored shorts—cheeky ruffles add a coy finish to the pockets of one pair, garter ties adjust the length of another, while corset-style hooks and eyes fasten the side seam of a pair of short denim bloomers. And for the first time, Sakai—a former lingerie designer—is introducing undergarments to her namesake line. Keeping with the spirit of the collection, each bralette and matching panty is uncomplicated, yet still sexy thanks to its ultra-soft, tactile fabric. Clean and classic as most of this season’s pieces may be, that hasn’t stopped Sakai from adding a little bit of whimsy to the mix.

The toile that inspired the whole spring collection was used to create everything from a boned hoop skirt to a wasp-waisted wrap coat to a pair of slouchy breeches—bold showpieces that are best suited for adventurers of the sartorial sort.

For stores visit