Style

Q&A with fashion designer Anna Sui

She burst onto the fashion scene in the ‘80s and has been a style icon ever since. We got the scoop on how this famous designer dreams up her must-have collections.

Anna Sui

She burst onto the fashion scene in the ‘80s and has been a style icon ever since. We got the scoop on how this famous designer dreams up her must-have collections.

Q: Is it true you use scrapbooking for inspiration?
A: Yes! When I was young I was always cutting things out of my mother’s movie magazines and TV Guides. I’d save pictures of Cher or Elizabeth Taylor in a box under my bed. Steven Meisel and I were at Parsons New School for Design together and he’d say, “Let’s go through your genius files.” We still do that sort of thing. On the weekends we email each other pictures.

Q: What are your favourite style trends?
A: There’s a ladylike thing happening a lot in Europe at the moment, like in Prada’s collections and the BBC’s TV show The Hour. And I like the animal trend — I collect antique snake rings.

Q: How do you come back to earth after a big show?

A: It’s hard to switch off. Last time around I went to see Mysteries of Lisbon. It’s a four-and-a-half-hour movie that takes place during the Napoleonic era in Portugal about how war changes lives and expectations. It’s so beautifully shot and the costumes are just incredible.

Q: How do you multi-task to do fashion, cosmetics and fragrance lines at the same time?
A: All these products evolve from the same thing. It starts with the fashion show — Pat McGrath [makeup artist] will come to talk about the cosmetics or [hairstylist] Garren comes to discuss the hair. I hang inspiration boards for everyone to look at, so the ideas flow but everything is focused. The cosmetic team watches the show so they know what the colour palette and inspiration are all about.

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