Wu in Bloom Sometimes one sensual dress is all you need
Toward the end of the show, a trio of gossamer dresses evoking a starry night emerged on the Jason Wu’s runway. One was emerald green, another navy and a third was black. Each was embellished with thousands of tiny Swarovski crystals that twinkled in the light. The effect was how one might feel staring up into a navy sky on a clear winter’s night with hundreds of twinkling stars beckoning to you.
One of the wonders of nature’s beauty is its seeming simplicity. These dresses, which last night’s Oscar red carpet could certainly have used, were so simple. Or so they seemed. Each bead had been applied by hand, no doubt an arduous task.
The diaphanous dresses captured the line’s Dionysian, elegant and high-quality aspects. Wu drew upon the oeuvre of artists Jessica May and Egon Schiele, the latter, a painter designers often find inspiring. In Wu’s case, he was drawn to Schiele’s sensuality.
“I wanted the collection to be erotic, soft and sensual,” Wu said backstage after the show. He got to play with “his life-long obsession with flowers,” he said.
Scarf blouses and matching skirts were dotted with delicate floral prints, the result of a collaboration with May, a Vancouver – based artist who specializes in nature paintings and graphic design.
He explored the deep jewel tones that occur in some wild orchids. As models wove their way through a runway punctuated with beautiful floral arrangements in studied disarray, they wore a range that drew upon the floral motif including a wine-hued quilted skirt suit, a cocktail dress embellished with ruched and ruffled fabric, and eyelash dresses and coats.
Wu applied the fluttery eyelash fabric to a pale powder pink dress and again to a black coat worn over a chartreuse blouse with a neckline that boasted one of his signature details, the elegant self scarf.
These scarf blouses and artisanal details emphasized an important point for Wu. The work was all done in New York (his hometown), he said. “I wanted to highlight the craftsmanship,” said Wu. “Especially, that this is New York craftsmanship. We don’t always get the credit.”