One always associates Jason Wu with First Lady Michelle Obama–she made the designer a household name after wearing his designs to each of the Presidential Inaugural balls and on countless other occasions. So it’s easy to forget that Jason Wu’s designs can also be slinky, sexy, seductive and entirely inappropriate for a First Lady. But those were the kind of clothes that Wu showed for spring 2014.
He called his collection a “dialogue between construction and ease.” That meant a cropped boxy trench or motorcycle jacket worn over a chiffon bias cut skirt; or an airy sheer slip dress with more structured bustier details. It was a very languid collection with an emphasis on simple bias cut slip dresses with halter necks or spaghetti straps–a clear nod to fashion’s favorite decade, the ’90s. (’90s supe Karen Elson opened the show.)
While Wu is often known for nipped-in waists and form-fitting ladylike silhouettes, these looks were more relaxed–in contrast to last season’s more overtly sexy Helmut Newton-inspired collection. Pants were, well I won’t say baggy, but verging on slouchy and sat low on the hips. Slightly oversized sweaters were paired with sheer embroidered skirts–something we saw at Riccardo Tisci’s fall collection for Givenchy. But there was a confidence–a lightness and ease about it all, emphasized by the shimmery pale palette of sage, beige, ivory and gold. The woman who wears these clothes just is sexy. She doesn’t need a tight jacket and pencil skirt to feel that way. She exudes it. Or at least Karlie Kloss certainly did when she took a languid stroll down the catwalk at the close of the show wearing a light sage tank dress. The entire room was rapt–and not just because of Kloss’s hypnotic walk. It was one of Wu’s best collections to date.