The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will present a major retrospective exhibition of fashion designer Anna Sui through September 19, 2021. With over 100 looks, The World of Anna Sui explores the glamorous and eclectic world of one of New York’s most beloved and accomplished designers, and invites viewers to step inside Sui’s imagination to discover her creative process and the diverse influences that contribute to her signature aesthetic sensibility. The World of Anna Sui is organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and is curated by Dennis Nothdruft.
“Originally displayed at the Fashion and Textile Museum in 2017, The World of Anna Sui continues to highlight a fresh and engaging cultural perspective,” Nothdruft said. “The exhibition showcases a fashion designer who is not only highly creative and entrepreneurial, but also playful and positive. I’m delighted that as the exhibition continues to tour internationally, the joyous and influential work of Anna Sui will be celebrated among ever-greater audiences.”
The exhibition has already been staged in Shanghai, Tokyo and New York,
Who is Anna Sui?
Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Anna Sui has become known for creating fabulously original clothing inspired by intensive research into vintage fashion and popular culture. The exhibition ranges from early looks – such as the exuberant Carnaby Street schoolgirl outfits worn by supermodels Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell in the first runway show in 1991, to the cowgirl and cheerleader modeled by Gigi and Bella Hadid during the Spring/Summer 2017 Americana-themed collection.
“NSU Art Museum’s exhibitions explore the full range of visual culture as expressions of contemporary life,” Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum Director and Chief Curator, said. “Anna Sui shares with other artists of her generation a renewed interest in storytelling and an exploration of societal archetypes. Throughout her career Sui has inventively blended global art history, music and popular culture for each new collection. Her designs are inspired by extraordinary and creative women and her embrace of collaborations across disciplines keeps her at the forefront of fashion, art and design. We are delighted to present this compelling exhibition.”
Anna Sui’s Rise to Fashion Celebrity
Born in the suburbs of Detroit, Sui joined New York’s cultural underground at an intensely creative time in the 1970s, forming important relationships in the worlds of fashion, photography, art, music and design. The exhibition looks at Sui’s artistic journey through her creative process, collections, interiors, and collaborations.
Thematically arranged, the exhibition explores Sui’s lifelong engagement with an array of ‘archetypes’ including the rock star, the schoolgirl, the punk, nomads, and surfers — motifs that are featured throughout her work. From fairy tales and fables to Victoriana, Sui researches her current cultural obsessions in minute detail to create a different story with each collection.
Hallmark outfits include Sui’s “Silver Peruvian Ensemble” and iconic sequined silk organza “Babydoll Dress” from Spring 1994. Featured looks will be displayed in context with the original backdrops used in Sui’s arresting fashion shows. Items on view will also include fashions worn by Sui’s personal style icons who include Anita Pallenberg and Jane Holzer.
Sui is known for the richness of her printed textiles, combining a complex layering and mixing of patterns, texture and colors. The show highlights Sui’s own distinctively graphic textiles as well as those created with high-profile partners such as Ascher Studio, Zandra Rhodes, Jeffrey Fulvimari and Barbara Hulanicki.
In addition, the exhibition explores her design processes through mood boards, photographs, sketches, runway shots, and cultural ephemera. A section on collaborations documents her long- term creative partnerships with models such as Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, as well as with make-up artists Pat McGrath and Francois Nars, jeweler Erickson Beamon, knitwear designer and milliner James Coviello and hairstylist Garren. The influence of music is seen throughout the exhibition, from Sui’s continuing love of Bohemian chic to her seminal 1993 grunge collections.
The range of different styles on display emphasize Anna Sui’s consistent design approach as she incorporates her current passions into every garment. As it celebrates American fashion, the exhibition also provides a fascinating guide to the history of American pop culture, and an inside look into the creative process and unique world view of this iconic designer whose daring and experimental approach to design has become a mainstay of the international fashion scene.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is located at One East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL.
For additional information, please visit nsuartmuseum.org or call 954-525-5500. Stay connected with NSU Art Museum on social media @nsuartmuseum
About NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
Founded in 1958, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs encompassing many facets ofcivilization’s visual history. Located midway between Miami and Palm Beach in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s arts and entertainmentdistrict, the Museum’s 83,000 square-foot building, which opened in 1986, was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes andcontains over 25,000 square feet of exhibition space.
In 2008, the Museum became part of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), one of the largest private research universities in the United States. NSU Art Museum is known for its significant collection of Latin American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on art by Black, Latinx and women artists, African art that spans the 19th to the 21st-century, as well as works by American artist William Glackens, and the European Cobra group of artists.
Exhibitions and programs at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale are made possible in part by a challenge grant from the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation. Funding is also provided by the City of Fort Lauderdale, AutoNation, Community Foundation of Broward, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is accredited by the American Association of Museums.