Against a dramatically white backdrop complete with shingled Perspex catwalk, Jason Wu revealed his latest collection for Spring/Summer 2012 – and what a surprisingly wearable, subtly experimental vision it was. In contrast to the serene, monochromatic surrounds, a Blade Runner-like soundtrack set the mood as models stepped out, tip-toeing a little nervously along the complex multi-layered floor in striking ebony and ivory get-ups expertly fusing Wu’s trademark feminine 50s sensibility with a newfound techno sporty edge. Sleek all-white ensembles and graphic black and white ‘petal’ print high-waisted trousers and pleated dresses launched the collection, followed by confident brights – chartreuse, cobalt and hot pink – and killer blue and white ‘petal’ print confections in both diaphanous layers and structured tailoring. It was a clean, optimistic palette, mirroring equally precise forms – something of a skilful act of restraint on Wu’s behalf, as he has in the past revealed a penchant for baroque-inspired ornamentation (not always a bad thing!).
Rarely has Wu invested his girls with a bit of rock’n’roll chic – but for Spring, his picture-perfect aesthetic (and deft tailoring) took a refreshing walk on the wild side, as hip-hop inspired windbreakers and reworked macs in popping fluorescent colour and synthetic fabric shook up the prim and proper ladylike fare. Wu wanted to, 'Combine iconic haute couture shapes with pop art influences,' he said, and his collaboration on the striking ‘petal’ prints throughout with street-savvy artist, KAWS, certainly helped him to achieve his goal. Overall, it was a winning collection, and proof that Wu really is one of New York’s finest young designers – his final ethereal, yet wearable, floor-sweeping gowns in shocking pink, electric blue and pop yellow a testament to his talent.