From Day One, Jason Wu has worked to make everyone forget that, fouryears into his business, he’s still only 27. Maturity is his thing, andnot only in his taste for clothes — always equal parts pretty andsophisticated — but the way he handles them. His spring collectionflaunted this self-aware, perfectionist approach to design, balancingbeautifully tailored sportswear against girlish froth. That tensionworked quite well for day with great trousers, pleated and wide with aForties swagger, worn with filmy blouses in point d’esprit, organza andlace chiffon and layered under meatier tweeds.

There wereplenty of Wu’s familiar motifs, such as outsize jabot collars andstriped knits, circulated throughout perhaps with the intention ofbecoming signatures. Speaking of which, show notes announced a new houseicon: a wide-eyed owl named Miss Wu. Going forward, she’ll appear onthe clothes and sunglasses, as well as the new shoe and bag collection,which made its debut on the runway: frame bags and heels done incontrast leathers, all extremely chic and ladylike but with a verywelcome bite.

As in past seasons, Wu cultivated a specificartistic reference, this time the vibrant works of Brazilian artistBeatriz Milhazes, known for her use of bold, saturated tones. “She’s allabout color and I’m all about color,” he said. Milhazes’ influence wasmost obvious in the evening lineup, which ranged from body-skimmingsheaths to dresses abloom with petal embroideries. But where Wu couldhave gone for earnest explosions of color he exercised complete control,tempering pops of magenta, violet and yellow and the finale goddessgowns, with plenty of nudes and neutrals. The result was undeniablypretty and well crafted.

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