“WE’ve all spent a lot of time inside these past few months – I hadn’t been at home so much since I was a kid,” said Anna Sui, of the starting point for her Spring 2021 collection, The Heartland. “I began thinking about what home means to me – comfort, security, the smells of delectable meals and desserts made with care, the space to think about what is happening in the world and the people I love.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital collections have become the normality – The Heartland being no exception. Showcased on the CFDA’s RUNWAY360 platform, the presentation referenced the depression era watercolours of Charles Burchfield and the French Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, while incorporating a homely, fuss-free feel the designer has come to love during isolation.

Flowy apron-inspired pinafore dresses appeared in soft cream, cedar and mauve. While quilted jackets in jade-green and black featured alongside floral negligée maxi dresses and cosy embellished sweatshirts that “can be worn around the house or on Zoom.” Accessories followed suit, consisting of oversized bucket hats and chunky sandals made with Sui’s long-time partner, footwear label Teva. The finishings such as eyelet detailing, painted laces and crochet trimming nodded to some of Sui’s favourite homemade knick-knacks including old quilts, tie-dye T-shirts and embroidered tea towels from the 1930s.

“The collection is full of what we need now – comfortable, locally made, versatile pieces without a lot of fuss,” says Sui, who considered lockdown as a moment to reset. “[The Heartland] is all about that homey DIY feel, with a little bit of polish thrown in.”

by Joshua Hendren

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