NY Fashion Week Spring 2018 Houston
New York Fashion Week

Jason Wu x 2: Celebrated fashion designer bridges the political divide with relaxed styles

Jason Wu x 2: Designer bridges political divide with relaxed styles

Jason Wu look 11 spring 2018
Jason Wu batique print dress. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Jason Wu look 8 spring 2018
Jason Wu dark green belted jumpsuit. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018
Grey Jason Wu spring/summer 2018 collection. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Jason Wu look 24 spring 2018
Jason Wu floral print dress. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Jason Wu look 15 spring 2018
Jason Wu handkerchief dress. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Jason Wu look 2 spring 2018
Jason Wu pink and whiteseersucker print slacks and top with coat. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Jason Wu look 19 spring 2018
Jason Wu green draped dress. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Jason Wu look 28 spring 2018
Jason Wu batique and floral print top and cropped trousers. Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018
Grey Jason Wu dotted sweater and dark trousers, along with other looks from the collection. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018 look 3
Grey Jason Wu pleated skirt with floral detail and top. Photo courtesy of Grey Jason Wu
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018 look 12
Grey Jason Wu dotted dress. Photo courtesy of Grey Jason Wu
Jason Wu look 11 spring 2018
Jason Wu look 8 spring 2018
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018
Jason Wu look 24 spring 2018
Jason Wu look 15 spring 2018
Jason Wu look 2 spring 2018
Jason Wu look 19 spring 2018
Jason Wu look 28 spring 2018
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018 look 3
Grey Jason Wu spring 2018 look 12

Jason Wu pulled double duty at New York Fashion Week. The 34-year-old designer, who shot to fame after Michelle Obama picked him to design her inaugural gown in 2009 (and again in 2013), unveiled his spring/summer 2018 collection at the South Street Seaport. A few days later, he showed his Grey Jason Wu collection at Cadillac House, a meeting space on the first floor of the automaker's New York headquarters.

Wu's upscale namesake line maintains his polished style, but this collection feels much more casual, from the opening look, a pink-and-white striped dress with a midriff baring cutout, to a belted jumpsuit in a forest green shade and a series of interesting dresses in contrasting batik prints and strong florals gathered and ruched in sensual, eye-catching ways.

Several jersey evening gowns with sheer illusion panels and pleating detail inspired by the early 20th century French designer Madame Grès added another level of intricacy to the lineup.

His Grey Jason Wu collection, which he launched last year as a less expensive alternative, sticks to the basics. Rather than holding another runway show, Wu put his models on pedestals in looks for spring/summer 2018, including sculpted shirt-waist dresses, washed-silk jackets, leather culottes, crisp white shirts tied at the waist, and knit dresses and tops.

The presentation, in collaboration with Cadillac, was dubbed "Greyout," with such Wu-designed limited eiditon items as LeSportsac backpacks and makeup cases, Sharpies, Moleskine notebooks, and Moshi phone chargers and headphones cases — all in a gunmetal grey shade he developed with Pantone. Even a Cadillac in the color of the day was on display.

While Wu is closely associated with Michelle Obama, he's not adverse to crossing party lines. Melania Trump recently wore a pinstripe sheath dress from his collection while observing the solar eclipse.

“She purchased a dress from a store, and I think she looked lovely in it,” Wu told the New York Post. “I think it’s something I’m quite open about. Dressing people is my job, so I’m happy to dress any and all people. It’s kind of part of what I do. I’m not a politician, so for me it’s not my place to judge anybody based on political beliefs.”