127 posts tagged "Jason Wu"
In the end, perhaps fashion isn’t so complicated. It boils down to this: How do I find my signature and how do I develop it over time? Three things that people have said to me on this subject have stuck in my mind:
Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele (stylist): “I get inspiration from Mr. Alaïa, Mr. Lagerfeld. They know, you know? They know. They are not like all these young designers who change every six months. I think this is strange, because when you have talent inside, you never really change.”
Azzedine Alaïa (designer): “It’s inconceivable to me that someone creative can have a new idea every two months. Because if I have one new idea in a year, I thank heaven.”
Riccardo Tisci (designer), speaking approvingly of Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Saint Laurent: “I think Hedi, he wrote his first chapter [i.e., at Dior Homme] in a capital of fashion, and then he took his time off, and then he started from the same page. It’s like when you go to bed and you’re reading a book: You do the little corner, and then the night after, you start from the same page. And the aesthetic that he does really belongs to him. For sure, it is something that doesn’t look like anybody else, and that’s what I like.”
These thoughts were thrown into particularly sharp relief during a busy day of shows in New York yesterday.
What’s more remarkable about Kors: the fact that he’s now worth a billion dollars or the fact that, after three decades in business, he isn’t resting on his laurels? With his last two collections, he has brought his vision of American luxury into razor-sharp focus.
A very different designer from Kors, of course, but in his own way as American as apple pie or Pop Art. Scott has done what you do if you have your own signature: lived through a few seasons where he enjoyed the support of the faithful—and it’s some faithful; he draws the liveliest crowd in town (hey there, Jared Leto)—but didn’t have the full attention of the fashion press. Thanks to his recent appointment as creative director of Moschino, he’s firmly back in the media spotlight. He didn’t waste the opportunity, delivering a collection that riffed confidently on two great American pastimes: sex and sports.
How do you define the signature of a commercial juggernaut, best known for its menswear, which is now making a serious push into womenswear? That’s Jason Wu’s brief at Hugo Boss. He’s started to do it with the collateral: an Inez and Vinoodh-shot campaign; Gwyneth Paltrow as the face of the fragrance. And his debut collection? As Nicole Phelps said in her review, “Wu’s challenge going forward will be to maintain the Boss polish while figuring out ways to loosen up and have a bit more fun.”
I would be remiss not to mention Sui in this recap. She is one of the treasures of the New York calendar. Here’s Tim Blanks on what made her latest collection such a decadent delight.
Krakoff has been giving this subject a great deal of thought lately. After a few collections that felt the anxiety of European influence, he is now focused on creating his version of American luxury. Read Nicole Phelps’ review here.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were part of a pack of young New York designers who broke through in the last decade. When they celebrated their tenth anniversary a couple of years ago, they decided to drill down on their label’s identity, starting with a powerful but understated new logo. Their aesthetic, now reliably their own, is rooted in the contemporary New York art world. It’s no coincidence that yesterday’s show took place at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, a gallery in the West Village.
IT’S RALPH, THOUGH
As it happens, I’m writing this after seeing Ralph Lauren’s show on this snowy Thursday morning. Lauren showed looks from his Polo line alongside his top-end collection today, and the move invigorated him. These clothes were as clear and direct as a Hemingway sentence. If America didn’t exist, Ralph Lauren would have had to invent it.
“Sleeping is so last season,” laughed Jason Wu from his New York studio. He was only half kidding. Since Wu was appointed as the new artistic director of womenswear at Hugo Boss last June, he’s had to learn to balance—and separate—designing for the German brand and his eponymous range. “I had apprehensions about being able to juggle both, showing both in New York, being able to make them look different…I thought it was a big challenge,” conceded Wu, who will present his first Boss effort in New York on Wednesday, February 12. “But at this point in my career, it felt really right to embark on this new journey, to challenge myself to do something unexpected.”
