Jason Wu likes a little bit of juxtaposition in his collections, mixing chic glamor with very subtle elements of subversion. This season it’s a print collaboration with a street artist, mixed with peplum and haute couture shapes. Throw in some Pop Art, neon, and chiffon windbreakers and you’ve got Wu’s vision of spring 2012.
It’s a vision that worked. The prints, conceived in collaboration with the artist KAWS–who’s best known for warping street advertisements and beloved cartoon characters–did a subtle cartoon-y hand print behind a more classic Wu petal print. This print appeared on pants, blouses, and dresses. Dresses, as befits a Wu lady, were generally belted with fuller skirts to the knee. After a few black and grey looks, the clouds parted and out came the big gun color, continuing the neon theme he hinted at in his resort collection.
Pink, neon yellow, and blue punctuated the collection in the form of separates and accessories. Dreamy tops, skirts, and windbreakers rendered in floaty chiffon all played nicely together. Swarovski Elements on collars and skirts dazzled and elevated the looks beyond just daytime.
When Lindsey Wixson took a turn on the runway in a peplum top covered in Swarovski Elements, it was clear we were moving from day to night. White and black short cocktail dresses soon turned pink, blue and yellow. A series of gowns, suitable for the FLOTUS or a front row starlet alike (Jaime King and Harley Viera-Newton were both in attendance), finished off the show. I was drooling over a strapless silk gown done in highlighter yellow.
I had the chance to go backstage, which is a pleasure, because Jason Wu likes to play around with his beauty looks. Plus, you get to see goddesses like Arizona Muse and Lindsey Wixson looking human–just like you and me!
The makeup look was matchy-matchy and ladylike, a trend we started seeing last season on runways. Diane Kendal and her MAC team used a scarlet lipstick topped with neon orange loose pigment. (The message overall: Neon is not dead yet.) The rest of the face was clean and glowing. Wu, who’s worked for several seasons with CND (even doing a nail polish line with them) surprised everyone by choosing OPI for nails this season. The nail color, Monsooner or Later, was a poppy red that was a dead ringer for the lips. Hair, which is always interesting at a Jason Wu show, was pulled back into a messy updo and threaded through with small black feathers.
Jason Wu wants you to be a lady, but you better have a sneaky tough side, too.
**Runway photos: Imaxtree