Jason Wu is celebrating his 10th anniversary in business this year. He was just out of Parsons when he put on his first show at Bryant Park, and he’s been in the spotlight from the start. Fashion was instantly charmed by the young maker of dolls’ clothes who had turned his mind to party frocks. Then the Michelle Obama moment came—she wore his white chiffon one-shoulder gown to her husband’s first Inauguration Ball in 2009—and Wu was a household name at 26. Still just a baby.
He’s hardly what you’d call “aged” today at 34, but Wu has done a fair bit of growing up in the years since, a fact he was quick to admit this week in his studio.
“There was a real naïveté to my early collections,” he said. And a sense of fantasy. Which is why he’s worked to incorporate more tailoring into his lineups. There comes a point, he said, “when you want to dress her for all occasions.”
His Fall show started out on a particularly casual note, with a short-sleeved popover top and skinny cotton pants embroidered in a tonal dot pattern, a nod to the July-August timing of this collection’s arrival in stores. From there Wu touched on many of the elements of the modern fashionable wardrobe. He had sweater dressing in the form of a velvety black chenille dress. He had head-to-toe-print on a pair of whimsical florals with line drawings of nudes tucked among the blooms. And he had the suit that isn’t a suit—see the blue plaid sleeveless shell and matching midi skirt. Also: a cool black sweater with crescent moon slices cut out of the shoulders that were worn with cigarette pants.
No surprise given his early party dress fixation, Wu lavished a lot of attention on evening wear. An absinthe and black devore velvet draped and wrapped cocktail number looked like an early contender for dress of the week. Yep, all grown up.