Like most everyone 15 months into the pandemic, Jason Wu has a love-hate relationship with technology.
“I swear, I’m going to delete Zoom forever after this,” he said, frustrated by a Wi-Fi glitch during a preview of his fall collection.
One major plus, however, has been the digital discovery of all sorts of people on social media, including Japanese artist Ozabu with whom he collaborated on prints for his fall collection. “Not many people know this but I actually wanted to be a fashion illustrator,” Wu said of his fondness for her moody graphite figural sketches, which he collaged with photorealistic prints of bouquets by his favorite florist Emily Thompson.
During 2020, Wu showed his contemporary collection on the runway, one of the few to do a fashion event in person. He continued to design his luxury Jason Wu Collection, but held off showing it to press. “It’s all about timing and now it feels like we’ve turned over a new leaf, at least in the U.S.,” he said of bringing ladylike dressing back. “We’re all in the mood to celebrate.”
Celebrate in Wu’s color-saturated botanical prints, like a museum still-life on a silk-wool trenchcoat that feels like a collector’s item, and engineered perfectly on a moody silk chiffon micro pleated day dress and a ghostly glam, layered black-and-white strapless tulle gown with pleated bodice.
A rust-hued washed satin pleated sundress had a post-pandemic, easing-out-of-comfy-dressing feel, as did a cashmere felted sweater in a peony print, worn with crinkled chocolate brown silk trousers. Meanwhile, a lavender micro-pleat chiffon blouse, hand draped at the neckline, was too pretty just to be a Zoom top.
Not forgetting galas to come, Wu also showed a full sweep of a black taffeta ballgown with a beautiful off-shoulder top. “I was at dinner the other night at not even that fancy of a restaurant, and a woman was there wearing an evening dress,” he said. “I wanted to run up to her and say ‘thank you!’ It’s so nice to see people living again.”
And dressing again, too.