June 07, 2012 New York
Taxidermy beetles with vintage watch parts inside by the artist Mike Libby were the surprising starting point for Jason Wu's pretty Resort collection. The miniature creations inspired both the bugs picked out in Swarovski crystals on a duchesse satin cocktail dress and the vibrant color palette—see Karlie Kloss' bright-red draped gown at the Met Ball and Jessica Stam's royal-blue number at the CFDAs. To complement the little creatures, he designed an oversize botanical motif that he said "looks like it's under a microscope." It appeared on a boxy tee and sleeveless dresses. As unlikely as the origin of Wu's lineup was, the results put him smack-dab in the middle of things. A week's worth of Resort appointments is confirmation enough that neons aren't going anywhere and neither are bold, look-at-me prints. If there's safety in the center, he pushed himself in other ways. Coming off a Fall collection that was all about tailoring, he challenged himself to try more draping—the special-occasion gowns he previewed on Kloss and Stam are good examples of that. Lace gowns with jet beading that Wu likened to tattoos had a new and not unwelcome edge. Wu showered his accessories with plenty of attention. Bags came in three-color combos that reflected the electric hues of the clothes, and shoes ranged from evening sandals to rhinestone-trimmed pumps to fancy flats. There were also bejeweled minaudières and utility belts. With so much merch on offer, one wondered when the first flagship store would be coming. Wu said he's waiting, for now. "I want to get it perfect," he said. "I'll do it when the time is right."
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