Writer for Bite Magazine, Senior Men's Fashion Editor at The WALK
A collection of interesting images, writings, and other media on fashion and culture.
Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2012 Review
Generally, a designer reaches a zenith in his or her work when he or she becomes a Mixmaster. That is to say that this designer becomes an expert at combining a multitude of elements to produce a singular effect. It’s a ubiquitous trait among today’s top designers. Nicolas Ghesquière mixed Tokyo street fashion, Balenciaga heritage, punk overtones, and practical pieces to great success; Raf Simons at Jil Sander rose on last season’s shortlist by pairing clinical minimalism with couture detail to create his luxe nurses. In Jason Wu’s NYC home, Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler are the poster children for this technique, garnering CFDA recognition along the way. This collection proves that it’s time to add Wu to the list of designers.
Whereas previous collections have been predominated by a central theme, this collection showcases Wu’s ability to centralize variegated influences into one mood. This pre-fall collection has references to motorsport, old luxury, sportswear, couture, the 1990s, minimalism, and previous collections at once. Throughout the collection, Wu achieves singularity, even despite the multitude of elements that peak in the collection. The first piece, a cocoon coat on Erjona Ala, encapsulates the varied mood of the collection; the multiple futuristic vents suggest modernity, while Wu continues to muse on the lace that he has shown for a few collections. A kind of amalgamated skinny motorcycle pant makes multiple appearances in this collection, giving some sporty balance to its pairings. And just when these elements begin to settle, Wu throws in fabulous tartan from the British Isles on a skirt and parka combination for the twenty-second look.
What this collection shows is a genuine ability to create a cohesive, coherent collection. One element does not overpower the next, as they work together to give balance to the progression. It’s a much different feel than his other collections, where one idea has dominated play. These collections weren’t boring or bland, but they lacked the extra addition of power that separates the great from the good. Wu changes that with his prismatic choices for elements. The way each of them come together—from sporty fur to a 50s housewife print—is indicative of great talent.