Tag Archive | anna sui

Eye On Design: Anna Sui, Cheerleader Ensemble

Cheerleader Ensemble By Anna Sui Photo by Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

“When I think about pinafores and jumpers and compromised purity, it’s actually quite punk. Go further back and it’s all about mod and Twiggy and dolly birds and thousands of school girls like me pouring over magazines, reading articles from the front lines of pop culture.”

Throughout her career, Anna Sui has summoned the youthful spirit of the school girl but was an edge, embracing the complexity of teen-hood. For the fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.

Cheerleader Ensemble By Anna Sui Photo By Gail Worley

Saint Laurent was also a superb colorist, as reflected in the collection’s use of bold colors. The sportswear sensibility extended to a series of outfits inspired by cheerleader uniforms, many of which Sui accessorized with pom-pom hats by James Coviello.

Anna Sui Cheerleader Jacket Photo By Gail Worley

Jacket Front and Back Detail

Cheerleader Jacket Back Detail By Gail Worley

Schoolgorl Collection By Anna Sui Photo by Gail Worley

Schoolgirl Collection Installation View: Cheerleader Ensemble (far right)  worn with plastic/wool pom-pom hat by James Coviello for Anna Sui; Plastic belt, two necklaces, and bracelets by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; fishnet nylon hose and acetate/satin-covered domestic cowhide short boots by Emma Hope for Anna Sui.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

“I think that, with hindsight, this may have been a moment in my career where my own past and present truly came together, more so that with other collections, which, however much I cherished them, were a carefully stitched-together tapestry of obsessively researched elements. My Grunge collection was more ‘felt’ than it was thought.”

The 1993 Grunge collection secured Anna Sui’s place in the history of fashion. She saw Seattle’s grunge music scene as the major force in the youth culture of that period, and used the layering and mixing typical of its style to great effect, riffing on the youthful sincerity of the movement to produce some of the most influential looks of the nineties.

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Detail by Gail Worley
Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble, Detail: Polyester and Cotton Tank and Leggings with Totton Kilt and Shorts

Grunge style sprang out of a Seattle subculture in which a new wave of musicians, including Nirvana fronted by Kurt Cobain, sported a “thrift store” style of dressing that seemed to mirror their novel sound. This “un-fashion” style chimed with the decade’s rejection of the excesses of the 1980s and quickly went from subculture to mass culture. Marc Jacobs, working for Perry Ellis at the time, glamorized this style to create a grunge collect for Sping 1993. Sui’s references to grunge in her own collection, in contrast, are colored with optimism and a “hippie” sensibility. The outfit seen here features a kilt, widely associated with grunge, as well as a flower belt more reminiscent of the sixties or seventies

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Detail 2 By Gail Worley
Lunchbox by Designs from the Deep, Cowhide/Rubber Boots by John Fluevog for Anna Sui

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Photo By Gail Worley
Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble (Spring 1993) Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design

Eye On Design: Anna Sui, Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble

Anna Sui Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

The importance of storytelling is clear in Anna Sui’s collections, which conjure an imaginary world of Icelandic princesses, pirates, fairies, Vikings and enchanted animals. Complementing these historical and fantastical figures, her runway shows have featured whimsical, surreal accessories from animal hats to gingerbread handbags.

This dress was inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte and the introduction of the Empire style to France in the early nineteenth century.

Anna Sui Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble by Gail Worley

Sui gave the gown a punk makeover by cutting it off mid-thigh. She created a series of these dresses in silk chiffon and crepe de Chine printed with hearts, roses, stripes and polka dots. Worn with petticoats and produced in a combination of red, white, and black, they recalled the designs of interior decorator Dorothy Draper, who was known for her dramatic deployment of black and white, as well as the punk clothes worn by members of the New York Dolls. Sui recalls, “Back in the 1970s, if you were part of the rock scene or if you went to clubs like Max’s or CBGB, you only wore red, white or black. Everything was heavily codified.” The French Empire, too, was governed by rigid codes, and this provided the link for Sui’s collection. The Dorothy Draper Pirate ensemble is from Sui’s spring 2007 collection.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin at the Museum of Arts and Design

Ralph Pucci Signage
All Photos By Gail

Andy Warhol was a pioneer in bringing the commercial image to the world of fine art, and now it’s always fun and fascinating to see how ubiquitous pop culture images, such as the department store mannequin, come into being through a fine art process.

Three Mannequins

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin is the first museum exhibition to explore the work of renowned New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, who is widely regarded for his innovative approach to the familiar form of the mannequin. Having collaborated with luminaries such as Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Naggar, Andrée Putman, Kenny Scharf, Anna Sui, Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Christy Turlington, Pucci’s mannequins not only expand the parameters of this ubiquitous sculptural form, but reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades.

Scharf Mannequin and Others
Plus Size Mannequin next to Swirly Mannequin Deigned by Artist Kenny Scharf

As Pucci was building his business in the 1970s, the notion of the Super Model — the living mannequin with a personality — emerged. Pucci captured this catalytic moment in his work, finding inspiration from sources as varied as Greek and Roman statues and the performance costumes of the New York Dolls.

Yoga Mannequin and Others

Pucci personified the previously anonymous form in new and challenging ways, creating visions of physical beauty that were more specific, empowered, and diverse than the fashion industry had previously allowed. More than commercial armatures or sculptural forms, his mannequins became agents of change in our attitudes to the body, to fashion, and to individual identity.

Studio Recreation 1

Studio Recreation 2

In addition to over 30 of Pucci’s most important mannequins The Art of the Mannequin, features an in-gallery recreation of his sculpture studio, and short films you can watch in the gallery that reveal the step-by-step process on mannequin making, which is extremely enlightening. Pucci’s master sculptor and longtime collaborator, Michael Evert, will be in residence during the exhibition’s run to give visitors a first-hand look at the creative process, from initial modeling in clay to the rendering of the fiberglass end-product.

Studio Recreation 3
Scharf Heads
Mannequin Heads By Kenny Scharf

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin will be on Exhibit Through October 25th, 2015 at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle in NYC. Visit This Link for more information.
Red Mannequin