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Mar 7, 2012 >> We get the skinny on the new Ann Taylor concept store from Style Director Andrew Taylor

Ann Taylor’s new concept store (which we covered in this week’s Found!) opened on the Mag Mile this weekend and G&F was there to enjoy the champagne, take in the hordes of well-dressed women and chat with none other than Andrew Taylor (the brand’s style director with absolutely no relation to the iconic Ann), who gave up the scoop on what “new concept” really means and pinpointed the latest trends.

How it feels>> The new Ann Taylor store is every woman’s ultimate dream closet. It is warmer and more inviting then the the messy mind overload of the average retail store because of its divine design inspiration: a luxe residential home—think Gold Coast penthouse.
How it looks>> Whitewashed maple floors, sparkling chandeliers, and vignettes of framed images arranged just like they would be in a home. The dressing rooms—far from the dingy, poorly lit caves found in other stores—have plush carpeting and tufted ottomans. Oh, and back-lit mirrors that actually make you look good.

What it holds>> A runway down the center of the store displays the top looks each month. This month, the mannequins are rocking color blocking and lots of neon, weightless spring fabrics (silks, silk crepes and floral prints), and big statement jewelry. “[Head Designer] Lisa Axelson wanted to create the perfect go-to pieces,” Andrew says. “But she wanted to do them in really bright, bold colors.”

Visit the new Ann Taylor at 600 N. Michigan Avenue.