Given Boss’ history of stern, precise menswear and Wu’s penchant for directional, feminine designs (he’s not one to shy away from a frill here, or a ruffle there), Wu may have seemed an unlikely choice for Boss, whose women’s range has failed to take off since it was launched in 2000. But his fresh eye, artistic spirit, and understanding of women’s bodies—and wants—might provide just the edge Boss needs. Case in point, his first film for the house, which debuts exclusively here. Styled by Joe McKenna and lensed by Inez & Vinoodh, who also shoot Wu’s own campaigns, the film is aptly dubbed This Is Boss, and stars the new face of the brand, Edie Campbell. “With this film, I wanted to answer the question on a lot of people’s minds: What are we trying to do here?” said Wu, adding that Campbell is the embodiment his hypothetical Boss woman. “She’s modern, she’s someone you want to get to know, she’s well-traveled, cultured, successful…she’s the right person to represent my new vision.”
This Is Boss was shot at the Philip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut, largely because the locale reminded Wu of Boss’s Metzingen, Germany, campus, which happens to have inspired his Fall ’14 collection. “The campus is made up of three huge glass buildings, but it’s set in this picturesque countryside. It’s a complete opposition of beautiful, natural elements and these hard lines of steel and concrete, yet they blend together perfectly. And when I saw it, I said, ‘That is where I’m going to find my womenswear inspiration.’” This concept of opposites appears in the short, too. As Campbell is shown running through the snow in a sharply cut black overcoat (an unexpected blizzard nearly foiled Wu’s shoot), fractured images of cityscapes and blossoming roses flash across the screen. “All the elements are odd together, yet intriguing, and great at the same time,” Wu said. “The film incorporates not only Boss’ DNA, but also expresses everything that the Boss woman is, and wants to be. It’s all her thoughts in one picture.”
As for what we can expect on Wednesday, Wu revealed that we’ll see disciplined menswear influences with a feminine kick, as well as notes of Bauhaus. So is Wu nervous about the big show? “I don’t have time to be nervous!” he chuckled. “I just have time to create and make it all happen.”
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Label: Littledoe, designed by Chase Cohl
Need to know: Your typical fashion week presentation doesn’t often include oysters, an open bar, or a Lower East Side locale, but that’s what made Chase Cohl’s Littledoe soiree such a memorable affair. Cohl’s latest handmade, one-of-a-kind feather headpieces, metal crowns, wide-brim hats, and chakra-crystal jewels hung on the walls of The Leadbelly, where friends like Camille Rowe and Curtis Kulig sipped on whiskey gingers and snacked on mini cheeseburgers. While Littledoe has always emphasized a romantic, bohemian spirit, Cohl told Style.com she is taking the brand in a more sophisticated direction. Inspired by the French military during the 17th and 18th centuries, her new collection includes custom embroidered appliqués, antiqued iron crowns, dip-dyed feathers, and velvet flower halos. Over the years, Littledoe pieces have appeared in numerous editorials, but the new collection focuses more on everyday wearability.
Perhaps the best symbol of Littledoe’s new approach is Karen Elson: The in-demand model (Jason Wu, Paule Ka, and Kurt Geiger are just some of the campaigns she’s fronted of late) stars in the new lookbook, which was partially shot at her home in Nashville. “I love what Littledoe is about,” Elson said. “Chase creates pieces that are ultrafeminine, cool, carefree, and can be worn in a variety of different ways.”
She says: “Working with Karen on the lookbook just felt really natural,” Cohl told Style.com. “It’s a rare thing to have a girlfriend who understands exactly what you’re going through, balancing music and fashion—it’s such a strange balance—and I think we’ve become so close because of that.”
Where to find it: The Reformation, Yigal Azrouël, and Sotre One One 4 in New York; Principessa and Undrest in L.A.; and online at www.avenue32.com.
The Fall ’14 Ready-to-Wear collections kick off in New York today, and will be followed by the shows in London, Milan, and Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Jason Wu
WHERE: New York
WHEN: Friday, February 7
WHAT: “All about a metallic bootie this season”—Jason Wu. The designer sent us a snap of one of his Fall ’14 booties, above.