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Summary: We have come to expect certain things from Anna Sui, like a rainbow of colors, a menagerie of prints, and a million-and-one trimmings and details, and she definitely did not skimp on her Spring/Summer ’09 collection. The show was bright and loud, with layered looks, shocking color combinations, unusual prints, and perfectly mismatched ensembles. She used her usual palette of hot pinks, cobalt blues, shimmering emerald greens, pink and white embroidery, and black and white appliques. There were swingy dresses with the natural waist emphasized, straight sheaths and tunics with an East-meets-Austria-meets-West design aesthetic, and a sneaky but subtle use of her sun logo on a skirt. Sometimes this jumble can seem disjointed and less than cohesive, and sometimes it seems so obviously purposeful that you wonder why you doubted Ms. Sui’s point-of-view. Some looks definitely went over-the-top with a skirt, top, vest, scarf, and bag…all in different prints & colors. But others gave us unique open-work along the bottom of an otherwise simple tunic, or sleek flowing dresses in lady-like silk prints. Color pairings like chartreuse & plum and hot pink & red presented themselves beautifully, and the show ended with stunning black & white dresses that were heavily embroidered but had a sleek, cool feel. My favorite look? A white tunic, trimmed in black, with a red-green-black-yellow-and-blue ethnic print on the flowy sleeves, paired with barely noticeable black satin cropped pants and an amazing black & white jeweled necklace.
– Alison Stewart