Dubbed “Octopus’s Garden”, iconic New York-based designer Anna Sui created a mysterious underwater realm to set the scene for her Spring/Summer 2024 collection on Saturday. After seeing how many of the ocean’s coral reefs and other sea life are disappearing, Sui’s collection reflected on the theme of conservation and celebration of the sea. “My vision of underwater has always been this fantasy world of exotic fish, coral, and mermaids. Who hasn’t dreamt of going 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or scuba diving like James Bond in the Caribbean, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, the undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, and more recently, My Octopus Teacher,” Sui remarked on the collection notes.

Located at the Crosby Theater inside the Crosby Street Hotel, the audience was offered a cinematic fashion experience. The collection consisted of iridescent hues and colors that subside with the sea, along with oceanic elements including pearls, shells, and lots and lots of shimmer. Opalescent knits and sweaters dipped in confectionary hues were presented, as well as a standout Gingham print that was displayed in the form of dresses, handbags, and more.

Playful fabrics were cast in the form of embroidered organza, giant eyelet in pink and cantaloupe, arcadia blossom printed florals, Riviera crochet, metallic & Pisces jacquard, terry cabana, and waterfall sequins. Aquatic jewelry by Erickson Beamon is shown with an array of shells trimmed with iridescent beads and bubbles. Models are also seen in stylish Butterfly and rhinestone trim cat eyeglasses by Anna Sui Eyewear.

The collection is complete with an abundance of accessories to fit the nautical theme. These include pearlescent crochet hats and bags, giant shoulder bags coated in sequins, print, and velvet, and Y2K mini bags in gingham, terry, and Mother of Pearl. Shoes are worn in tie-dye leather, celestial sequins, or metallic leather with a sensational conch shell heel bold enough to hear the sea.

Perhaps what makes this collection so mystifying is the motive behind it. While the sea is as beautiful and wonderous as we may think, it is also a sacred and vital part of our world that needs just as much protection as it does admiration.

Sui captures the significance of sea preservation stylishly and animatedly with this collection, simultaneously fighting for the cause.

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