September 08, 2011 New York
Where he did push boundaries was in the areas of fabric innovation and embellishment. Regarding the former, Wu chose a nearly weightless nylon "that moves like chiffon" for his outerwear. In ballerina pink, the parka would be a cool alternative to the predictable evening shawl. The gazar he used for his Cristobal Balenciaga-esque flared-skirt dress, meanwhile, was not only ultralightweight but also came in a heather gray the color of your favorite old T-shirt (the same shade, it so happens, as his best-selling black lace-sleeve sweatshirt from Fall). Last season's rococo gold bullion embroideries were out, and in their place were Nerds candy-shaped beads sewn onto shirt collars. "Old-school techniques that look electrocuted," was how Wu described the effect.
Sounds weird, but it was charming. And the young celeb set will find those flirty shorter-in-the-front, longer-in-the-back ball skirts seductive, too. Knowing just how far to push things may be one of Wu's most valuable gifts.