New York Fashion Week
Jason Wu x 2: Celebrated fashion designer bridges the political divide with relaxed styles
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.”