Backstage after her show designer Anna Sui greeted well wisher Grace Coddington, saying that she hoped that the creative director of American Vogue didn’t mind that her collection was inspired in part by her wedding dress. Looking at Coddington’s beaming face, it was hard to imagine she had any problem with being Sui’s muse for the season.
For this was a very good Sui fashion show that highlighted the designer’s magpie eye. She mixed together a smorgasbord of retro 70s prints: art deco flowers, cartoony kids’ wallpaper, shooting stars. And then she, more often than not, cut them in the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ shimmer of iridescent fabrics. It was as if Sui had raided every top-of-the-line vintage clothing store in London and pulled together the finest pieces the hippy era had to offer to create a modern day “best of” homage to a time of serious sartorial self expression.
When the models took to the runway, they looked like living breathing replicas of Mike Jagger, Rod Stuart, Ann and Nancy Wilson or Joni Mitchell in their heyday. So accurate was Sui’s reinterpretation of the era both in the collection’s silhouettes (high waisted pants, baby doll dresses, crocheted cover ups) and in its mélange of patterns and prints that it was hard not to feel as if the Lincoln Center show venue had somehow time traveled back to the 1970s.
Fabulous too were the fanciful accessories such as the colorful patchwork leather boots, the crafty fringe shoulder bags and the stars and moon themed jewelry.