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Jason Wu

February 7, 2014

Runway Rundown: Jason Wu

Nineties throwbacks got a modern update at the Jason Wu fall 2014 show this afternoon—think slinky slipdresses, velvet skirts and bulky boyfriend coats. Any hint of grunge sloppiness was decidedly absent, however, as each look was polished to perfection.

See all of our Fashion Week coverage.
Mary O’Regan
Photos: GoRunway.com

The fourth and final image from the Jason Wu spring/summer 2014 campaign, starring supermodel Karen Elson, was released today, and The Thread has all the details behind the showstopping ‘Daphne’ tote perched alongside the fiery red British beauty.

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Snapped: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin shot this latest campaign and were also behind the lens for Wu’s fall and spring 2013 imagery.

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Snag spring’s most essential pieces, brought to you by Jason Wu. This season is about “adding ease to your wardrobe,” says the New York-based designer.

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September 7, 2013

A Moment with Jason Wu

Jason Wu x Karlie Kloss: Two best friends living the American dream and helping each other leave a lasting mark on fashion.

The last time The Thread caught up with Jason Wu was over the phone in July to discuss the colorfully mod second installment of Miss WU. And now, the attention turns to the muted spring/summer 2014 mainline collection, in which the designer explores the duality of construction.

“There are well-constructed separates in this collection. It’s about adding ease to your wardrobe,” says Wu, who outfitted his pal Karlie in a stunning pale sage embroidered hem tank gown that showed off her svelte physique.

Qianna Smith
Photo by Cameron Krone 

September 6, 2013

Jason Wu’s Power Girls

Jason Wu gave a nod to the ’90s on Friday with a spring collection full of slinky slipdresses, textured sweatshirts and boxy, tailored suiting. In keeping with his fascination with femininity—especially its darker side—Wu played with the idea of the corset, placing laces here and there, but for the most part, looks were unstructured and slightly slouchy, in a curve-flattering way. The show opened with supermodel Karen Elson wearing a halter-neck gown covered in sparkles, hair parted severely down the middle. Meanwhile, Alicia Keys and Mad Men’s Jessica Paré held court in the front row, sporting fitted black dresses with lacy necklines.

(See also: Backstage beauty at this show)

Karen Elson

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Alicia Keys

Jessica Paré

Anna Wintour and Maria Sharapova

Mary O’Regan

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Colorful ’60s textures and covetable wardrobe essentials from the MISS WU fall/winter 2013 collection were on full display during Jason Wu’s visit to our Bellevue Square store in Washington.

The New York-based designer flew across the country to intimately connect with customers and fans of all ages.

Exclusively available at Nordstrom, the second season of Wu’s work-to-weekend diffusion line is all about nonchalant dressing done smartly. “There’s a sense of realness, that she’s an approachable girl,” said Jason, who wanted this latest line to provide an authentic look into the life of MISS WU.

Adoring fans enjoyed one-on-one time with the noted designer, receiving autographs as well as styling tips. Have you snagged the latest offerings from MISS WU?

Check out the looks we love in the MISS WU lookbook, modeled by Argentine beauty Magda Laguinge.

Qianna Smith
Photos by TeamPhotogenic.com

July 10, 2013

Falling for MISS WU

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Rooted in femininity, inspired by the colorful textures of the ’60s and crafted with the sophisticated pedigree of the Jason Wu mainline, MISS WU is nonchalant dressing done smartly.

Exclusively available at Nordstrom, the second season of Wu’s work-to-weekend diffusion line arrives in stores today! With fall quickly approaching, our MISS WU shopping list is full of covetable wardrobe essentials, from super-soft cashmere striped sweaters to pleated chiffon skirts. Before we charge away, The Thread phoned the New York-based designer to get the scoop on his ladylike must-haves for fall/winter 2013, and as one might expect, we got a crash course in the Wu way of style.

Meet Miss Wu Take 1 & Take 2: A model moment: Meghan Collison (left) in a spring MISS WU Lace Yoke Faille Dress and Magda Laguinge in a fall MISS WU Leather Dress.

“I loved the idea of designing a collection that was a little whimsical, chic and yet still very feminine, which is a [hallmark] of my aesthetic,” says Wu on what he set out to accomplish in terms of creativity and wearability with this newly stocked line. “The fall line is aligned with the spirit of MISS WU, which we really established with season one.”

In January, MISS WU launched with Canadian-born model Meghan Collison as the muse of downtown chic. And for fall, Argentine stunner Magda Laguinge became the heroine of understated elegance. It seems to us that Wu may just have a penchant for models with names starting with M? “I actually didn’t realize that! I guess it’s an M for MISS WU,” he says with a laugh. “The clothes are as important as the girl that wears them. I’ve known Meghan and Magda for a long time. Each girl has a great individual style, and they both really have this MISS WU sensibility that I look for in a model. When they wear the clothes, you almost get the sense that they’re actually the clothes they just have in their own closet, which is what I really wanted for MISS WU.”

