“I wanted something that felt like raw emotion, and I hope the clothes reflect that,” Jason Wu said ahead of his Saturday afternoon runway show. Contrasting his color-drenched spring collection, the designer wanted his fall designs to reflect his current mood. “I wanted something that felt beautiful and poetic, but also a little bit more sober,” he added.
Wu channeled these emotions directly into the collection (which was also dedicated in loving memory to his late cat, Jinxy). His first two black looks — a tailored tweed bustier and sleek trousers with peplum-like bow followed by a beautiful quilted moire topcoat — aptly set the tone.
In addition to a mostly subdued palette, Wu’s silhouettes were influenced by ’50s illustrations seen within the ads and editorials of his vintage magazine collection. For instance, tiered and pleated flocked tulle dresses, polished tweed and lace sportswear, and fit-and-flare taffeta dresses with blurred florals.
“The idea that things are done by hand in this digital, fast-paced world is something I’m attracted to — I don’t even own a computer. I guess I’m an old soul in that way,” Wu explained of the collection’s new waterproof, warped printing techniques.
The designer’s appreciation of craftsmanship and beauty shone through his area of expertise: dressy, special occasion wear. Nipped in waists nicely contrasted full skirts, balloon hems, oversized bows, voluminous shoulder details and caped backs on red carpet-worthy elegant short dresses and sweeping gowns in black and white, as well as lively pop colors. The increase in dressed up, refined looks also stemmed from Wu’s uptick in business.
“We haven’t had a lot of good news in the past two years, but last year was the best year of our business. You’re going to see dressed up looks because people are coming back in a big way of dressing up — we could not keep dresses in stock,” he said.