Jason Wu is obviously a hot commodity right now because of his Target collection; his name-recognition is at a high point. But let’s not forget what he does best: He makes uber-luxurious clothes. Yesterday’s show may been one of Jason Wu’s strongest shows, both literally and figuratively.
I heard over and over about how the Jason Wu girl is “strong” this season. The high ponytails (secured with bondage tape procured from a sex shop, no less) were meant to look like a horse’s tail. Lead hair stylist Odile Gilbert said, “It’s a very strong ponytail because the girl at Jason Wu is a fighter.” The runway show confirmed the suspicions I had backstage that she could definitely kick my ass, and look chic doing it. (We hope Shailene Woodley, sitting front row with the Elle team, was paying attention. She needs a victory on the red carpet.)
The show started with drum beats and a huge red door, meant to look like the door of the Forbidden City. When the door opened, “smoke” poured out and so did Wu’s army. He culled inspiration from Imperial China during the Qing Dynasty and from the iconic Mao jacket, then added a bit of kitschy 40′s Hollywood Shanghai Express. In less capable hands it could have been a costumey mess, but this collection was spot-on modern.
Wu used a color palette of red, burgundy, black, gold, and military green, liberally sprinkled with fur accents. Gold embroidery, Swarovski elements, and brocade added to the rich feel of the collection. The emerald eyes, achieved with MAC pigment and two different eye pencils, completed the polished, dramatic look. Per the lead makeup artist Diane Kendal, “Jason always does a strong girl.” Do you see the theme here?
Wu also introduced minaudierie clutches for the first time this season, proving that he also has some marketing prowess. His handbag empire is growing with the recent introduction of the Daphne bag, which the ethereal Daphne Groeneveld toted around backstage.
The finale was one of the more striking I’ve seen. Even Anna Wintour took her sunglasses off and cracked a hint of a smile. Wu’s girls marched out in rows of threes, looking like a model army about to take over the world, one divine dress at a time.