With kaleidoscope eyes and a nod to her retrospective London show, Anna Sui indulged on hippy-deluxe romanticism.
The Beatles’ 1969 psychedelic anthem Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds played as the models – led by Gigi Hadid and her sister Bella – walked the runway in layers of hippie-inspired outfits worn with the careless joy of a lost day at the Woodstock Festival.
“But it’s not about the past – I was thinking about what we need now,” said Anna Sui. “We need to change things. It has to be positive, it has to be optimism and sparkling and glitter, and dreaming. Because we’re not dreaming anymore!”
Backstage, the Sui hugged Zandra Rhodes, the British designer who earlier this year held a tribute to her friend via an exhibit at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum. That was not a retrospective, but rather a mash-up of different themes – much like the show itself.
Sui’s kaleidoscopic style seemed to have taken in the colors, patterns, textures and prints of the past for both male and female garments – from head (long, loose hair) to toe (mostly calf high boots).
The overall effect was modern and joyous, raising some of the largest cheers at this 2018 summer of love.
But what is the allure of these collages of colorful and familiar clothes?
First, the designer knows how to press the ‘refresh’ button. The opening pair of male/female models wore blue flower patterns for both sexes. Regardless if they were digital prints, the duo’s look was modern.
Mixing and meshing color and pattern can sometimes appear dated and timeworn, but sexily shaped denim shorts and zodiac motifs looked fresh and different compared to previous outings.
Pattern is, of course, back in fashion after decades of lying fallow. Sui knows how to use changing scales of color and when to switch from a shout to a whisper. In return, the audience were brought into the ‘let-it-rock’ spirit of the 1960s.