Anna Sui Fall 2021

Anna Sui took a more muted approach to color than usual for her fall 2021 collection. The designer is best known for her hippie-inspired psychedelic colors and prints, and while there is color in the bulk of her collection this season, Sui began the presentation with a focused black and white moment, which she said she’s been unable to stop thinking of as the world is currently on pause and she has visions of a bright and vibrant world ahead.

Despite the heavier use of a black and white color palette, Anna Sui didn’t stray away from her signature use of bold patterns. Stripes, cow prints, plaids, and zigzags all helped take maximalist neutral colors and earth tones to more creative heights. Patterns were layered on patterns, lurex stripes and wavy knits gave the eye plenty to explore, and faux suede pieces had whimsical trims. While the earlier looks in the collection focused on black, white, and earth tones, later looks featured gorgeous splashes of purple, fuchsia, green, and magenta.

By fall 2021, there is expected to be an answer as to where we can wear maximalist, patterned, beautiful garments. With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, designers are creating collections centered around a future of optimism. The global pause has been seeing an on-again, off-again button with lockdown measures, but as the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming more available globally, people are looking for a reason to dress-up again.

Anna Sui’s word of choice for the future she envisions is phantasmadelic, a word of her own unique origin in reference to exuberant colors and patterns. Additional inspiration for her came from the 1968 film “Wonderwall” by Joe Massot, where a bored scientist who lives his world in black-and-white discovers a hole through his wall and sees swinging sixties model Penny Lane, played by the incomparable Jane Birkin, who lives her life in fantastic color.

Images courtesy of Richie Davis

The set for Anna Sui’s virtual show featured a brightly hued wardrobe cabinet, with the idea being that this will transport us to a new world and a fashionable new dawn where there is a party on the other side and reason to show off our latest fashions. Here’s to hoping in fall 2021 that Anna Sui’s dreams do come true.

—Kristopher Fraser

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