There's something that just doesn't add up in this picture. Jason Wu's collection and the one he does for Tse have something distressingly in common with each other. Neither of them expresses any clear idea or purpose. They're like a movie that's all credits and no story. So much attention has been paid to the most meager of talents. An inaugural dress is just 1 dress and in this case, one that was forgettable at best and dreadful at worst. How far can someone go with nothing of substance is the question I ask whenever he shows a collection.
The Jason Wu SS2011 collection, for me and I'm speaking very subjectively, is a hackneyed attempt at what he must see as "uptown" togs for the ladies who lunch. What's lacking is any stamp of individuality or creativity. The vocabulary is supposed to be that of greats like YSL, Blass of old and Oscar for that added pinch of spice. What we have is a line up of wooden suits with tiny skirts or shorts and silly blouses. The overall effect brought to mind a bad reinterpretation of Zang Toi, perhaps Jason is his illegitimate love child, with delusions of grandeur. Look at the images for yourself and draw your own conclusions. With each successive exit I kept waiting for things to heat up but they got colder and more vague with every beat of the base. It's an insult to Zang to mention his name in the same sentence but that was the closest I could come to describing his look. These are clothes for Housewives on the upper east side who strive for the style cred of the Jill's and Ramona's of the world. All blow and precious little go.
The Tse collection was marginally better. There were a few sweaters and dresses in a heavy guaged hand knit that looked smart. A chesterfield long jacket was very clean and elegant over a sweater and skirt as were a few tailored pieces. A disjointed feel permeated the collection where different parts stayed separate and unrelated as a whole. It all looked more like a random sampling of thoughts all culled at the last moment. This could be Jason's way of expressing the hip, downtown side of his personality. Perhaps Tse feels that this will all fly because it comes from the designer who dressed the First Lady. Whatever their reasoning is, it looks iffy. I don't take pleasure in stories like this. I want to like what I see and be inspired and impressed. I follow my gut and feel frustration when I see a collection that is little more than snake oil in a dixie cup.
On the Street…Lafayette St., New York
3 days ago