Two Styled Outfits Inspired by the Anna Sui Exhibit - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Two Styled Outfits Inspired by the Anna Sui Exhibit

I am sharing today two styled outfits inspired by the Anna Sui Exhibit in Charlotte.


The World of Anna Sui at the Charlotte Mint Museum

We had the opportunity to see the Anna Sui Exhibit at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, over the weekend and I really enjoyed seeing the designs and story of how she became a designer.

Anna Sui is an American fashion designer originally from Detroit. Her mother used to sew clothes and Anna would keep the fabric scraps to clothe her Barbie dolls and her brother’s action figures. *wiki. She wanted to be a designer a the age of 4.

She later moved to New York City to attend the famous Parsons School of Design. Later, in 1987, she moved out of her apartment to the Garment District. The 80’s signified “Power dressing” with the Chanel, Versace, and other big fashion houses. Sui decided to go in another direction, and focus on the Grunge period.

I think of Anna Sui as a storyteller of different music genres. The Grunge period, Punk, and a Rock and Roll vibe, many that were inspired by music of the time and the Club scene of NYC. She also explored “Fairytales”, “Nomad” “Victorian” “Cowgirls” themes to her designs. What struck me was the feast for the eyes, the pattern mixes, the luxe fabrics such as silk, velvet, and leather and color. The details of the looks were creative, unique and whimsical. Shoes were fun, playful and often were worn with fashionable printed socks.

The exhibit shared information on each theme, and gave a look inside the process and creative mind of Anna.

From her first show, Sui was known for her light-hearted, whimsical, homemade and entertaining approach to showcasing her collections. The influences came from contemporary shows by designers such as Thierry Muglar and Jean Paul Gaultier where one of the goals was to charm the audience with the atmosphere created.[17] The atmosphere often had a distinct party vibe and the antics of guests and participants were described as a distinct cultural scene of the period.

At the museum we saw her colorful and distinct invitations, her rock posters that were in her childhood bedroom, shoes and hats, as well as her perfume designs.

On several walls were a list of all of her collaborations with various companies such as Target, Hush Puppies ,Tumi, Macy’s and Modcloth just to name a few.

“She was named one of the “Top 5 Fashion Icons of the Decade” and in 2009 earned the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), joining the ranks of Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani Ralph Lauren, and DVF. ** Credit wikipedia. 

It was such a wonderful exhibition, and I loved the designs. I could really relate to the connection between music and fashion, and understand how they blend so well together. Art is all about expression, and to me fashion and music are both very expressive art forms. The atmosphere was both  colorful and fashionable, with the well-dressed mannequins gathering as if they were at a hip party. Each room took us to another area of what seemed like her studio.

If you want more on Anna Sui, read the book, The World of Anna Sui. 

and more about her on Wikipedia.

I could see myself wearing all of these! I especially love the large flower pin at the waist! Will have to try that!

I have my eye on this dress! 

This one has a great print mix.

This Victorian style outfit really appealed to me with all of the cream lace on black,

the fitted contrasting blazer and the wonderful cameo style necklace.

I love the shoes here- both pairs! The brogue style is more feminine with the daisy socks and ribbon shoelaces.

The heart shoes -Love!

Anna Sui also played with an androgynous theme here.

My eyes were transfixed to the suit on the right. I love the florals, the color mix and the

collar on the jacket.

Anna Sui Inspiration Outfit #1

I’ve combined a mix of pattern with my tights ( Ann Sui’s exhibit had many in  textured tights or patterned socks)_ girly, strappy heels, lace, tweed and silk in this look. My Zara bag is a finishing touch. I am wearing a large flower pin, on my jacket. Anna Sui had designs with large flower pins worn on jackets and at the waist with a ribbon belt.

Anna Sui Inspiration Outfit #2

Another mix of prints and fabrics. Hard to tell but I have textured brown tights, A feather print dress is mixed with a textured tweed fitted blazer. My Zara brocade bag adds some fun and whimsy to the look.

My cameo vintage earrings are featured below.

My outfits all came from older pieces in my closet 🙂

Have you been to this exhibit? Which elements of Anna Sui’s design do you like most? Id love to hear from you in the comments! 

Outfit #1

tweed jacket-Loft//floral silk blouse- Haute Hippie//lace skirt- Ann Taylor//tights- Amazon//shoes- Zara//pin- Soft Surroundings

Outfit #2- tweed brown blazer- Banana Republic/Karina Dress/ Patterned tights-target/ shoes- Asos/bag- Zara

Secondhand Anna Sui pieces can be bought HERE. 

You can also find them at a discount secondhand  HERE.

Most clicked- Distinctly Southern Style

IG pick of the week-Lipgloss and Lace

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  • Nancy Weisx
    Posted at 09:14h, 20 March Reply

    What a fun exhibit! I would have enjoyed going too. Your fashion inspiration is on spot Jess. I never knew this about Anna, I loved that you shared her journey.

