“Like all of us, dreaming about getting away. Not a particular place, but really just someplace exotic, tropical, with lots of sun, lots of water. So, I put together a whole fantasy of it,” Anna Sui said during a collection preview appointment in her showroom. On Saturday afternoon, Sui transported showgoers into her getaway oasis (i.e., intimate runway show) at Indochine, complete with custom, collection-inspired St. Germain “Paradisiac” cocktail and 1950s Tiki Lounge soundtrack (cheekily mixed with HBO’s “The White Lotus” opening theme music).
On the runway, Sui’s tropical vacation mindset started with a procession of shades of neon pinks and greens (toned down by khaki and influenced by the fluorescent paintings of Niki de Saint Phalle) and into ombre and Technicolor hued fashions that made up Sui’s vacation essentials.
“I had to have this cabana jacket, and I had to find this terrycloth to trim it with,” she said of a sea and glo-green tropical Havana-printed jacket atop knit “wave runner” top and pant.
“I wanted a Hawaiian shirt, but a dress, so we combined the sarong,” of the adorable green number. “Swim styles mixed in. Quintessential beach.” Check, check.
As always, the designer piled the looks chock-full of texture, print on print, and joyful vibrancy from head to toe. Archival references also directly came into play; her spring 2004 retro surf shirts were reinvigorated for today in spandex, while the show was modernly styled in the same upbeat, layered demeanor.
There was crocheted swimwear and chunky Daisy Chain accessories (jewelry, water bottle holders) over ample patchworked and lace-trimmed colorful mesh tops (a nod to Sui’s sportif jersey T-shirts from 1996); easy, sweet, tropical-printed silk linen and silk cotton voile dresses, skirts and tops with rainbow 3D floral crochet and waved knit cover-ups. Bright, denim painter’s chore jackets and skirts were juxtaposed with lighter, technical nylon styles (a little ombré romper or retro floral housedress), airy, cabana stripe and Dazzling Dahlia printed sets, and Sui’s kaftan of the season in lace. Her collaborators and friends, too, amped up the collection’s escapist feel with vibrant footwear (John Fluevog, Teva), printed socks (Atsugi for Anna Sui), playful jewelry (Daisy Chains, Bailliecelene), floral accessories (Erickson Beamon), colorful kerchiefs and large raffia hats. Layers aside, for the real world, the collection provided ample happy fashions suited for the beach and beyond.
“The mood is forever upbeat and anything goes,” show notes read, aptly describing the sun-drenched, beachy daydream that was Sui’s spring collection.