Anna Sui RTW Fall 2010

The wonderful collection was keenly focused and managed not to scrimp on any of Anna Sui’s madcap, magpie prints and pilings.

Chez Anna Sui you can always bet the runway backdrop will deliver the loudest thematic cue. This time, Sui chose a stained-glass rendering of a Woodstock landscape, one that fudged the horizon here and there. “The scene wasn’t diverse enough,” Sui deadpanned, pre-show. “So I added California’s Mount Shasta.” Which was exactly her approach to the American Art and Crafts-inspired fall collection: start from research — the Byrdcliffe artist colony; furniture maker Charles Rohlfs — and then jazz it up spectacularly.

That resulted in a wonderful collection that was keenly focused and managed not to scrimp on any of Sui’s madcap, magpie prints and pilings. In fact, she hit a number of the season’s emerging trends — velvet, grunge, platoon greens and splicing — while keeping things festive and charming. For instance: the army jacket with puffed sleeves and ruffled lace. Sui also served up a riotous parade of dresses, some Twenties-style, others rock ‘n’ roll, most in a stylish hodgepodge of turn-of-the-century prints. And if her girls don’t spot the inspirational riffs, no matter. Who cares if that faux suede dress is inspired by a Rohlfs dresser? It’s studded chicly and casually tossed over a metallic silk jacquard blouse. Ditto for the accessories, which were fantastic, especially the embroidered doctor’s bags and glitter heels. But as for those craftsy glazed ceramic tile pendants — they hail from the century-old Pewabic Pottery of Sui’s hometown, Detroit.

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