Boss is not a brand associated with femininity. Its business is still dominated by men’s, and the overarching brand identity is that of rigorous, masculine Teutonic tailoring. In his time as artistic director, Jason Wu — whose own collection is defined by an innate sense of the ladylike — has bolstered Boss women’s, driving the category into double-digit gains last quarter. He’s steadily tapped into the softer side of the label’s aesthetic while upholding its tradition of no-nonsense tailoring, but the fall collection felt like a major stride in womanly confidence.
Wu focused on the female form, working in curves for the first time. “It’s still linear,” he said backstage before the show. “But the lines are curvy.” The main silhouette was a modernist hourglass worked on dresses, tops and coats with lightly fitted tops that hugged the waist and released into soft folds. Skirts were midi-length A-lines cut with great movement. There were a few modified slip- and apron-dresses with low, scoop backs but the dominant shape was minimal, sleeveless with a high neck.
It was some of Wu’s best work, in which he demonstrated a capacity for a controlled, sophisticated femininity that was totally new for him, by his own collection’s standards and Boss’.
Abiding by Boss’ principles of structure, precision and geometry, Wu softened and sensualized, tracing the body with curvilinear seam work that came in a textural, colorful needle-punch technique. Some of the pieces were crafted from multiple fabrics — mesh, satin, felt and bouclé — assembled in neat but pretty panels. A dress with a geometric, asymmetric neckline featured fil coupé velvet flowers, bouclé and satin.
There were gorgeous, double-face cashmere coats, one a light, clean tailored style over a black dress with orange-and-white needle-punched seams; another a compilation of black, oatmeal and floral panels. The palette included plenty of neutrals, but also bright Eames-inspired colors worked in powerful combinations — fuchsia against burgundy and deep teal against loden green. Dresses and coats were a focus, but the collection also included some fantastic classic tailoring in jackets that opened in smooth folds over cool baggy trousers, a great office look for the neo power woman. — Jessica Iredale