Wu's decision to show at the St.Regis hotel is a very telling point. The self consciousness of his choice mirrors his overly inflated self regard,which is a nice way of saying Jason's starting to believe his own press. That in itself has been the undoing of so many . From the first exit there was an uptight feeling that this young designer had shed the joy and freedom of youth to ape the look and feel of others much older and more experienced.
The over-consistency of each look, one after another was deadening. The suits that opened the collection felt like a hybrid of Oscar de la Renta and Chanel. The cocktail dresses that followed were all variations on the same theme. Little tulip skirts with bodices all joined with satin ribbon belts. They were sweet and youthful but all very short, too short for most women other than his gamine models. As lovely as a few were they too were a constant repetition. The feather embellished pieces that followed were all too reminiscent of past Blass and, again, Oscar. They just didn't feel like his.
What did stand out were a pair of dresses with a staple embroidered detail that looked great. Clearly, Jason Wu is a talented young designer but one that feels more like a hot house flower forced to bloom before nature's time. I can't help thinking that overnight stardom for the very young and unseasoned has it's benefits. World focus can give a much needed bump, but on the other side it causes expectations that few are able to satisfy. Time takes time.
Jason's technique is evident in the draping of chiffon looks but again there was a heavy hand at work. Beauty is a fine line that can be easily overstepped. It's all a question of proportion and degree. I wanted to see a collection that's risen to the heights of hype that accompany his every step.
The future will tell. Jason Wu is a rare bird flapping his wings furiously, only there's still precious little lift.
Going Back to New Haven
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