“It’s such a tough climate right now and I thought ‘What are we going to do?’ and all I could think was, ‘Let’s do our favorite things,’” said Anna Sui, discussing the direction of her resort collection. The climate might be tough, but after 30-plus years in business, Sui has a lot of favorite things to celebrate. She mined her archive and reworked prints from seasons past, like her Valentine print from her spring 2007 “pirate collection,” because as she put it, “who doesn’t love a heart!” Loose dresses, flowy tops and sheer cover-ups came in a purple adaptation of a ballet print, originally designed with illustrator Jeffrey Fulvimari, from Sui’s spring 1994 “punk babydoll” collection.
Sui, who recently moved into a new studio space, focused on soft pieces — a sweet spot for her business — like simple pretty dresses, skirts and blouses, but they came in a host of new colorful red, green and purple prints meant to be worn mixed up to create unexpected combinations. But she also included pieces for her customer to layer, such as floral print robes with lace heart details; leopard jacquard pants; colorful bowling shirtdresses in her signature cherry pattern, and brightly colored pleated wide-leg pants.
The designer was quick to point out: “I always need to take into consideration what I’d like to wear,” motioning to a denim baby-doll dress that gets her stopped in the street when she wears it. So she expanded it into several compelling denim pieces for the season including a cardigan, a cocktail dress and jacket. Sui designs for herself and that translates to pieces women want to wear, which is something to celebrate.