126 posts tagged "Jason Wu"
Last year’s Fashion Group International Rising Star Award winner has been having a rather good time of it lately. Just to pluck an example out of thin air, at random: He designed Michelle Obama’s inauguration
gown. Nice work if you can get it, sure, but all the buzz attending Jason Wu has raised expectations precariously high for the designer who just nabbed this year’s Rising Star—one Christian Cota. A Mexico City native with a pointillist eye for detail and a painterly way with color and drape, Cota is more than ready to rise to the Wu challenge. This season he’s getting a little help with the finishing touches from Lauren Santo Domingo, who is styling the Fall/Winter ’09 collection Cota presents this evening at the Metropolitan Pavilion. “I think you’ll see a new edge to Christian’s always impeccable uptown polish,” notes Santo Domingo. The edge she’s talking about is literal as well as figurative—in keeping with Cota’s geologic inspiration, which led him to fixate on minerals, crystals, and meteorites, the new clothes put a feminine spin on rugged angularity. Will the First Lady bite? Santo Domingo seems to think she should. “As a designer,” she says, “Christian’s talent is that he knows what a woman wants to wear.” Are you listening, Michelle?
Is there such a thing as a healthy addiction? Philip Crangi may have discovered one: The jewelry designer is, by all appearances, addicted to collaborations. The past few seasons have seen Crangi go on a creative spree, working with Vera Wang, Costello Tagliapietra, Shipley & Halmos, and, as part of his 2008 CFDA/Vogue nominee duties, the Gap. Now Crangi has added buzzmeister Jason Wu to the mix. “I like to think of it as Cartier du Congo,” says Crangi of the rhinestone-paved necklaces and earrings he’s conjured for Wu’s Fall ’09 show. “It’s kind of tribal, but it’s elegant.” Crangi is also taking his tribal fixation in a more abstract direction this season as he continues his collaboration with Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos. His necklaces, earrings, and belts for their show feature long, spindly pieces of metal “almost like spears,” as Crangi puts it, hung off of thin fiber-optic wire. “It’s like the idea of a necklace or a crude drawing of one, more than an actual necklace,” says Crangi of his design, which lies long and square and askew across the chest. “It’s an interesting concept to play with,” he adds. “You know, that’s why I like to collaborate so much, and
with so many different people—working with other designers allows me to experiment with new ideas. And it’s good to stay in that habit.” In other words, no intervention required.
“We really needed this,” said Christian Cota, the Manhattan-based, Mexican-born designer of elegant eveningwear, after receiving Fashion Group’s Rising Star Award for women’s apparel at the Rainbow Room today. (Carlos Campos and Sergio Davila were co-winners in the menswear category.) “This award is a real barometer of success,” said FGI president Margaret Hayes as she opened the ceremonies. Certainly the presence of past recipients Phillip Lim and Jason Wu—now household names—seem to bear her statement out. The crowd cheered at the mention of Wu’s name. The designer, who seems to be taking his newfound fame in stride, smiled warmly in response. “I’m used to being behind the scenes,” he modestly said over lunch. What price glory? The designer has to focus more of his energy on crowd control and security at his upcoming show. Keynote speaker Tory Burch, no stranger to the spotlight, admitted to being involved in every aspect of her business from design to the comfort of the couches in her boutiques. What’s the secret to her success at a tumultuous time? “Focus and a narrowed vision,” she said.