Model Gigi Hadid led off the Anna Sui fall 2018 runway show in a rouge multi-scattered flowers metallic brocade vest and multi-paisley blooms metallic dress. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
Model Bella Hadid in Anna Suit rouge multi-gradient floral jacquard coat, festive sequin pant, and multi flowers from a fan lace and jacquard dress. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
Kaia Gerber in Anna Sui sunshine multi scattered flowers metallic brocade coat, multi paisley bloom jacquard skirt and metallic jacquard top. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
Anna Sui rouge multi "Whoo's that Pussycat?" stain stripe dress, georgette medley top. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
Anna Sui black/cream mohair melange sweater, sunshine multi pop bouquet crinkle chiffon top, black multi chunky tweed skirt. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
Anna Sui Bordeaux multi floral faux fur coat, ambre multi floral Daze jacquard dress. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
Anna Sui moondust embroidered sequined dress. Photo courtesy of Anna Sui.
NEW YORK — Just about every fashion season, Anna Sui shows a trippy, youth-oriented collection that’s a lot of fun. It’s usually a blast from the past, with a cascade of competing styles that evoke ’70 hippie chic or ’80s glam rock. For her fall 2018 collection unveiled at New York Fashion Week, Sui delved a little deeper, reaching back to the swinging ’60s, with languid Burt Bacharach music (“Walk on By,” “”The Look of Love,” “What’s New Pussycat?”) and a new cast of young models who worked the runway in a fun way like their well-known predecessors used to.
Sui has long featured models-of-the-moment in her shows, with friends like Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington on the runway. This time, she showcased Kaia Gerber, the 16-year-old daughter of ’80s supermodel Cindy Crawford, and sisters Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid, who led off the show by walking in tandem — Gigi in a paisley metallic dress and floral brocade vest; Bella in sequin pants, floral jacquard coat and dress — and closed it with Gigi in a feather and metallic tunic over embellished pants and Bella in a long shiny floral dress. While some of the young models looked like they were playing dress up in the competing looks, they added a touch of energy that has been missing in some of Sui’s previous shows.
Sui recalled that she was trying to evoke the feeling she had when she was growing up in Detroit as a fashion-obsessed teen, reading Seventeen and Mademoiselle magazines cover-to-cover and learning all the model’s names while looking at the designers’ clothes. She instructed her young models in her latest show to look at videos of Cristibol Balenciaga and Norman Norell shows of the era to get a better idea of how they show react on the runway in a more joyful fashion.
The clothes are happy, too, incorporating shiny sequins, feathers, and brocades in wild paisley and forget-me-not floral patterns. Unlike some designers, Sui rarely relies on basic black. Instead, she features groovy velvet suits in shades of brown and shiny mauve, faux furs in tiger stripe patterns, Levi’s corduroy jackets dolled up in fruit and floral designs, metallic minidresses, gowns doted with sequined blue birds, and lace-trimmed dresses in an owl and pussycat motif.
Sui also collaborated with Bed Stu on the boho-inspired shoes, which range from chunky heeled Oxfords and cutout sequined pumps to Western lace-up boots. The collection will be available at Sui’s store in New York and the Bed Stu flagship store in Malibu, California.
The Hadid sisters and Gerber were familiar faces during New York Fashion Week. Before heading to Europe for the London, Paris, and Milan shows, the Hadid siblings hit the catwalk together at the Brandon Maxwell and Prabal Gurung shows, in addition to Sui’s show. A-list designers Tom Ford, Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein’s Raf Simons, and Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier all featured Gerber in their New York runway shows.