We talked to Anna Sui just before her Spring 2010 show at New York Fashion Week and the highly anticipated release of her “Gossip Girl” line for Target. Read on to find out which character on the show is her favorite! Plus, Anna put together a lookbook of famous faces wearing her clothes. Take a peek by clicking on the image below.
Looking back at who’s worn your designs over the years, are there any surprises?
Of course I’m enormously flattered, especially when it happens to be someone I’m also a “fan” of, such as Sofia Coppola, Cher and Anita Pallenberg. But I was secretly thrilled inside when we saw Miley Cyrus in my dress performing on “Good Morning America.” It was a big honor.
If you could dress any celebrity whom you haven’t worked with yet, who would it be, and why?
Elizabeth Taylor. She was always my favorite the absolute pinnacle of true Hollywood glamour, with the most beautiful eyes and sultry style.
When you’re planning a new collection for a fashion show, how do you prepare for it?
It’s all connected; each element is taken into account, much like a novel or movie. A great deal of planning and forethought goes into each production. My fashion show is a “show” … there is a theme and a story; there’s definitely a theatrical element. Each look represents an entire world of Anna Sui, from head to toe.
Which other designers, current or past, have had the most influence on your career?
Zandra Rhodes, Ossie Clark, Marimekko, Rudi Gernreich, Biba.
You’ve been a major force in fashion design since the 1980s. Do you have a favorite era or season?
I always like the 1960s, of course … and the entire 19th century.
You’ve designed everything from red-carpet looks to ready-to-wear and now a new line for Target. How was this line different?
I think designer partnerships with mass retailers are a great way to bring fashion to everyone. I was able to select a “muse of creative inspiration,” which was the focus of the collection. It was an exciting challenge to try to interpret my aesthetic into a mass-produced product with a specific inspirational source.
You’ve designed the line around the characters on “Gossip Girl.” What was your thinking behind the looks?
Jenny is the quintessential downtown girl who’s closest to my heart. Serena is a bit more serious; I wanted to loosen her up and invite her to have some fun with her outfits.
OK, here’s our lightning round of questions. Ready?
Favorite color? Purple.
Favorite fabric? Velvet.
Favorite midnight snack? Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.
Person you’d most like to meet past or present? Michelle Obama.
Guilty pleasure? Shopping at flea markets.
Quality you most admire in a person? Loyalty.
Favorite getaway? London.
Oscars or Grammys? Oscars.
Most surprising thing on your current inspiration board? Doctor Dolittle.
Item or trend we’ll never see in your collection? Never say never.
Photos (from left) by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images, Courtesy of Anna Sui, Gregg DeGuire/WireImage