Jason Wu was feeling a tinge sentimental for fall. To mark the 10th anniversary of his collection, he brought his runway back to a place that means something to him, the St. Regis Hotel, a bastion of classic, enduring elegance, where he had one of his first “big” shows in 2010. “It’s very symbolic to me,” he said backstage before the show, caught alone in a moment of calm, wearing a black hoodie and watching a live video feed of his guests pouring into the gilded ballrooms.
He clearly felt comfortable there, and the collection looked right at home in the setting, too. In fact, to reflect on 10 years of Wu and assess where he is in his career now, he’s arrived at a place of confidence and equilibrium in his work and momentum in his business. (His soon-to-launch fragrance scented the air.) The clothes made this point in a lovely way. The goal wasn’t to shock or razzle-dazzle, but wow with grace and glamour.
Split 50-50 between daywear and cocktail, the show opened with a black dotted jacquard top, cut a bit boxy, and matching pants, and made its way through modernized men’s wear — a deconstructed plaid shell over a matching midiskirt — polished separates such as a sweatshirtlike sweater cutout around the collar over a naked-lady-and-flower-printed ruffled skirt, and a bombshell hourglass coat in lipstick red. “I started with much more cocktail and now the majority of my business is actually daywear,” said Wu. “It’s been an exploration of how to bring the more dressed-up sensibility into the way people dress today.”
Yes, the world is a casual place, but there are still reasons to get glam. Wu gave several great ones: a golden, saffron-colored coat studded with dainty jewels around the hem and belted with a black ribbon, a green devoré velvet draped top with cutout shoulders tucked into high-waisted cigarette pants and a series of black satin and tulle bias-cut dresses worked up in delicate shimmery beaded embroidery and tasteful flesh-flashing panels. You could call them knockouts but they killed softly.