Anna Sui: sophisticated whimsy

To a backdrop of a caricatured Anna Sui store the models emerged three by three. And what models they were – only minutes before the show started Tania and I had been discussing how New York fashion week‘s main shows had been largely devoid of the big names models. And yet here they were, not so much pounding the catwalk as they were bounding down it, giving a sense that any moment now they may just throw professionalism to the wind and skip down the catwalk instead, and with smiles aplenty, all driving home Anna Sui’s carefully communicated message that her’s is a label for the girl who loves life.

Sui’s work is rarely found without a hint of the bohemian, and fall 2011 brings it in precisely the type of pieces you might expect: dresses of ethnic-inspired embroidery, rugged furs, and peasant blouses to name a few. But it’s all a little more refined this time around. The colour palette is earthy greens and dark blues, rich yet with a basis in nature. The cuts are relaxed, as so many are this season, the bright, girlish colours are gone but the whimsy is not forgotten; and before the show can get too serious a furry feline hat – complete with ears and whiskers – appears atop the head of one particularly adorable model.

The only time the collection found itself walking a fine line between luxury and kitsch was in butterfly belt buckles, while on the other hand Sui’s subtly embellished pairs of stockings are a take we wouldn’t overlook.

All our photos of Anna Sui‘s autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection are now online. You can view them by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the gallery.