Anna Sui
/ 18th Century Styles
The Historical Mode, a 1989 Museum at FIT exhibition curated by Richard Martin, explored widespread historicism in 1980s design. Martin believed that in historically inspired fashions, "elements are borrowed, but differentiation is supreme," and he lauded the ways in which "historicism’s petty thefts [could] lead to a bright and original creative conclusion."

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This ensemble draws on fashionable styles of two different centuries. The bustier is styled like a 18th-century bodice panel called a stomacher, while the bustle, worn over decorated denim, is reminiscent of 19th-century undergarments. Anna Sui is adept at blending historical influences to achieve results that are quirky, fun, and contemporary.

Anna Sui
Floral embroidered blue and gold shot silk taffeta, velvet, ribbon, white cord, beaded washed denim
1999-2000, USA
The Museum at FIT, 2000.50.1
84.125.3 Gift of Anna Sui