Anna Sui dances to the beat of her drum, playing a tune that often nods to the Swinging ’60s. The New York-based fashion designer is known for combing through references from the decade to form sartorial symphonies chock full of vibrant colors, idiosyncratic patterns, and flirty silhouettes. This characteristic is especially highlighted in a poster art-inspired campaign for her Fall 2019 collection, which stars Sunflower Bean frontwoman, Julia Cumming.
“I collect posters like other people collect art,” Sui said in a statement. “I filled my mood boards with them. My favorite rock posters are the handbills from the Grande Ballroom in Detroit by Gary Grimshaw, who did posters for bands like MC5, the Yardbirds, and Cream.”
Indeed, the psychedelia that these musical acts typified takes center stage in the advertisements. Cumming wears a selection of brocade mini dresses and coats, gauzy separates with fringe and sequins, and accessories that imbue a trippy, heirloom quality. The images call to mind many of the style icons of that era, particularly Andy Warhol’s muse Edie Sedgwick, who bears a striking resemblance to Cumming.
Sui titled it “Poptimism,” a nomenclature that deems rock music as worthy of scholarly critique. But in her case, the term is a portmanteau of pop and optimism; the way she takes poster art from the ’60s counter-culture movement, and gives it her own quirky, lively spin.
If you are willing to dance along with Sui, the collection, which ranges from $350 to $700, will be available in the designer’s boutique and Annasui.com.
Left image: Julia Cumming. Photo courtesy of Jeannie Sui/Anna Sui.