Three years ago my dear friend and former colleague Kate introduced me to Calypso. A whimsical Upper-East-Side-Princess-Meets-Boho-Babe brand, I became completely enamored with the raw silks, cool jersey knits, tie dye patterns and bead details that comprised the breezy line. My instant favorite was a dress called Pazzi, a little silk shift that glinted and glimmered in the light, in a rainbow of inspired hues from turquoise to crimson, lavendar to white, black to cobalt and beyond. Universally flattering, the Pazzi makes everyone look tiny in some miraculous way I still haven’t figured out.
The Pazzi in one of several purples. Are you in love?
Kate owned the sheath in two stunning hues and, not to be outdone, I bought three. A shimmering blue-green, a cherry red, and the surprising favorite–crisp white. This was in 2008, and I still rock my seasonless Pazzi’s all the time. In the summer they look great against a tan with some gold sandals. In the fall, they work with a Frye boot. In winter, a pair of thick black tights, pumps, and a cashmere cardigan makes them a go-to. You get the idea. In fact, I see Pazzi’s all over town–from upscale restaurants to subway platforms, on young PR girls, stroller-pushing 30-something’s, and regal women in their 40’s and well beyond.
The best thing about Calypso was that they turned out these signature dresses every season, careful to appeal to their loyal customer but always branching out to bring a new demographic on board. For the past year or so, I’ve been saddened to see the affordable, precious, named little dresses all but disappear. They’ve had a few failed attempts at a revival to these signature looks, but this morning I was thrilled to discover a note in my inbox introducing me to the new Kelli.
The original Kelli in navy lace, calypsostbarth.com, $265
The previously existing Kelli is a cowel-necked, lacy delight with an ever-so-slightly cinched waist that falls just above the knee. Simple and sweet, it’s a crowd pleaser that works on everyone. This morning, Calypso’s mailer announced that Kelli now comes in my old favorite…. Velvet!!
Yes, my loves, this delicious day-to-night dress is now available in the most cuddly-chic fabric there is. I love the three colors they have now–blue, “malt” (a toffee-tan), and “acai” (a rich, royal purple), but let’s hope they offer even more fun choices come fall. And, while this option is a little pricier than it’s lacy cousin, the beauty of a Calypso dress is that it is not only timeless, but expertly constructed. You will love–and live in–your Kelli for years. Happy clicking!