Jason Wu Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York

It’s difficult not to immediately think of Michelle Obama when sitting at a Jason Wu show. After all, thanks to the First Lady, the design phenom has had extraordinary success in penetrating the mainstream. But it isn’t all luck. Wu proves, season after season, that he has the foresight and skill to back up the buzz. For fall, with a blizzard forming outside, Wu’s collection struck like a fabulous thundersnow.

With a giant floor-to-ceiling crystal chandelier in the middle of his square (and mirrored) runway and starlets Jaime King and Allison Williams sitting front row, Wu delivered a collection that was, at once, respectful and revealing. “Extreme femininity” said the show notes, evident by the mix of power day dressing and sensuous evening. Wu is meticulous with his use of top notch fabrics. “Textiles are always the starting point for me,” he says. With that notion, he explored and applied them to all facets of feminine dressing: black twill and velvet coats with peplum details, oversized fox fur pockets on luxurious outerwear and illusion stripe sweaters paired with flirty ponyskin skirts. A few lovely sheer black lace pieces aside, Wu’s print focus was on water snake; he cleverly melded the idea of coupling the authentic exotic skin with its print form—the results of which only further amplified and solidified his depth of craft.

Having relegated his subdued color palette to white, black, toffee and a deep red Wu was able to concentrate fully on shape and form. “Architectural shapes in pleated dresses,” he summed up, adding of the sexily short hems, “I also wanted to see the leg this season, for the leg to have a beautiful moment.” Exaggerated shoulders on short coat dresses made Wu’s point for dressing the modern woman while asymmetrically draped silk point d’esprit tops and gowns worn with cigarette pants, as gorgeous as they were, had definitive whiffs of Raf Simons for Christian Dior. As for the white satin faced twill ostrich feather belted dress on Cara Delevigne? “She was my big puff of gorgeousness,” Wu laughed.

Purple eyeliner on the girls were a nod to his new makeup collaboration with Lancôme, exemplified by the finale dress: a violet point d’esprit pleated silk georgette peplum showstopper that wouldn’t look too shabby on the Oscar red carpet later this month. Or at the White House.

- Jim Shi


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