It was all a little nouveau-riche at Jason Wu for A/W 2011 – but given that the inspiration for the season was, Wu said, 'the detailed restoration process of Versailles', perhaps it was self-conscious – even vaguely ironic? Gilded mirrors were piled together to form a reflective catwalk, while a mammoth chandelier hung at the end of the catwalk – production design elements reflective of the overall feel of the collection, which was elaborate to say the least. A baroque-meets-sportswear theme prevailed, as what would otherwise be quite classic winter wardrobe staples, became something else altogether when covered with crystal and metallic beading, embroidery and lace detailing. Following on from last Winter’s collection, Wu’s strong point was most certainly in the accessible outerwear that not only imbued the collection with a vital pragmatism, but gave it a youthful edge. The chunky knits of last winter that we were such fans of, and that took the frou-frou prettiness of the dresses and separates down a few notches, were replaced this time around with slouchy, casual hooded parkas and cute capelet’s – there was also a lot of statement fur. Puffball Mongolian fur dresses were standouts, and reminiscent of Sonia Rykiel’s all-out-fun numbers from last winter, worn by models – in a particularly memorable catwalk moment – moshing happily to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. While there was a lot of lace, frills and over-the-top gold and embellishment on show, one can’t really fault Wu - he is a designer who has built a vastly successful business, and attracted a dedicated following, for his well-crafted wares in a difficult market.
Following on from last Winter’s collection, Wu’s strong point was most certainly in the accessible outerwear.