Talk of the Tents

New York Fashion Week photos, live blogging, runway highlights and celebrities.

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Anna Sui swoops in on the '70s

Helloooo, 1970s. Anna Sui has a flair for that decade, and once again she mines it for all its Jerry Hall fabulousness. But this is not just a tossed-together clutch of bell bottoms, Qiana shirts and puka shells. Sui’s strength is her great knowledge of — and reverence for — trends of the time. So, along with the crocheted cardigans, the turbans, the marabou shrugs swiped from Foxy Brown’s closet, she also has shoulder pads. Yes. Shoulder pads, on everything from silk blouses to flouncy dresses and light cover-ups.

The shoulder pads were a nod to the 1940s, a decade being mined for all IT was worth back in the disco era. Her ‘40s-style dresses and rompers come in her signature cheeky prints — florals, hearts, checks…also fairies, shooting stars, toothbrushes and a patriotic stars and stripes that must be right out of the 1976 Bicentennial. And don't forget the hats with net veils.

Her inspiration for all this Memory Lane walking was Antonio Lopez, a renowned fashion illustrator who died of AIDS in 1987 at age 44. His drawings of women like Hall, Grace Jones and Jessica Lange helped boost their careers and popularity, and the salon he created with Karl Lagerfeld in Paris back in the day, a place where models could hang out, generated buzz and sowed the seeds for the supermodel phenomenon that flourished a decade later.

With such historic and artistic source material, one can almost forgive her the series of prairie dresses worn with big floppy hats so popular at hippie-dippie weddings of the period. Some things are better left in the past.