Luxury is a concept that is constantly up for debate in fashion. Is it about time? Is it about money? Jason Wu was confident in his definition of luxury for spring. “It needs to regain its original meaning,” he said before his show. “It’s something more exclusive, more intimate, less flash.” He put his words into action for his show, held at Spring Place, the club above Spring Studios, of which he’s a founding member, performed surgery on his guest list, cutting it from 550 last season to 250 seats arranged among elaborate midcentury furniture, and pruned the number of looks to 30. “The least number of looks I’ve ever shown in a collection,” said Wu. “But it felt complete.”
Sometimes the best way forward is to go back, as they say. Wu said himself that he was seeking a Fifties-style salon way of showing. “I’ve never been an avant-garde designer,” he said. Reigning it in gave the people he considers important — editors, buyers and friends (Emily Ratajkowski, Wu’s friend, was the only celebrity) — the opportunity to see the clothes up-close. The view was worthwhile.
In the same way Wu’s approach was a refreshingly modernized throwback, so was the collection of dressed-up clothes for today’s world. Silhouettes were a mix of polished sportswear and the flirtatiously feminine. The work of artist Ugo Rondinone, known for his use of neon and unnatural takes on natural elements, defined Wu’s palette and decorative elements, which were rather bold and new for him. Some things skewed quite sporty, such as a sheer white top with cut-out shoulders and matching pants tipped in fluorescent yellow and a curve-hugging navy off-the-shoulder dress with an asymmetrical skirt traced in orange. But softness coursed throughout. Elaborate Technicolor floral embroideries came to life on black and nude tulle dresses, and a series of gossamer tulle dresses, gathered around the body, were a breath of fresh, chic air. The collection had the calm Wu said he was seeking, but also a great deal of strength.