Warm Outerwear, Cool Styles: LEFT: MISS WU Genuine Shearling Moto Jacket & MISS WU ‘Gallone’ Jacquard Dress | RIGHT: MISS WU ‘Torre’ Wool Blend Jacket with Removable Genuine Fur Collar, MISS WU ‘Vera’ Lace Print Silk Blouse & MISS WU Paneled Tech Pants

The fall MISS WU collection continues to unveil the personality and relaxed attitude of Wu’s design aesthetic—as well as shed light on his obsession with the ’60s. When designing this collection, Wu envisioned a playful young woman, but who is she and where is she going? “She’s out and about, she’s on the town. She’s traveling a little bit, and so we see the first introduction to outerwear,” he says. “We also see her in different [kinds of] weather, and I just thought, with this season, we’re able to explore further into her wardrobe.”

It’s My Life: LEFT: MISS WU Tech Nylon Puffer Jacket & MISS WU ‘Sofie’ Stripe Cashmere Sweater | RIGHT: MISS WU Pocket Crêpe de Chine Blouse & MISS WU Stripe Pleated Chiffon Skirt

The shoot for the MISS WU lookbook took place in New York’s artsy-cool Chelsea neighborhood. Photographed by Simon Burstall, props played an important role in setting the tone and authentic look into the life of MISS WU. We asked Wu to walk us through his production and concepting process.

“I love working with props, and I used them for both the first and second collection so we could really envision the girl in the space, in her life. I wanted to set up these different vignettes so it looked like she was in different scenarios that would occur in her day-to-day life,” he says. “There’s a sense of realness, that she’s an approachable girl. The lookbook really serves as a window into MISS WU’s life this season. She had the backgammon set that I thought was really charming, as though it were something she would like to play. We also used a Persian rug, which showed her love of color and interesting patterns. These are all things I envisioned she would own in her apartment.”

Wearer-of-Wu: Actress-turned-author Jessica Alba recently donned the MISS WU Abstract Chain Jacquard Dress during a book-signing event for The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True To You.

There was a definite contrast between Wu’s fall mainline collection, which featured a palette of black on black, along with the vivid colors and patterns of MISS WU. If the Jason Wu woman had a one-on-one with the MISS WU girl, what style advice would she pass down? For Wu, the answer is simple: “Keep it individual, keep it feminine and keep it sophisticated.”

Go behind the scenes of the MISS WU Fall/Winter ’13 lookbook shoot for an intimate view of the collection.

Qianna Smith

Photos courtesy of Jason Wu/Simon Burstall & portrait by Jayme Thorton

It was 1930 when fashion jewelry made its first sparkling appearance onto the market, yet only in the last 20 years has the movement reached its true brilliance. Today, women don accessories out of pure desire rather than privilege, and that’s largely thanks to innovative jewelers like Alexis Bittar. Since 1990, this Brooklyn-born New Yorker has challenged conventional notions of luxury, producing a collection rooted in artisan techniques but crafted from accessible materials. Bittar’s glimmering creations have brought an entirely new meaning to the concept of semiprecious stones and metals with his use of Lucite (acrylic glass), chrysocolla (a minor ore of copper) and labradorite (a feldspar mineral).

Viva Femme: The reverence and strength of Bittar’s designs is captured in shots from his spring/summer 2013 lookbook

This out-of-the-box type of creativity takes courage, and Bittar seems to have plenty on reserve. “I started my business single-handedly and built it organically,” says Bittar, who got his start by selling his hand-carved pieces on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village.

Does this self-taught jeweler miss his street vendor days, working among the pulse of the people? “There was more simplicity back then because now I’m pretty much holed up in an office for most of the day, but no, I don’t really miss it,” he says. “There’s a lack of seeing colorful characters every day, but I’m surrounded by creative people. In some ways, my generation has become the prevailing decision-makers of fashion and art. If you’re in your 50s, 40s or even late 30s, you’re in that place where you’re at the top, basically, so I pretty much have this amazing think tank around me.”

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The Big Bangle Theory: Alexis Bittar ‘Mod’ Knot Bracelet, Large Quilted Bracelet, ‘Mod’ Wrap Bracelet (Nordstrom Exclusive), Small Quilted Bracelet & ‘Mod’ Knot Bracelet (Nordstrom Exclusive)

And it’s with good reason that Bittar feels he’s a leader amongst his peers. His ability to excite the market by using experimental materials like matte car paint, PVD coating and Lucite at a time when no one else was helped him push his business to the next level. Bittar’s pragmatic nature never lets him lose sight of what’s important—and that’s well-made, highly desirable fashion accessories. “I produce the Lucite collection here in New York; to have the freedom as an artist to make quick design changes and being hands-on ensures better quality control.” His American-made pieces go through the hands of seven artisans before they’re complete.

