While not the exhibition’s official catalogue, Abrams will publish “The World of Anna Sui” book on May 30. Sui will also roll out a home decor collection geared for teenagers with PBteen, a Williams-Sonoma brand, in September.
In the meantime, the crunch is on before the May 26 opening of what will be the American designer’s first retrospective in the U.K. More than 100 mannequins will be suited up in items from her archives, which are in the process of being shipped to the London museum that was started by Zandra Rhodes. Staffers at Sui’s West 39th Street offices are busy packing up the “ephemeron, accessories and tons of stuff” that will be featured in the show, which will runs through Oct. 1, said Sui’s longtime righthand-man Thomas Miller. “All the mannequins are fully accessorized from head-to-toe. Anna just piles on the accessories so it’s a lot,” Miller said.
While Sui is good friends with Rhodes, the roots of the exhibition stemmed from her meeting the museum’s director. A few years in development, the show will really come together once Miller arrives in London in less than two weeks to help with the installation. Sui will also be off to the U.K. At the May 26 event, Dennis Nothdruft, curator at the Fashion and Textile Museum, will discuss the process of selecting garments for the exhibition and why Sui’s work is a key reference point for this year’s biggest trends.
The $50 book delves into Sui’s lifelong fashion archetypes — the rocker, the schoolgirl, the punk, the goth, the bohemian — highlighting the inspiration and influence for each. In addition, the chapters are organized in sync with the groupings of the exhibition, such as Surfers and Punk.