February 17, 2009 New York
What lit Sui's imagination was Proust and the Paris of the Gay Nineties. She looked at pictures of its grandes horizontales and its art, as well as of Yves Saint Laurent's country retreat, where every room was named after a character in Remembrance of Things Past. The research resulted in a demimondaine's boudoir vibe (rose prints and velvet trims) with accents of more sober Rive Droite propriety (black velvet and soutache trim).
There was a lot of black—enlivened by lots of pattern, naturally—in a collection that was overlong and not without its heavy-handed moments. There was also a splashy saffron cardigan with rhinestone trim, a relatively tame brushed-wool plaid coat for the fainter of heart, and some great boots. It will be hard to decide between the colorful over-the-knee style and Sui's amazingly chic challenge to the Ugg boot. Way to kick it, Anna.