Anna Sui’s Smithsonian Shout-Out


Detroit-born and Parsons-educated fashion designer Anna Sui has long favored a rocker vibe, but this season, she’s turned down the music and headed to the museum. For her fall 2010 collection, which she’ll show this evening at the largest of Bryant Park’s three venues, Sui says that she was inspired by the American arts and crafts movement, “which celebrated handcrafted artisan design in response to the mass-produced products of the Industrial Revolution.” In seasons past, Sui has proved that she knows her way around a prairie look, and we’re eager to see how she’ll translate Stickley for the runway. One artistic accent to watch for is a shout-out to the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler galleries. Sui designed a t-shirt to celebrate artist James McNeill Whistler‘s Peacock Room, which was installed in the Freer nearly a century ago. An illustration by Sara Schwartz (above) depicts a corner of the lavish room, decorated by Whistler in 1876-77 with blue and gold peacock murals. Proceeds from the t-shirt, which will appear on the runway this evening and be available for purchase in September, will support the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler galleries “to benefit and support the appreciation and study of Asian art and culture.”