Anna Sui Opens Macy's Art Exhibit, Loves Psychedelia

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The Herald Square Macy's — New York's great middlebrow shopping mecca — is now, perhaps surprisingly, the place where high fashion meets high art. The department store has installed pieces by contemporary artists like Misaki Kawai and Shannon Plumb in its windows, and at a Q&A session to launch the "Art Under Glass" exhibition, designer Anna Sui touted both the project as well as an upcoming retrospective of her work, which Macy’s will display during Fashion Week in September.

Sui commented on the lack of originality in the creative fields these days. "Everything is reappropriated at this point," she told us after the talk — including her own work. Her pirate-themed spring collection, she said, was inspired by the ancient "statues of Barbarossa" in Istanbul. ("He was, like, a pirate," she helpfully explained.) And her shaggy granny coats from the fall of 1999 came from Mark Rothko's paintings. So what's coming for spring? Sui doesn't yet know, she said — but she described the Whitney’s "Summer of Love" show as "heaven" and said she recently snapped up another psychedelic poster from the sixties to add to her collection. We're hoping for tie-dye. —Lillien Nathan