Anna Sui Spring 2021 Ready-To-Wear

Anna Sui Spring 2021 Ready-To-Wear

Anna Sui Spring 2021 Ready-To-Wear

A true homecoming, in every sense of the word.

A true homecoming, in every sense of the word.

Text: Valerie Stepanova

Taking a pass on this season’s runway show is especially sentimental and heartfelt in the house of Anna Sui: it is not only about the loss of an in-person fashion extravaganza; it is more so about the lack of that communal feeling, a moment of coming together to see the new runway range from the American designer with a cult following. Inspired by her childhood while in isolation, she took every step possible to make this range as collaborative as it can be. And, as it happens, she found inspiration in a documentary — this time about the female impressionist painter Berthe Morisot.

Drawing from the Depression-era watercolors filled with serene shades of dusty rose, ivory and pale jade, Sui crafted a homespun collection of wafts and whimsical house dresses, clashing together a variety of fabrics and petite prints, mixing cotton voile and crepe mesh with black eyelet and organza with hand-embroidered flowers. The range was collaborative on a multitude of levels: first, Sui took to Instagram to find the artist Stevie Shao, whose activist graphics made their way onto Sui’s sweatshirts and tees. Then, she tapped Fellow Earthlings, an eyewear company based on Prince Edward Island, and tasked them with making new sunglasses styles from the scraps of past seasons, marbling green, pink, and black acetate into swirling frames with granny chains. As all of the above things were happening, Riverside Tool & Dye in Philadelphia ice-dyed chore coats and workwear pants in lilac and blush. In all honesty, this is the kind of communal effort we all are yearning for in these difficult and uncertain times.

The family got involved, too: after spending much of quarantine with her nieces and nephews drinking Spindrift flavored seltzer, they all sent their used cans to Gifted Acorn Crafts in Onalaska, Wis. to be cut up and crocheted into bucket hats. Virginian artist Karen Freidt even went as far as to bake a pie, tasking her daughter with driving the treat up to New York (the pie was to be featured in the season’s video, directed by Sui’s niece Jeannie Sui Wonders.) And that as not all; Chase Sui Wonders, Jeannie’s sister, designed character graphics for tees, while Isabella Sui, another niece, has joined the family business as Anna’s new assistant.

As the whole of the fashion industry is going through a state of panic, Sui turned to those near and dear to her heart to find a sense of stability, comfort and hope. Naturally, all of that left a mark on her creative process and its product, leaving us all to ponder if this new mode of operation can inspire and incite a different sense of creativity around the country — more sustainable, practical and suitable for the state of the world going forward.

Watch the Anna Sui Spring 2021 Presentation below:

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