"'Slim Keith' — I love that name," said Jason Wu backstage, referring to the New York socialite who was a fashion icon from the 1960s right up to her death in 1990.
It seemed a surprising icon of taste for a 32-year-old designer famous for dressing Michelle Obama. But the Jason Wu choice of Mid-Century Modernism was a smart way to cut clean lines, with streamlined decoration.
There may have been frills on the Summer 2016 dresses, but they were finished with a raw edge or made in off-beat colours like teal and rust.
Sometimes it seemed as though Jason was fighting his instincts for the feminine and decorative. Dresses patterned with pink roses were soon snuffed out as lace came in to keep up the 'pretty' quotient.
The heart of the show was in white — lace dresses, perhaps cut into a bra shape at the top or hyper-sophisticated as a streamlined dress with furry patches, like cat hair, on the skirt.
New York's fashion season, which kicked off this week, has moved shows to varied downtown venues. Jason Wu remains in his fashion heart — uptown. And once you get over the lack of edge, he is a designer with a clear vision, who created a fine show.