The 1940s' Hollywood look met the 1970s' American in Paris at the spring Anna Sui show on Wednesday at New York Fashion Week.
Let Sui explain: "My spring collection is inspired by the fabulous American fashion illustrator, Antonio Lopez. I had recently reread Alicia Drake's wonderful book, 'The Beautiful Fall,' and loved the chapters where Antonio and his partner Juan Ramos moved to Paris and inspired French fashion in the 1970s (and introduced so many famous faces; Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, Cathee Danmen, and Jessica Lange)," Sui said in an email.
"I'm influenced by the energy, optimism and joie de vivre of the whole scene, and I tried to recreate that spirit in my show," she said.
That meant printed turbans on almost every model's head, a la Greta Garbo, tons of novelty-print dresses and several lingerie-like looks.
Sui's catwalk always has top-tier models. Karen Elson opened the show in a chiffon dress, patchwork sweater dress and black-and-white marabou jacket, and she closed it in a sequin-top, paisley-leaf gown. Jessica Stam, with legs decorated with butterflies (Sui's signature), wore a floral kaftan and a rose-print chiffon romper, and Caroline Trentini wore a butterfly-and-hydrangea-print jumpsuit.
Sui was into novelty prints this season, also offering several looks with stars and heart motifs.
There's always a vintage vibe to the clothes on Sui's catwalk at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, yet the designer caters to a mostly younger crowd. They might not get the retro references with the lace that trims delicate blouses and the slinky embroidered tulle dress worn like a robe over tap pants, but they'll look good in them.