On Repeat: Anna Sui's Spring 2021 Collection Was Inspired By Paper Dolls And Joni Mitchell

Her namesake brand has always been synonymous with music.

On Repeat is a music series where NYLON asks our favorite creatives — designers, artists, and more — about the songs they can't stop playing while they work. You're going to want to add these to your playlists and streaming platforms ASAP.

The first full day of (a mostly digital) New York Fashion Week has come and gone, and Anna Sui will be kicking off day three with the online unveiling of her Spring 2021 collection. Sui is one of the few marquee names that have stayed on the fashion week calendar this season, but her design process was anything but consistent this year.

The inspirations for Sui's latest designs are paper dolls, a hobby she had as a kid and eventually revisited while in quarantine during New York City's lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "This collection is all about that homey DIY feel, with a little bit of polish thrown in," says the designer. "It brought me back to my childhood, when I would make paper dolls for hours on end. I could not resist including these, to inspire play and creativity with the looks of the season."

Sui's namesake brand is synonymous with music, from the boho-turned-hippie days of the '60s and '70s to the New York rock scene of the early aughts. So, it's no surprise that the songs she's been playing nonstop during her recent design process include nods to Joni Mitchell, The Strokes, Buffalo Springfield, and more. Below, she shared some of her favorites that helped shape her Spring 2021 collection.

"The Circle Game" - Joni Mitchell

"This was the song that I thought about while designing this collection. The theme is so perfect for now, while we are all reflecting and rethinking our lives."

"12:30" - The Mamas and the Papas

"I love the line 'young girls are coming to the canyon.' I just imagine them all in their bohemian finery."

"Bad Decisions" - The Strokes

"I'm so happy to see The Strokes making new music! They came to one of my fashions shows right when their first album came out and I've been a big fan ever since."

"For What It's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield

"A real anthem for the turbulent revolutionary '60s"

"Lost In Yesterday" - Tame Impala

"I love the theme of nostalgia and reminiscence. So appropriate for us now."

"For the First Time" - Best Coast

"We've used a Best Coast song before in one of my spring fashion shows. I think their music always fits well with a spring collection."

"Ladies of the Canyon" - Joni Mitchell

"Laurel Canyon is one of my all time favorite music documentaries. I love the myth of that period."

See Anna Sui's Spring 2021 digital presentation from New York Fashion Week, below.