All eyes were on Jason Wu today, who’s still basking in the glow of a second Michelle Obama Inaugural endorsement.
While we heard reports that show venues were barely filling up thanks to the coming blizzard (#NEMO), Jason Wu packed a full house in spite of the sleet and snow. And he didn’t let sopping wet showgoers ruin his perfect venue either. The show was held in the ballroom at 583 Park Avenue–a giant glittering chandelier hovered over the middle of the marble floor–and attendants wearing paper booties and armed with paper towels were furiously scrubbing the stark white runway clean after footprints muddied it up.
The runway needed to be pristine to match Wu’s exacting fall 2013 collection. This season seemed a direct continuation of spring’s Helmut Newton-inspired sexed-up leather-and-lace collection. Wu showed a bit of a dark side then, and he’s exploring it again for fall. He called this collection “extreme femininity.” For Wu, “extreme” means sharp white collared shirts under belted leather trenches and fur jackets. It means flouncy pleated silk skirts to counter the hardness of the leather and richness of the furs. The color palette was extreme too: Black, white, and red with a grey snake print mixed in.
Everyone will be thinking about Michelle Obama when they look through this collection, but most of it seemed a bit too sexy and severe for the FLOTUS–until the finale. Because then, there were the Inaugural ball-ready silk georgette gowns, done with pleated skirts and exquisite draping. The closing number, the one shock of violet in the entire collection (the models’ eyeshadow was matched to this dress) could be the First Lady’s next State Dinner dress (with a little less sheer paneling, of course).