A Sui-Eet Life
Anna Sui’s designs have always had the ability to catapult us into a world of fantasy and romance; a direct product of her lineage as one the forerunners of the Woodstock generation. I meet her at a dinner celebrating the launch of her new perfume La Vie de Bohème, where the designer is busy mingling with guests, sharing pictures from her latest tour to Africa and, before you know it, you are chatting to her like an old friend.
There is something very unaffected about Sui, a zealous curiosity about people and their ways, which makes her so approachable. She is an honest speaker and an even more earnest listener. A fact she acknowledges as one of the reasons why she has never felt jaded by staying in the fashion industry for as long as she has. “I am always curious about how things work and excited about learning about new things. Another part of me likes to tell these stories to the world and it’s important for me to get other people as excited about these stories. This has become an inherent part of my creative process,” she says. A connoisseur of cultures, she has a knack for encapsulating various influences harmoniously, morphing her whimsical designs into an assimilation of the sights, sounds and even smell of any place, thus creating a successful range of clothes, make-up and fragrances.
The wild-child is as original as they get, and themes of defiance, self- expression and exploration have been a constant in her designs. Extending the same thought process, she has collaborated with perfumer Philippe Romano, who she had earlier worked with on Sui Dreams, for La Vie de Bohème. She admits that the fragrance is the closest to her own sensibilities as it embodies the free-spirited vibe of a woman who was meant to live in garden full of fairies. The light floral, fruity fragrance has all the signature elements that we have come to associate with Sui. The gorgeous purple floral bottle with a gilded butterfly perched on the cap is packaged in Anna’s favourite colours of purple, red and black. The fragrance itself incorporates her favourite flowers – rose in the opening note and peony in the middle accords. Romano has cleverly incorporated end notes of musk and sandalwood to keep the fragrance from cloying sweetness. The result is a fresh scent that devolves into wooden notes, slowly unravelling a trail of vanilla.
“Success didn’t come early to me and so I value it much more. I hope people will still understand the journey behind my designs and enjoy it as much as I did, even after I am gone. It’s okay even if they don’t and just enjoy the lip colour for what it is,” Sui ends, on the kind of philosophical note that makes you identify with her entirely.
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