NYFW Show Report: Jason Wu

16 February 2010

The sedate and serene setting created for Jason Wu's A/W 2010 collection was a welcome contrast to Bryant Parks frenetic pace. A blush pink carpet and swathes of backlit black chiffon drapes created an atmospheric intimacy that alluded as much to the ladies powder room as it did to the Parisian salons of the 1950's. Soft piano music accompanied the audience as they took their places along the stupendously long and narrow runway. With the seating plan being just two rows deep, it was clear Wu wanted his collection to be experienced up close and personal, no detail overlooked.

Irving Penn was the designer's apparent inspiration - both his photographic work and his personal style. And in what appears to be one of the emerging trends of the season, there was an interesting juxtaposition of the sartorial and the feminine. Here, in reference to the feted photographers own working wardrobe as well as to the unadulterated elegance of his subject matter.

There were numerous unapologetic references to Penn's photographs of Christian Dior's post-war, full- skirted 'New Look' which Wu confidently gave an entirely 'new spin', whilst there also seemed to be more esoteric references to Penn's alchemical processes as gold leafed and platinum splattered dresses evoked hour upon painstaking hour in the darkroom, developing the picture perfect print.

And the cocktail dresses decorated with tattered ostrich feathers in shades of tangerine and raspberry as well as others in faded florals draped in tulle, evoked a bygone era yet managed to remain totally modern.

Wu is currently one of Michelle Obama's 'go to' designers and her endorsement of him certainly isn't going to waste. But whilst this young designer bathes in the spotlight, it's would be wise of him to be branch out and show us that there are more than just a few strings to his bow. Less emphasis on saccharin dresses and a little more focus on seperates and outerwear will be important if he wants to build a solid business around the meteoric name he has made for himself.

- Andrew Holden in NY


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