Photo: Azeleas

Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Women's Clothing

April showers bring May...showers? Yikes; but we've had *tastes* of sun, at least, this spring, and presumably more will come. In the meantime, the clothes at the cheerfully named Azeleas bring to mind garden blooms--and garden parties. And the extensive lingerie section (the shop began as lingerie-only) brings heat of its own.
I arrive on a cool evening that's more overcast than I'd like; but a browse through these racks is an instant mood-lift. I first admire a blue-green cotton-wool cardigan printed with roses and sunflowers ($68). It has no label; but before I can ask about the designer, I'm distracted by a teal scoop-necked long-sleeve knit blouse from Saint Grace ($55) and then totally charmed by a strapless cornflower-blue blouse with cream and orange flower-like ruffles down the front (my notes are a bit scribbly on this, but I think the price was $82; and generally speaking, the stock here seems pretty reasonable, price-wise). I move on to a lovely short-sleeve blouse in sheer violet lace ($78) and a pretty, practical dress in a blue, red, green, and cream basket-weave print ($98) from Puella.

Next I find 3 dresses which, together, could see a girl through almost any summer occasion. A bright-cherry sleeveless cotton-knit dress with a lace hem (from Brazilian label Muda, $88) is great for a casual office, a laid-back lawn party, or a fun night out; a sweet cream-silk sleeveless dress with an orange, grey, and green flower-embroidered bodice and matching belt ($98, from aryn k.), is perfect for more formal daytime events; and a strapless tiered dress in black polyester with subtle grey polka-dots and a flirtatious sheer top layer (from Australian label Minkpink, $92) has the dressier evening events covered in style.
Lingerie-wise, the selection is varied and lots of fun. I wouldn't presume to make suggestions in this area, where needs and choices are clearly pretty personal; but I will mention an adorable pink-and-cream ruffled camisole that caught my eye (and *might* be able to double as a casual summer blouse; $60) and its equally cute matching bottoms ($35).
One more thing: Among the front-of-shop accessories are packs of "Nippies" ($18)--4 large nipple-coverers (in decorative designs), 2 small ones, and 4 protective pads. No more worries about exposing too much; now you'll be *hoping *your top slides around a little! Fashion truly thinks of everything--and gives "We've got you covered" brand-new meaning.   - Pamela Grossman

223 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 253-5484