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The World of Anna Sui Exhibit

The World of Anna Sui Exhibit

The World of Anna Sui exhibit curated by Denis Northdruft and organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum,London is now on the final leg of it’s international tour.The exhibit features over 100 looks from fashion designer Anna Sui’s archive, spanning her career from 1981 to 2017.I got the chance to view this fabulous exhibit right before it closed two weeks ago at the NSU Art Museum in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. If you get a chance it looks like it has one more stop on the international tour, at the Mint Museum Randolph in Charlotte NC from November 20, 2021 – May 1, 2022.

It felt slightly odd being back in my favorite local art museum after so long away! This was my first visit back since Covid and I didn’t realize how much I missed this little gem of a museum. They have fantastic children/family free programs every month if you haven’t been yet. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, I only wish I had known about this exhibit earlier. I caught the very last week of the show before it heads to NC. I got some lovely pics, the art book of the show as well as the cutest Anna Sui graphic tee!

Growing up in the 90’s this exhibit really resonated with me and it was so inspiring to see some of my favorite runway looks in person. I love the way this show was organized into such cohesive groupings and the backgrounds and room designs were just stunning. The exhibit explores 13 main themes explored in Anna Suis’ designs:

  • Mod
  • Punk
  • Grunge
  • Rockstar
  • Hippie
  • Schoolgirl
  • Americana
  • Surfer
  • Nomad
  • Victorian
  • Retro
  • Androgeny
  • Fairytale

Some of My Favorite Pieces:

I went through the exhibit 3 times! Once to take photos and detail shots, once to view and then one last time to study. I was surprised by the level of detail and sewing construction of many of these looks that I never noticed before. The seaming and gathered details on some of the ditzy print dresses were amazing. From a distance you really can’t see the high level of construction. But the embroidery and beading details were what kept me coming back for a second look. The simplicity of design in such intricate detail was so inspiring. I have so many ideas for my new embroidery business after seeing this exhibit.

It was interesting seeing Anna Sui’s major influences which are so similar to mine. They were a bunch of William Morris prints, Art Nouveau, and fantastic graphic posters of some of my favorite bands.

I loved seeing some of the designs against the background of her mood boards and fabric swatches and sketches. The shoes shown with the looks were just as fantastic as the clothing. Anna Sui collaborated with Ballin as well as having a range of shoes with Hush Puppies. Jewelry really brings many of the looks to life and the pieces designed by Karen Erickson for Erickson Beamon are spectacular. The final rooms focused on accessories, cosmetics by Albion and the sunglasses by Mondottica were just gorgeous. I’d wear them all! Seeing them displayed in the black lacquered furniture against the lavender walls and tiffany style chandeliers like it was displayed originally in her stores really brings the show to life.

How adorable are these cross-stitched bag! I need to make one!

Back soon with a bunch of end of summer makes! Happy Sewing!

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