Arts and Crafts Movement reinterpreted

At New York Fashion Week in February, designer Anna Sui’s show paid a stunning and creative tribute to the Arts and Crafts Movement. I was intrigued to see the values and aesthetics of the movement re-interpreted in a completely different genre. I had planned to write about this when it was hot off the press, but my blog posts, like my fashion choices, seem to be just a little bit behind the times.

This slideshow from the New York Times provides a visual overview of the collection.

Anna Sui’s review of the show sets the tone:

One of the many joys of an Anna Sui collection is the intro it gives you to worlds you know nothing about. This season’s show was a passport to the American Arts and Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century. . .

I’d never heard of the furniture designer Charles Rohlfs, but Sui could produce a weighty coffee-table book devoted to his work. As it was, she designed an embroidery based on a Rohlfs’ chest of drawers. . .

Sui hunted down the place where Roycroft tiles were manufactured during the Arts and Crafts years and had them reproduced to be used as pendants (the Erickson Beamon jewelry in the collection was outstanding).

Here’s a trendy and obnoxiously bleeding-edge production video in which the designer talks about the Arts & Crafts Movement and its influence.

From design site UnBeige:

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. . . 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.”

Note to self: Remember to buy one of these shirts in September.

It’s been a truism in the interior design industry for some time that fashion trends trickle down to interiors. Anna Sui’s show received rave reviews, and I’m in favor of anything that raises the visibility of the Arts and Crafts Movement and its artisans. It will be interesting to see how Anna Sui’s fashion vision might influence other areas of popular culture.

Oh, and dear Ms. Sui: We have some rugs that may interest you!

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