Jason Wu Does His Version of Grunge for Fall

The designer leaned toward the dark side, without going all in.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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The designer leaned toward the dark side, without going all in.
A look from the Jason Wu fall 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from the Jason Wu fall 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

There are certain elements that we've come to expect from Jason Wu's show each season, and the following things are not among them: A soundtrack of industrial electronic music, moody models with über-clumpy eyelashes and mussed up hair, sweater sleeves so long that they hang out from inside coats and oversized knits paired with slouchy, slightly masculine pants. But this is exactly what we got on Friday afternoon when the designer presented his fall 2016 collection. Its title, according to the show notes: "Immaculate." 

The vibe was noticeably darker and more laid-back than usual, and backstage, lead nail artist Deborah Lippmann explained that the look was "a little younger and a little grungier" for fall, "but still very chic." This came through in a number of ways, including the color palette — a mix of grey, plum, black and midnight blue with pops of acid yellow and vermilion — '90s-leaning body-con knits in both off-the-shoulder and mock neck cuts, sexy deep-V necklines (including one sweater precariously held closed with a pearl-head pin) and short hemlines that allowed the models to show lots of leg. Tailored day dresses and miniskirt/jacket combos had a distinct schoolgirl feel, especially those with a plaid-like grid pattern, and colored fur collars were tied on with loose straps that trailed behind the models as they walked.

Despite this youthful, relaxed energy, Wu still served up plenty of his feminine signatures, like delicate lace, silk dresses with a graphic floral print, suiting and long, lean outerwear. Things seemed to come full circle as the show drew to a close, when the techno music faded out and a classical piano track ascended to accent the finale looks, which included familiar feather-adorned eveningwear and a midi-length intarsia fur coat. The designer may have taken his girl over to the dark side this season, but for now, she hasn't gone full grunge.