The still young designer marks ten years in fashion with a confident collection for uptown girls and women
It is a decade since Jason Wu moved from dressing dolls (as a profession, not a pastime) and made smart clothes, first for the uptown crowd, then for the First Lady.
‘Now on to the next ten!’ said Jason as he celebrated his first ten years with elegant clothes in a classic grand hotel. This was in contrast to the New York fashion world that seems to be shifting: first literally, for this was one of the rare shows to take place away from downtown and the border of the Hudson River.
But also, the change of presidency is shifting the designer away from the feisty Michelle Obama – known for her classic but strong looks, with muscly shoulders and bared arms in the White House. Her choice of the young Jason Wu to make her dress for the Inaugural Ball catapulted the Taiwanese-Canadian designer to worldwide fame.
Jason Wu still has his eyes on an empowered female, with daytime tailoring of trouser suits and mid-calf hemlines giving fresh energy against the classic, gilt trimmed grandeur of the show's setting. His good friend, the model Amber Valletta, sat in a gilt chair in the celebrity line up as a symbol of the Jason Wu look.
The designer made his statement – and this for the autumn 2017 season – with mustard yellow tailoring, a vibrant scarlet coat and floral and butterfly prints, some subtly interspersed with line drawings of nudes. The result was confident clothes for uptown women who are far from uptight. Mesh hose and dresses, draped to reveal a bared shoulder or striding leg, added to the classic ease.
‘My career has been focused on craftsmanship – I've always been obsessed with making the most beautiful fabrics in the best mills – and I think you saw a lot of that,’ said Jason.
Can this designer, still only 34, save the uptown look while other brands, such as Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, have marked a change in designer – and spirit – by moving out of their Upper East Side comfort zone? Jason Wu made a good stab at keeping uptown fashion alive.
The more that classic New York City designers shift their style, the more it leaves Jason Wu, conservative with a twist, rather than iconoclastic, at the head of the game.