New York Fashion Week: Anna Sui, Thom Browne and Tory Burch

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Sep 13 2021

The five-and-a-half-day New York Fashion Week ended on Sunday, a sunny day after a solemn Saturday in memory of the 20th anniversary of September 11. We take a look at three designers: Anna Sui, Thom Browne, and Tory Burch. The key message: demure fantasy is essential.

Anna Sui – Spring / Summer 2020 – Womenswear – New York Anna Sui: Paradise in IndochineAnna, the designer and not editor that is, entitled her latest co – Instagram: @annasui / @gerardosomozaphotography
Anna Sui: Paradise in Indochine

Anna, the designer and not editor that is, entitled her latest co

Anna Sui: Paradise in Indochine

Anna (the designer, not the director) called her latest collection “Another Day in Paradise,” and her charming Sgt. Pepper-style invitations heralded an exotic journey. A prediction that came true with a variety of deliciously wacky outfits.

Sui’s “mood board” featured everything from Trader Vic’s bar signs and Tahitian advertisements, to Honolulu masks and Niki de Saint Phalle catalogs. Sui managed to introduce all that and more into this spring / summer 2022 collection.

It was all presented in Indochine, which has been a favorite hangout for fashionistas for the past three decades. Extravagant but wonderful, with the help of the Instagram camera angle, perched on the bar of this post-colonial French Vietnamese restaurant, from its opening look, a pink bikini underneath a Chanel-style jacket with Verner Panton patterns, topped by a huge tulip-shaped straw hat

Coral chenille cardigans, appropriately romantic lime green lace dresses, scuba spandex skirts and crochet hippie tops, all finished with glittery outdoor sandals or platforms with matching socks. Like many other designers in New York, Sui showed off sports bras and accent briefs, carrying looks of confinement from the apartments to the runways.

“I dream of escaping to a little-known vacation spot, where the weather is always sunny, the waves consistently tasty, and the people always fun and cool. In my personal Shangri-La, I wake up every day when I want to, walk among the singing birds, palm trees and delicious-smelling tropical flowers, I listen to my favorite music and order drinks that come with colored umbrellas. The mood is always upbeat and anything goes: it’s another day in paradise! ” Anna in her statement.

The sense of joie de vivre and escapism was palpable at this show, which felt more like a cruise collection than a typical spring / summer offering. All with the help of Pat McGrath’s super work and a pink and sand makeup palette. Sui’s work may be a little sugary, but when it clicks, as it did this season, it can be very divine.

Thom Browne – Spring / Summer 2022 – Womenswear – New York

Thom Browne: More Artifice Than Art

Why Thom Browne has never directed a feature film is becoming a mystery, given how cinematic his shows have become. Especially their Saturday night event, with a giant de-Chirico-worthy house frame set in a formal French garden, guarded by a squad of feathered spirits and harpies.

Two of the leading figures on the flagstone walkway were riding on unicycles, their faces covered by the heads of mesh horses. Inside the house, a couple in bumster suits with trompe l’oeil designs paced grumpily. Like the riders, they wore versions of the gray flannel suit, in fact, like most models in this show.

True, Browne made headway in her tailoring this season, wearing sleeveless Edwardian coats for women and a tailored safari jacket of bright capes, seen as one of her harpies shed her fabric down coat and circled the garden. However, her foray into dressmaking, with nearly twenty looks, was stiff and uninspiring.

Furthermore, too often, it seemed that art and artifice were covering up the lack of innovation in clothing. Browne’s shows, three times longer than most runway events, are reminiscent of Pierre Cardin’s collections for their enormous length. This show made “Last Year in Marienbad” look like a thriller.

Browne has built a great brand and invented a new way for women to wear formal wear. But after this weekend’s show, it seems like the house needs to change gears rather than just stay on designer autopilot until the next fancy stage to decorate arrives.

Now that I think about it, a movie project might just ignite your creativity.

Tory Burch – Spring / Summer 2022 – Womenswear – New York – DR

Tory Burch: A chaste party in Soho

A cobblestone block in Soho, on Mercer Street, with bookcases, vegetable stalls and antique shops. That was the ideal setting for this weekend’s Tory Burch show.

It was as bohemian as you could imagine: ruffled ankle-length skirts, crinkled pleated blouses, oversized men’s hemp, cotton pants, and large double chalk stripes. Various looks were accompanied by Lonsdale fabric belts. Most of the models carried different bags (buckets, totes, and purses) that looked utilitarian and cool.

Burch loves live performances and this is how his show ended, with a ballet of a jogger-clad dancer Lil Buck (aka Charles Riley) who has danced with Benjamin Millepied’s corps de ballet accompanied by the drummer Cornelius. A happy ending to a show whose invitation included a coloring book, pencils and a straw apple.

Much material and little leather in the most demure collection in New York, with hardly a limb in sight. It’s strange then that the soundtrack featured Brian Eno and David Byrne’s “The Jezebel Spirit,” as this cast seemed almost devoted.

On the other hand, this is undoubtedly the secret of Tory Burch’s success, she has managed to invent a new paradigm of what it means to be feminine and to be fashionable.

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