|Karen Elson walks the Anna Sui S/S 12 Runway|
For Spring 2012, designer Anna Sui strived for her usual 70's inspired aesthetic, infused by the ultra-feminine and glamorous style of the 40's era. Despite the contrast in influence from different time periods, the runway soundtrack was all about the 70's songs from ZE Records, a New York based label which represents disco, no wave, and indie rock artists. Walking to the rock-infused tracks and donning Sui's head-to-toe eclectic looks were many of today's hottest models, headed by Sui's longtime friend, super-model turned singer Karen Elson.
In true Sui runway fashion, Elson, opened the show in a glitter crinkle turban, black & white ombre jacket, and electric purple chiffon. The former Mrs. Jack White, happened to fresh off the night before's performance at a Paper Magazine Party where she performed songs off her The Ghost Who Walked Album, as well as a stunning cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". Also present were fashion heavy-hitters such as Jessica Stam, Karlie Kloss, Arizona Muse, and Lindsey Wixson.
Just as American fashion was back in the 40's, the collection was heavily influenced by the ladylike characteristics of Parisian deign. Sui told Rolling Stone Magazine " I was inspired this season by Antonio Lopez, an illustrator and photographer in the 70's. I'm channeling the moment he went to Paris with some of his American muses, and helped introduce vintage fashion to that scene; it was a whole different aesthetic than French fashion at the time." From the sheers, florals, lace, and sequined fabrics to the old-fashioned silhouettes, this was certainly evident. However, Sui was able to incorporate her signature wild prints, vibrant hues, and statement accessories which kept the collection fluent with those of the past.
The show's soundtrack was curated by legendary sound stylist Frederic Sanchez, who has also worked for fashion houses such as Prada, Versace, and Louis Vuitton. For Sui this season, it was all about late 70's tracks, particularly the first track "Fire" by French artist and pioneer in the "No Wave" genre Lizzy Mercier- Descloux. The first of three tracks by Mercier - Descloux, her soft vocals along with upbeat instrumentals, served as a great complement to the show. The rest of the tracks, were all from French artists, kept the energy strong, particularly by Casino Music entitled " Do You Feel Blue?." All of the songs were under the ZE label. Sui's collection and showmanship all lies in her understanding of the relationship between fashion and music. The two feed off of each other and Spring 2012 collection, as well as all of her runway shows, are an illustration of that.