During Fashion Week, on September 10th, The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) celebrated the opening of its latest exhibition, The World of Anna Sui. This major retrospective of an American fashion designer features 75 looks from Anna Sui’s archive including the “Backless Chaps” worn by Naomi Campbell in the Fall 1992 runway show and the iconic “Babydoll Dresses” worn by Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington in her Spring 2019 collection. Sui’s creative process, influences, collaborations and signature aesthetic are on display spanning two gallery floors.
MAD’s Board Chair, Michele Cohen, wearing Anna Sui, welcomed guests along with her husband Marty Cohen, Chris Scoates (MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director) and Jane Holzer.
Said Scoates, “MAD’s exhibitions challenge traditional hierarchies and posit new multidisciplinary interpretations of craft, design, culture and technology, The World of Anna Sui exemplifies the vision and direction we’ve set for the Museum, and our major exhibition for this spring, showcasing the work of contemporary glass artist Brian Clarke, similarly blurs the boundaries between tradition and technology to amazing effect.”
Sui — surrounded by family and friends including Dame Zandra Rhodes, Andrew Bolton, Garren, and Francisco Costa — said, “It’s great that the exhibition is now in New York, my hometown! It’s wonderful that all the people I’ve been working with over the years can come together and reminisce about the body of work we’ve produced. The experience is very emotional for me.”
Hundreds filled the Museum for the opening. Barbara Tober (MAD’s Chairman Emerita) joined by her husband Donald proposed, “MAD is all about new and NEWS these days! Anna Sui’s fabulous retrospective is tomorrow’s fashion statement and New York City Ballet’s upcoming costumes. The World of Anna Sui as well as our other new exhibition, Vera Paints a Scarf, salute women’s creativity now AND forever. I hope everyone comes to see New York’s hottest cultural home for creativity.”
MAD Board Members including Michael Dweck, Jerry and Simona Chazen, Laura and Lewis Kruger, Linda Plattus, Andi Potamkin, Malini Shah, and Barbara Waldman were in attendance, as well as guests Mickey Ateyeh, Brian Bolks, Bob Gruen, Alva Chinn, Karen and Eric Erickson, Jesse Frohman, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Michele Hicks, Laura Lobdel, Fern Mallis, Susan McKagan, Thomas Miller, Bill Mullen, Brenda Vaccaro, and Stuart Vevers.
Anna Sui is one of New York City’s most beloved and accomplished fashion designers, known for creating contemporary original clothing inspired by in-depth research into vintage styles, cultural arcana, art history, graphic design, European and Asian decorative arts, film, and more. Sui joined New York’s creative cultural underground at a rich time in the 1970s, forging important, lasting relationships in the worlds of fashion, photography, art, music, and design.
The Museum of Arts and Design is located at 2 Columbus Circle and open Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (which is pay-what-you-wish hours). Visit: https://madmuseum.org/exhibitions
Photographs by David X Prutting/BFA.com & Jenna Bascom