The big news at Wu is his new partner, or I should say boss, InterLuxe Investments. They recently bought a majority stake in the company giving Wu more financial Terra firma on which to do his modest dance. So the flagship, the accessories, the makeup, what have you, is soon to be out of the microwave and onto a plastic plate.
I’m sure the fans of Jason Wu will be ecstatic that their boy is soon to become a man among the big men. Think Michael Kors, Reed Krackoff and Christopher Burch. All in all, it’s been a banner year for the designer with his overwhelming success with the rebirth of Boss Women and, well, other stuff I’m sure.
Boss women, briefly, a collection of sportswear, suits and dresses have failed to find any meaningful traction in the US market. Visiting the store, (factory store) and headquarters in Metzingen, Germany there’s little sign it had much traction there too. Racks and racks of sterile looking numbers with bits of lace, skinny silhouettes, skinny belts and complicated seaming (too little or no effect) heralded this new aesthetic. Considering the factories of Boss with their German HIGH TECH facilities, one would think that some brilliance or just a touch of magic was one shazamm away. But all I saw was a spotted rabbit being pulled from a knit cap looking none too pleased.
This collection has a bit more life with some shapes that were new for Wu and even interesting. The white coat over a sheer knit (multi-seamed) top over a white skirt. The fabric looked rich as did the ovoid shape of the coat, all cut on the round (CHoryn-ism) and looking citified and sharp.
The same goes for a long sleeved white dress that followed with a dropped shoulder and requisite skinny belt. So much of the rest of day consists of Wu digging deep in his trove of go-to patterns and re cutting things like t-shirts, straight skirts and jackets and dull wrap dresses in suede and leather giving them the same look only in suede and leather. The little zip front knit tops are cute but do little to keep this stew all neatly in its bowl. The slouchy low-slung pants and corresponding big shirts suggest a languor and hipness that looks clearly foreign to Wu. His idea of sex is a dress or skirt slit up to the top of the thigh. Never other zones of suggestion. Necklines stay firmly set at the throat or demurely V’d or wrapped across the chest. He seems at odds with his subject. As though a woman, his chosen muse Charlotte Rampling this time, though there was little sense she came to mind in the collection’s creation other than being a clever image/name to toss out to the hungry journalists, is as much a mystery as the numbers he whipped up for Michelle Obama.
The same goes for his cocktail and evening dresses with their self conscious ‘sexuality’. The wrap, drape and tuck method is in strong evidence with the result of vague references to Halston and Elie Saab and even Michael Kors. He has consistently with his artistry de-sexified the likes of Karlie Kloss and Caroline Murphy which, let’s face it, takes some REAL effort. The last 2 evening gowns were a case in point. The first in rust was all awkward peek-a-boo with an annoying strap grabbing the ribcage and buckling the bodice as it plunges to the waist sporting a deep to the navel V. Sexy? No. An attempt to warm up the fusty front row? YES… The navy one with the same idea was more successful largely due to his stepping out of the way. So into the Koi pond he goes. That place where little fish become big fish even when they have just one fin.