Anna Sui; What’s Going On?

Anna Sui emphasized that her Spring collection was “a reaction against the masses, and everything looking the same…something other than the super-modernist, minimal thing;” and a reaction it was, looking back instead to the late 1960s boutiques of London and New York.

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There was an incredible mixing of prints here, tinged with hippy, art nouveau, and space-age style references. The celestial, painted stage made for the perfect setting for such an unusual collection.

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Sui certainly takes her research very seriously, and it is perhaps this which prevents the collection from feeling overly disparate or wacky. She trawled ebay for sixties memorabilia and antique fabrics, which were reinterpreted and recreated in clothes for the more modern woman. Nigel Waymouth’s famous boutique, Granny Takes a Trip, which opened in 1965, provided a starting point from which Sui’s creation could grow.

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She also bought in English shoemaker Terry de Havilland, commissioning him to remake his most famous footwear, covered in rainbows, clouds and lightning bolts.

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The hippy feel also prevailed, specifically in the floating chiffon blouses and maxi dresses, covered in vintage florals. However, these were not merely relics; Sui ensured the pieces retained a contemporary edge in terms of their volumes and proportions.

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The wonderful thing about this set of designs, then, is that it draws on the past but remains refreshingly and adventurously forward-thinking. Having trailed the streets looking at psychedelic street art, Anna Sui has come to the conclusion that a revolution against minimalism is coming; her latest collection, surely, is the armour one would need to fight this battle.

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