I was taken last season by Anna Sui’s bohemian styled spring/summer collection that seemed to come right out of the many summer music festivals that dot thecountry. The looks were soft, colorful, flowing and comfortable enough to take running through the mud or dancing in the rain. While the look was delightful, it was definitely full of summer and I wasn’t sure just how she could follow that with one that is as comfortable yet appropriate for cooler weather. Much to my delight, Ms. Sui found a way.
For Fall/Winter 2014, the diminutive designer took her bohemian sense of style and merged it with the fun and carefree attitudes of the roaring 20s mixed with a hint of the Orient. No, there are no flapper dresses here, nothing even close. There are no attempts to copy anything from that 90-year-old period of decadence. Even the hair styles look as though perhaps someone started a finger wave and then changed their mind, or were perhaps distracted by a song on their iPhone. The look has a retro feel to it without committing to the boundaries of the decade.
Starring in this collection are a set of soft floral prints that sometimes remind one of your grandmother’s couch pillows and other times of the gentle fragrance of a soft perfume. Fabrics range from soft silk to gentle knits that seem to hang effortlessly. She even manages to throw in a bit of heavy wool tweed for those who live in particularly cold climates and, sure enough, a bit of red velvet to stay with the season’s trends.
One of the things I especially like about Anna Sui’s collections is that she sends men’s looks down the runway paired with compatible women’s looks. Why other designers don’t do a bit more of this, I don’t know. And while I’ve railed against wrap coats that look like robes, Anna actually had robes in today’s show and pajamas to go with them! No fakes! Just how much further can one take the Bohemian look than to go strolling in one’s robe and pajamas?
There are a few pieces of sparkle and shimmer here and there, but they are largely understated. Bold prints in rich colors are the winners here. By the end of the show, I was happy with Ms. Sui’s ability to keep her line soft and gentle. This is a collection for a weekend with friends, a pot of chili, and perhaps an adult beverage or two. Could life get any better? I don’t think so.