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Anna Sui Spring 2016 Ready-To-Wear NYFW

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Anna Sui Spring 2016 Ready-To-Wear NYFW

from Vogue.com
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
by KRISTIN ANDERSON
The penultimate day of the New York show sprint and who among us isn’t in need of a visit to some far-flung, beachy locale? That’s just what Anna Sui served up tonight, albeit only a stone’s throw from the fracas of an assembled many awaiting another iconoclast (the lady Madge) over at Madison Square Garden.

Prompted by a recent getaway of her own to Tahiti and Honolulu, Sui riffed on pop’s long-standing affair with island life, from the ’30s starlet Dorothy Lamour, to Elvis’s trinity of Hawaiian movies, to David Bailey’s shot of a bronzed, sun-soaked Marie Helvin. Even Jane Campion’s high-minded New Zealand period piece The Piano made the cut in the form of a little subtly placed Victoriana.

Sui’s tendency toward an almost magpie-like archivist’s eye remains one of her more defining and compelling characteristics. In addition to the above references, she looked at sailors’ valentines (the intricate seashell artworks), and even lifted a phrase from the 1941 Gary Cooper vehicle Ball of Fire: “killer diller,” the choice slang of Barbara Stanwyck’s lippy nightclub performer, Sugarpuss O’Shea, came embroidered across the back of a top.

Indeed, today’s Honolulu honeys embodied all the best parts of kitsch: its color, its humor, its play. Bowling shirts and souvenir jackets came to new life in Sui’s hands; the latter enjoyed a major revival last season, but even if they were downright du monde, you’d be hard-pressed to argue with Sui’s take, lushly beaded with lurid-looking sunsets and pinup mermaids. Elsewhere was a dreamy marabou-trimmed peignoir that seemed to have dropped straight out of a Bunny Yeager snap and onto the palm tree–dotted catwalk. It all made for a deliciously heightened version of the tourist tat of another era.

And what of the prints? Sui enlisted the fabled Zandra Rhodes to create a custom pattern, a delightful seashell number (Gigi Hadid very memorably donned a scarlet sarong in it). One Lurex-drenched, undersea chiffon—with angel fishes and all—was a real winner. Sui also sent out an octopus intarsia, and board shorts crafted from a heady-looking butterfly lace.

Even as fashion continues to ride high on a wave of heavy minimalism (though a sea change is surely in the works), Sui is a designer who serves as a vivid testimony to the power of well-deployed profusion. Today’s was the kind of blissful, high-energy romp to assist even the most fatigued among us—socks and sandals optional. "