  • Cheryl Shops
    Posted at 15:05h, 17 March Reply

    Oh wow, I used to love Anna Sui dresses—what ever happened to her?! I hope that exhibit comes to San Francisco. And you definitely paid a lovely homage to her with this outfit!
    Cheryl Shops |

  • Heike Yates
    Posted at 09:43h, 17 March Reply

    I love how you got inspired to create your own look! I divinely loved the heart shoes from her collection and you found the perfect show to style it.

  • Lovely
    Posted at 23:46h, 16 March Reply

    That’s a fun exhibit and I love your inspirations! You look gorgeous in both these outfits!

  • Lee
    Posted at 15:59h, 16 March Reply

    I love all the mixing of prints and textures!
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

  • Emma Peach
    Posted at 13:09h, 16 March Reply

    What a fun exhibit! I love your outfits, the big corsage is beautiful and such a fab detail.

    Emma xxx

  • Gail
    Posted at 02:47h, 16 March Reply

    I love her designs – so fresh and unique! You’ve captured Sui’s essence so well with your two outfits. Fun and informative post xx

  • Jodie Filogomo
    Posted at 19:11h, 15 March Reply

    What a fun way to be inspired. That’s exactly the kind of exhibition we LOVE to visit.

  • Lizzie
    Posted at 17:32h, 15 March Reply

    Your outfits re very “Anna Sui!” Great job on the styling! I would LOVE to see this exhibit!


  • Judy Arazoza
    Posted at 13:58h, 15 March Reply

    I think my favorite of all this is how well you paired patterned tights with patterned outfits

  • Maureen
    Posted at 13:29h, 15 March Reply

    What a fun outing! I have not heard of Anna Sui but after looking through your photos I am attracted to her aesthetic. I love both of the outfits you’ve recreated as they are both eye catching and unique. But my favorite is the second one. I love browns! So I might be a bit biased….

    Maureen |

  • mireille
    Posted at 12:08h, 15 March Reply

    I saw a lot in these pictures of the exhibit that I would wear! Such cool dresses! What a fun outing!

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    Posted at 10:39h, 15 March Reply

    Such a neat exhibit and I am not familiar with Anna Sui, but I’ll have to look her up online! This looks like the perfect way to spend a day!


  • Di Cook
    Posted at 10:38h, 15 March Reply

    I love Anna Sui’s use of rich texture and pattern and her bohemian style. This exhibit must have been a wonderful experience. I would love to see it in person, but thanks for sharing your photos for a virtually tour! Both of your outfit interpretations are great inspiration! Hope you have a good week!

  • Rosemary Davis
    Posted at 09:45h, 15 March Reply

    Wow, Jess!
    What a fun exhibit! And your outfits are gorgeous ! Such great inspiration.
    Thanks for the link up and the feature💛


  • Amy Johnson
    Posted at 09:16h, 15 March Reply

    What a fun exhibit and I love your inspiration style outfits!

  • Shelbee on the Edge
    Posted at 09:07h, 15 March Reply

    Oh wow, Jess, what gorgeous designs! I was not familiar with Anna Sui but I need to be! I love all of her things. And your inspired outfits are magnificent! I am really into big bold jewelry right now similar to your giant flower brooch. How fun is that! I want to recreate the outfit above with the green tweed blazer and leather fringed trousers! I don’t have anything like either of those pieces though. So I guess I really just want that exact outfit!


  • Jennifer
    Posted at 08:23h, 15 March Reply

    This exhibit is so cool!

    Curated by Jennifer

  • Laura Bambrick
    Posted at 07:53h, 15 March Reply

    This looks like such an amazing exhibit to see! I love the clothing and fun details. You did such a wonderful job recreating her style with your outfits! I love the addition of the floral broaches!

  • Kellyann Rohr
    Posted at 07:31h, 15 March Reply

    You look like one of the mannequins at the exhibit Jess, well done! What a fun experience!

  • Mica Away From The Blue
    Posted at 07:04h, 15 March Reply

    Looks like such an amazing exhibit! it’s great you were able to enjoy it, and get inspiration from it! i think your second outfit is my favourite but both look great! 🙂

    Thanks for the link up!

    Hope that your week is off to a good start! 🙂

  • Pamela
    Posted at 05:56h, 15 March Reply

    How wonderful to discover a new style icon, her ideas were so refreshing and yet stand the test of time.

  • Laurie
    Posted at 05:26h, 15 March Reply

    What a lovely event to attend Jess. I need a day out like this! I love the 70’s vibe and all the lovely prints xx

  • Rena
    Posted at 05:14h, 15 March Reply

    This is an exhibit that I’d enjoy seeing. I like the Anna Sui design aesthetic and you’ve done a wonderful job recreating it with your own clothes. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration.


  • Anna Marcus
    Posted at 04:54h, 15 March Reply

    I would love to see this exhibition life, so rich and imaginative. Love your take on that, Jess

  • Nancy
    Posted at 03:21h, 15 March Reply

    Wow, that is a exhibition to my heart. I have never heard of her but het style appeals to me. Just like your outfits! Love the creativity!

  • Katie
    Posted at 02:50h, 15 March Reply

    Looks like an amazing exhibit! I used to love Anna Sui’s designs! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pictures!

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