In this exploration of his roots, Jason delves into archetypes commonly associated with Chinese culture: “Madame Mao/Chinese Warrior,” Qing Dynasty, and Hollywood’s version of the thirties and forties. The result is a highly ambitious production that is full of richly dense fabrics and strictly controlled silhouettes. While this is not my favorite of his, I can certainly appreciate the display of drama and decadence before me. However, this collection has the danger of falling into the archetypes that Wu tries to subvert with his modern twist. And he pulls it off for the most part. Fall 2012 is a huge turnover from his sweetly elegant aesthetic in seasons past, and that isn’t necessarily a bad direction to head in. The fact that he is even able to put on such a grandiose affair is indicative of the strength of his label at the moment, certainly something young designers should strive for.
Although the the strict structure is rather severe, I love the opulent fierceness that accompanies it. His exploration of the power woman packed quite a punch from the moment she stormed from those crimson “palatial wooden doors” (Mower). I particularly loved the abundance of brocade and mink; the indulgent tone to it had all the feeling of a haute couture house. Moreover, the solid black piping was clearly placed with a great eye; they have such a lovely winding line about them in the midst of the structure. Wu look a lot of risk with this collection, and while it didn’t leave me sitting awe, there are certainly plenty of intriguing notes to pay attention to.