Jason Wu dispels my theory about the makeup of pre fall collections with his current offering. There is nothing safe or staple here in terms of a specific look but what is present, is the flawless execution of beautiful clothes.
Mr. Wu continues to taunt us with his sophisticated looks but is always trying to increase the Wu vocabulary by stretching his design chops into less familiar territory. Mr. Wu has delved into the darker side in previous collections with some degree of success, but I am just not sure he has perfected it to suit his needs. The one continuum is their execution which comes across as quite perfect. The edgier pieces are not as “smoothly integrated” into the collection as are his signature chic and slickly polished components. In essence, one clearly sees the dichotomy in his head as a designer who wants to appeal to both the smartly dressed women of style and the younger more risk taking clients. The duality can be and has been the downfall of many a designer.
Mr. Wu shines when he sticks to his guns and gives us his vision of what glamorous and urbane women should be wearing in the coming year. For me, the jury is still out on the plethora of leathers, whether they are pieced or second skin or short and bare.
Most reviewers of today are too concerned with the inspirations that stir designers for each collection, but to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t mean squat to me as inspiration does not sell clothes. Great clothes sell clothes; beautifully designed, manufactured and appealing clothes sell clothes. The retail life of a collection is not only about a trunk show but also entails a “hanger life.” Clothes must “sing” and “scream” from the rack on a day to day to day basis as they need to have that magnetism that draws a client to them. I believe Jason Wu, for the most part, has mastered all these levels of appeal.
In the end, this collection offers a lot of alternatives for the Jason Wu client and will no doubt continue to break ground for the yet to be Jason Wu client as well as continuing to give his loyal fans lots of alternatives for next Fall including, as always, some all-out and in your face evening clothes without ever stepping over the line to tacky or overt. Somewhere lurking in my head is a lyric, I think, from Gypsy which shouts... “give ‘em what they want!” … and then maybe, there is a shred of Mrs. Vreeland saying... “give them what they never knew they wanted!” or words to that affect.