Anna Sui doesn’t love scary movies, but she adores illusion, especially glamorous illusion.
That’s one reason she turned to 1970s Italian horror, of the B movie variety, as inspiration for her latest collection, shown Monday at New York Fashion Week. Think goth vampires, and also the Catherine Deneuve-David Bowie cult favorite “The Hunger,” another film that moved her.
It was the cat eye glasses and fascinator hats, along with the trashy lighting in red and green, that helped draw her in and punctuated her runway.
“This last couple of months I’ve watched so many of those movies,” Sui told The Associated Press in a backstage interview. “Women wore negligees and peignoirs.”
And devil horns? Her often breezy collection, with some colorful on-brand puffer coats thrown in, included one model with a pair of horns in black. Others were dressed in black faux leather, crinkle and burnt velvets, and vampire-esque black Jacquard with fluttery feathers.
It was horror glam, a la Anna Sui.
“I think that’s what we’re missing today is glamour,” she said. “We’ve gone through that whole, like, sports sort of look and now we need something more glamorous. I think we miss glamour. Everything’s so real, everything’s so in your face, everything’s so digital. We need a little illusion, we need a little fantasy, and that’s what I was trying to show here.”
This fantasy came with lace-up boots and shoes with chunky high heels, a green print dress with cutouts and a pattern of black and white leaves, a goth cape in fiery red and plentiful paisley, a brand mainstay. She mixed textures and prints, pairing a faux fur leopard coat with a loose floral dress and patchwork crochet skirts with stretch-sleeve flower blouses.
Though she hadn’t left her office in weeks, Sui said fashion continues to sustain her after 40 some years in the industry.
“It’s just something that I hope I can do forever,” she said.