Spring 2023
Have you ever seen anything in your life more wonderful than the way the sun, every evening, relaxed and easy, floats toward the horizon and into the clouds or the hills, or the rumples sea, and is gone– and how it slides again out of the blackness, every morning, on the other side of the world, like a red flower
An excerpt from Mary Oliver’s “The Sun”

For poet Mary Oliver nature was sacred. Her poems, prompts for us to lean in and pay attention to the small, but not insignificant, moments and details that surround us in the natural world. She would use them as a bridge to mine the ones in her personal life, weaving a perpetual thread between nature and our humanity. Maxine Kumin, in the Women’s Review of Books, described Oliver as “an indefatigable guide to the natural world.”

Just as much a guide to the natural world, Oliver’s words were also a constant reminder to slow down; a cue that, amidst our increasingly frenetic existence, we may need more than ever. It’s a message that figured prominently in the writings of Thích Nhât Hanh, the influential and wildly prolific Buddhist monk who passed away earlier this year at the age of 95. He wrote frequently about our need to do less, to rest, to just be. Said Hanh: “Many of us have been running all our lives. Practice stopping.”

This season, as we considered how we wanted to dress as we move forward, it’s those two words that resonated. We longed to slow down and do less; we were ready, as Hanh extolled, to just be. And we wanted what we were wearing to be reflective of that. For Anaak’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection we stripped everything back to the essentials. Like Joan Didion’s famously restrained 1979 packing list (2 skirts/ 2 jerseys or leotards/ bra/ cigarettes/ bourbon/ baby oil and so on) which she affixed to the inside of her closet door and was immortalized in her book The White Album, it is resolute simplicity that we were after.

The result are swingy, loose matching sets in organic double gauze, designed to be worn in tandem, but just as content solo or mingled with pieces already in your closet; long handkerchief-hemmed handwoven cotton voile and tiered dresses with broad ruffles that take on a life of their own, becoming animated as you move; billowing pants and tightly smocked dresses. All of it rendered in a palette of tomato and candyfloss, jaune and ciel bleu, cacao and soft white, interjected with patterns that have an almost organic appeal like silk batik with cobwebby crackles, blockprint paisley, and a faded tree of life floral Liberty Print.

Consider them a prompt, for your closet at least, to go easy.