“It was a very liberating collection. I’m a very control-oriented person, which you can see from my work, but for me this was about letting go and being a little different,” Jason Wu said backstage at his fall show, held at the Guggenheim Museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater.
Ahead of the cinematic experience (where models emerged onstage, surrounded by dark, beautiful florals), Wu expressed the importance of evolving himself through the Jason Wu Collection fall line.
“People know I can make a dress, or 80, and I love a beautiful ruffle, but I wanted people to see me expand through the show. There is a lot of menswear tailoring inspiration in the collection, which I majored in,” he explained, adding he also emphasized melding signature sportswear, lingerie references and elegance with deconstruction. But, of course, there were a handful of softly romantic, feminine gowns, ranging from cascading, ruffled chiffon numbers and a botanical bias slipdress to cutout, draped jersey numbers and a red-carpet-worthy black bustier ball gown.
In the world of Wu, liberation meant tempered, dark romance; strategic, undone elements (many leaned into a boudoir sensibility) and plenty of craftsmanship. For instance, “double” trousers; a black dress made up of a cashmere tank with a tweed skirt — said to be designed by cutting apart vintage men’s pants — and a fisherman’s-style jumper that was actually made out of woven felt and layered atop a fringed black number, crafted from hand-pinned lingerie straps.
The idea nicely translated into polished double-faced wool tailoring (shapely suiting and lengthy topcoats, some with “undone” floral embellishments) with hidden chiffon inserts between split-fabric raw hems, layered atop delicate sheer black lace and chiffon blouses and dresses with unrestricting corsetry lines and intricate custom lace floral embroideries inspired by the botanical photography of German artist Karl Blossfeldt. Wu tapped friend and previous collaborator Jessica May Underwood to develop the tattoo-like motifs, which he described as, “less obvious, but a little more dangerous.” The florals were also sported as graphic prints on daywear and through shimmering, allover embellishments on delicate, show-closing sheer numbers.
With fall, Wu found his balance between soft and structured.