The World of Anna Sui explores the glamorous and eclectic world of one of New York’s most beloved and accomplished fashion icons. Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has become known for creating fabulously original clothing inspired by research into vintage fashion and popular culture.
Featuring over 100 looks from the designer’s archives, the exhibition ranges from early looks – such as Carnaby Street schoolgirl outfits worn by supermodels Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell in Sui’s first runway show in 1991, to cowboy and cheerleader modeled by Gigi and Bella Hadid during her 2017 Americana-themed collection.
Sui joined New York’s cultural underground at an intensely creative time, forming important relationships in the worlds of fashion, photography, art, music and design. The exhibition looks at Sui’s artistic journey through her creative process, collections, interiors, and collaborations and explores her lifelong engagement with ‘archetypes’ including the rock star, the schoolgirl, the punk, nomads, and surfers — motifs that are featured in all her work.
The exhibition explores Sui’s design processes through moodboards, photographs, sketches, runway shots, and cultural ephemera. A section on collaborations documents her long-term creative partnerships with models such as Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, as well as with make-up artist Pat McGrath, jeweler Erickson Beamon and knitwear designer and milliner James Coviello. The World of Anna Sui was curated by Dennis Nothdruft for the Fashion and Textile Museum, London.