#SuzyNYFW Anna Sui: In Praise Of Shopping
It was the most joyful, compelling collection of clothes I’ve seen so far at New York Fashion Week.
There were Sofia Coppola and her famous movie director father, Francis Ford Coppola, along with Naomi Campbell and a room full of enthusiasts, all leaping on clothes laid on the runway as if at some funky bazaar.
Here was a spill of pattern over the floaty fabric of a dress; there a scarf, white but splodged with inky blue; as well as tops, trousers, sandals and swimsuits. What wasn’t on show on this crazy but compelling set, where models including Gigi and Bella Hadid played at being shoppers before walking the runway?
“I wanted a bazaar because I think that retail is not dead,” said Sui, who was inspired by the famous bazaar scene in the 1950s movie, Kismet, and by the fact that the objects in view (and on sale) were from her own suppliers, some going back all three decades of her career.
“Shopping used to be exciting; it was an adventure, you could search out incredible things that you’d never seen before and discover them,” she said. “That’s all we need: Shopping as fun.”
Sui might have added “clothes that inspire desire”, for, once again, she made her usual mix, but with a fresh feel to the prints, the flowers, the rich-to-bright colours, the caftans and dresses with shimmery finishes.
There was, of course, a hint of the street-smart hippie era. But Sui’s ability to make her signature looks relevant to this millennium is an object lesson. Her own motto?
“These are all my friends,” she said of her producers. “All my favourite creators of vintage, embellishment, T-shirts and leathers and these amazing artisans,” the designer explained. “It’s what we need: Energy and real clothes.“