ALICEANNA was named for designer Patrice Gentile’s much-admired grandmothers. ALICE, a headstrong powerhouse, who learned the ins and outs of business through her entrepreneurial Middle Eastern and Italian immigrant parents, and ANNA, the free-spirited non-conformist, who rejected the traditions and norms of her conservative 1950s Midwestern surroundings and created a rich life of her own among her own. In Gentile’s mind, each matriarch acts as the yin to each other’s yang. Alice’s practical style developed while managing one of her family's many businesses. She dressed in a daily uniform of sensible shirtwaist dresses, skirts and flats. On the contrast, Anna, who fell in love with and married a bartender, had little in the way of money. Yet she always dressed impeccably and meticulously accessorized each outfit. She favored printed halter dresses and always wore heels, even to the beach. Growing up, Gentile found herself somewhere in the middle of these two identities— borrowing characteristics from Alice and Anna as she saw fit. Both the designer and her line are the product of two women who dressed each day for identity’s sake.
ALICEANNA is a line dedicated to a woman’s inner contradictions, to her innate duality of self— handcrafted covetable pieces specifically for the feminine tomboy. On Monday you may wake up feeling like Alice (comfortable, crisp, clean lines, neutral tones) and on Friday evening you may be Anna (vibrant, ladylike, bright hues). But most days you’re both— you’re light and dark, structured and wild, masculine and feminine—you embrace all the possibilities. ALICEANNA’s ideal customer is unapologetically herself—defying society's labels and constantly evolving. She is literally all of the things.
Each piece in the current ALICEANNA collection is made to order in the designer’s work studio in Baltimore. Gentile has created a line that minimizes excess and steers away from mass production and fast trends. ALICEANNA is the feminine tomboy’s daily uniform. The silhouettes are both timeless and current. It’s a look that’s put together in a laid back way. It’s a beautiful contradiction.
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