>> Stunt casting has really become part of the fashion show DNA in the past couple of seasons, but Anna Sui's runway casts have always boasted at least a few special girls — sometimes even a few supermodels. Though now, she says, "It’s a different time. We are now going through a period of a lot of Eastern European. It’s more about their look than their personalities. It was the most terrifying thing to do fittings with supermodels, because they would come in and look at your Polaroid board and count how many outfits they had, what order they came out in, and who were they next to. They would say things like, 'She is taller than me, and I am not coming out after her,' 'How come she has three outfits, and I only have two,' and 'I want that outfit.' They’d literally pull the Polaroid off the board and say they want to wear this. There was a reason they were supermodels, though. When they put on an outfit, everyone was floored."
That includes Karl Lagerfeld — who took notice of Sui's dresses before she even had her first runway show. As Sui tells it, "Linda [Evangelista] and Naomi [Campbell] went to the couture shows the Summer before my first show, and they were wearing my cotton lace baby-doll dresses. All of a sudden, I started getting phone calls from Paris, and other models like Helena Christensen were asking for the dress. I heard that Karl [Lagerfeld] was complaining. Everyone came into the couture fitting wearing my dresses, and he was like 'Who is this Anna?'"