Annaesthetic

Anna Shapiro of Annaesthetic knits an asymmetrical edge on this fully adjustable, eco-friendly “Sweetpea Cocktail Dress with Matching Shawl.”

“I am absolutely obsessed with bamboo fiber,” exclaims Anna Shapiro of Annaesthetic in Staunton, Va. Not only is it an eco-friendly, sustainable material, bamboo fiber also has a beautiful drape, slight sheen and is lightweight, allowing customers to wear her dresses, scarves and wraps year-round.

“All of my pieces are created out of a single piece and constructed entirely on the loom,” she explains. “Nothing is cut, sewn or assembled.” Shapiro does use pre-dyed yarns, but she develops the patterns herself, working on a large manual knitting loom. “My patterns consist of hand-selecting each needle on every row,” she says. “It’s very time consuming.” But also very rewarding. “Nothing makes me happier than when people tell me that my scarf is part of their everyday wardrobe.”

Color also plays a dominant role in Shapiro’s work. “My palette is organic and extensive,” she says. She constantly tweaks her color offerings to stay current with changing seasons and personal tastes. Her aim, though, is to flatter a woman’s natural beauty by complementing eye, hair and skin color.

The signature characteristic of Shapiro’s work is a ruffle, which features open holes and an elegant scalloped edge. “I encourage my customers to wear a shawl asymmetrically because it highlights this design element,” she explains. “The diagonal lines draw the eye in a dramatic swoop from the shoulder to the hand.”

Shapiro graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in sculpture. Although her early work was more three-dimensional, now she designs for beauty and function. “I strive to create pieces that are timeless. My designs can be a staple in any woman’s wardrobe.”

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