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Fashion Designer Anna Sui, born today, Aug. 4 in 1952

There are some people who might look at the designs, patterns and colors that are Anna Sui’s stock and trade and categorize her as more Boho than Modern. I say no, no. The fact that she is totally fearless in mixing it up in color, cut and pattern makes her a total Modernist in my book. What does it matter that her patterns involve designs within that have been used before by those with less imagination? What does it matter that there are those who’ve put us asleep with too much of one pattern in too much of one color?

That is not what Anna Sui is about! Her colors dance, her patterns swing, her cuts cut across accepted norms - make that Norma’s. When I went and reviewed her Spring 2017 Ready-To-Wear Collection, I saw ensemble after ensemble that seduced with a rich, warm vibrancy, or electrified with vibrating color and live wire patterning. Was every one of the 53 slides in the slide show online terrific? Let’s just say the overwhelming majority showed a designer who is not content to play it safe. Ever. And I’m not talking just from model to model, I’m talking from jacket to pant in the same outfit.

Anna Sui’s courage would not be worth noting if it weren’t aligned with a talent to see compatibilities and complementary contrasts that few other designers can see. My own personal tastes are towards a slightly more calm vibe but only slightly. Disrupt Modern earrings and Geo Statement Necklaces have always been about a Modernism beyond Minimalism, and I say that to note the parallel that no one would ever accuse Anna Sui of being a Minimalist either. The great architect Mies van der Rohe may have once said “less is more”, but here’s to all those who realize rules are meant to be broken because sometimes “more is more”.

Thanks Anna Sui, for your sense of beauty and daring.