Jason Wu Fall 2011: Baroque Sportswear

“Delicate” and “exquisite” are two adjectives that often find themselves in the same sentence as “Jason Wu’s designs.” Let’s add “opulent” to describe his A/W 2011 collection, which featured no less than 15 different kinds of lace, gilding, Swarovski crystals, and models with gold leaf painted onto their hair.
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“Delicate” and “exquisite” are two adjectives that often find themselves in the same sentence as “Jason Wu’s designs.” Let’s add “opulent” to describe his A/W 2011 collection, which featured no less than 15 different kinds of lace, gilding, Swarovski crystals, and models with gold leaf painted onto their hair.
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“Delicate” and “exquisite” are two adjectives that often find themselves in the same sentence as “Jason Wu’s designs.” Let’s add “opulent” to describe his A/W 2011 collection, which featured no less than 15 different kinds of lace, gilding, Swarovski crystals, and models with gold leaf painted onto their hair.

Wu’s inspiration this season was the restoration of Versailles and the juxtaposition of rough and luxurious. The result? Baroque sportswear.

Backstage before the show, a “private” group of Chanel-toting, perfectly coiffed women were getting a tour of hair and makeup, and surely they were salivating when they saw the goods presented on the runway.

Prim, perfect cigarette pants and blouses printed with a falling leaf motif in black and white gave way to beautiful silk and lace shirt dresses. High lace Victorian collars and hounds-tooth jacquard dresses were ladylike perfection. Wu then took the prettiness a bit tomboy with plenty of coats and jackets, like a fantastic winter white double collar shrunken tuxedo jacket.

The mostly cream and black palette was punctuated by acid jewel tones, like chartreuse, electric blue (called “ultra violet” by Wu), and cerise. Arizona Muse walked in an amazing anorak embroidered with multicolored Swarovski Elements.

The evening looks, in particular the short feather and lace dresses, are undoubtedly going to wind up on red carpets somewhere. A slim-fitting gold lace paillette gown would look perfect on any number of starlets.

The beauty looks for the show were pretty stellar, though we wouldn’t recommend them all at once. Odile Gilbert for Aveda did the hair, which was straightened and smoothed, then wrapped in back, then painted with gold leaf--we heard rumors it was real 24 karat gold. Diane Kendal and her MAC team created smoky eyes with gold in the creases. CND’s nails were two colors layered (Dark Ruby and Bloodline) to create a deep wine. The tip, shaped in a “pointed almond” was then painted gold.

Wu's message? Like Versailles, it's ok to look like you've had some work done.

**Runway photos: IMAXTREE