“During a recent meeting, someone said to me, ‘You know you’re fearless, right?” says Bittar, who initially was taken by surprise then humbled by the comment. “One of the things that has helped me in design is that I am slightly fearless, particularly in terms of what I put out there on the editorial end. Obviously, if it needs to sell, I can’t be 100% fearless. Yet, with some of the things that I’m most proud of, the initial reaction was shock. Like ‘Who would ever wear that?’ And I like that, because I can always tell in my gut if a piece is good.”

And the Winner Is…: Actress Dakota Fanning presented Bittar with his 2010 CFDA award

From receiving the coveted title of Accessory Designer of the Year in 2010 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to collaborating with the likes of Jason Wu and costume designer Patricia Field on Sex and the City, Bittar continually pushes the envelope to stay a step above the rest. “Every time I design a collection at the top, there have to be a few pieces that people look at and say, ‘Oh, my God.’”

Stately Style: First Lady Michelle Obama makes a bold statement in the ‘Elements‘ collection—and also donned Bittar on Election Night in 2012 as well as for the State of the Union address in February

What’s Bittar’s most memorable custom design partnership? “As far as brands go, I’d say Burberry. It was so powerful being that it was my first collaboration,” he says. “As far as celebrities go, it’s a tough call, but I’d say First Lady Michelle Obama. She was paramount in helping change the image of what America was capable of, in terms of change. And being connected to that even in a small way has been very impactful.”

Jewels to Covet & Collect: Alexis Bittar ‘Elements – Cordova’ Large Cuff, ‘Elements – Cordova’ Stone Ring, ‘Miss Havisham – Liquid Gold’ Orbiting Drop Earrings & ‘Miss Havisham – Liquid Gold’ Long Pendant Necklace

This summer, Bittar takes wearable art to a new level with his latest offering of his ‘Elements Cordova‘ and ‘Miss Havisham‘ collections. “Cordova is kind of a combination of American Indian/1930s influence, and I like the idea that the two are coupled,” says the designer, whose sketches start from a imaginative place rather than a need base. “’Miss Havisham’ features matte soft white enamel and gold that looks like liquid is dripping onto it. It’s very sculptural and modern.”

Where will Bittar escape to rejuvenate his creative mind during this sunny season? “I’m going to Istanbul if civil war doesn’t break out in Turkey, and my back up plan is Botswana. I love going to Africa,” he says.

If one of these exotic destinations inspires Bittar’s next collection, the one thing we’re sure of is that he’ll be creating the jewelry he wants fearlessly and with a conviction for style.

Qianna Smith
Images Courtesy of Alexis Bittar

Lookbooks are one of the best parts of the resort season, which kicked off earlier this month. It’s fun to see the different models and settings the designers choose, like Joan Smalls on a rainy city street for Givenchy or Hanne Gaby Odiele against stark white walls for Theyskens’ Theory. We’ve culled a few of our favorite shots from the new collections below.

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Pleats and leather at Alexander Wang.

Head-to-toe zig-zags at Proenza Schouler.

Lustrous black leather at Helmut Lang.

Graphic prints and leather details at Opening Ceremony.

Slouchy trousers and sweeping hemlines at Theyskens’ Theory.

Sailor stripes and bra tops at Marc Jacobs.

Rich draping and oversized ruffles at Lanvin.

Tropical shadows and exposed midriffs at Jason Wu.

Dainty floral prints at Erdem.

Autumnal hues and Asian-style silhouettes at Marni.

Slivers of skin and black and white at A.L.C.

Busy prints and hints of goth at Givenchy.

Pinstripes and lace at Thakoon.

Sporty meets sheer at 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Sculptural shapes in black and white at Balenciaga.

—Mary O’Regan

On Day 8 of Paris Fashion Week, we found Jason Wu hosting a cocktail soirée in one of the chicest boutiques in the City of Light, the Montaigne Market. A selection from his spring/summer ’13 collection was artfully displayed in the window, providing the perfect attraction to lure the fashion pack inside. Upon entry, we immediately spotted the gorgeous Karlie Kloss chatting with the designer, who she says is a very close friend.

Wu certainly picked the perfect location for his fashion fête, considering that his spring collection was inspired by a Helmet Newton retrospective that ran last year at the famed Grand Palais in Paris.

We didn’t leave the party empty-handed, either: Each guest walked away with a scented candle from Wu’s line.

We spotted these two clean Wu looks at the event—we can’t wait to try them out!

Jason Wu Leather & Lace Racerback Shell & Tiered Leather Skirt

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland