Over the past year, designer Jason Wu spent some quality time with Angelica Cheung, the editor in chief of Chinese Vogue. He travelled to China to appear with her on fashion competition show Creative Sky and attend events planned by the publishing powerhouse. Could it have been this experience, which led the Taiwan-born Wu to mine China's historical archives for his latest collection? It's been an interesting challenge for Chinese Vogue to translate fashion editorial to a population not wholly familiar with references from New York, London, Milan and Paris through the decades.
For Autumn/Winter 2012, Wu made sure allusions from history closer to home were clear and present. It all started with looming red doors and a smoke filled runway (enter the Forbidden City!) with a model clad in an olive green lace overplayed cape, her hair pulled back into a tight, slick ponytail. Then, came the rest of the army. There were sheath dresses with epaulets, Mao shirts, gold brocades, even a painted cloud print channeling classic Chinoiserie fabric. Show notes cited the Qing Dynasty and Hollywood's interpretations of the East as among Wu's influences. The latter explains the hot pink satin and bejeweled jackets. They weren't meant to be cliche, rather a smart take on a new point of view that's well aware of other narrow minded versions. In short, perfect for all the modern day China dolls.