AFTER a frenzy of red flashing lights illuminated the runway, the models lined up and turned dramatically in unison before walking Anna Sui’s show at New York Fashion week this season. For AW20 the American designer looked to 1970s horror film heroines – the matriarchs of vamp glamour – for inspiration.

Platform shoes were worn with knee high striped socks; red cat eye sunglasses framed Pat McGrath’s winged eyeliner and dark makeup; and lace chandelier chokers were paired with ornamental crucifixes.

The collection as a whole highlighted Sui’s adoration for material excess, with each of its 50 looks featuring a unique print of its own. Florals, check, snakeskin, paisley, leopard print and a quaint strawberry polka-dot that opened the show.

As expected, her signature references to Bohemia were still made apparent through excessive crochet, lace and a print collaboration with Liberty London. However, this season we saw Sui broaden her material horizons, experimenting with faux leather, PVC and crushed velvet.

As the colour of the lights transitioned, casting purple and green lights on to the runway, Sui’s show unravelled. Each look delivering the designers eccentric vision of gothic glamour.

by Augustine Hammond

Images: Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

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