Jason Wu has been pretty vocal about his desire to mature his uptown,polished look and redefine it in a sexier, edgier context. Sex appealwas the overt guiding principle of his spring and pre-fall collections,and the same could be said for fall, though Wu preferred to call thelineup “Extreme Femininity.” A few days before the show he said he“wanted to loop back to what I started on, the very thing I do, which isbeautiful, very feminine clothes.” He did that, eventually, closing theshow with a series of elegant gowns in draped point d’esprit georgette.The finale was a highlight, with two of the best looks featuring drapedpeplum tops — one red, one black — that cut away to float overstovepipe tuxedo pants. It played into the pants-for-evening idea that’sbeen floating around and would be nice to see actually take root inred-carpet reality.

Wu’s softness came after a significantstatement in power daywear, which, while sophisticated and confident,had a hardness to it. Part of that was due to the colors he chose:black, white, red and a caramel color, with the final dress in violet.Showing sharply tailored outerwear with military and fur details instrict black and white underscored the glamorous aggression, as did theuse of exaggerated white shirt collars. Lindsey Wixson in a blackpolka-dot dress, belted with a flounce at the waist and a thick, whitefold-over collar, looked like a secretary with a secret.

Mostappealing were the pleated cocktail dresses with leather details,bustier tops and filmy skirts, and a day look that paired a blackcrewneck with sheer stripes with pants in a marbled bonded wool. Thesestruck a chic middle ground between his pretty beginnings and thisnewfound sex factor.

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