After graduating from Parsons and interning with Narciso Rodriguez, Wu showed his first major collection during Spring 2007 Fashion Week, a collection of soft, pretty pieces in mostly black and white. It was sweet, but safe. With his Spring 2008 collection, however, he took a step out of the box and showed a little more versatility and a bit more edge.
Pretty without being frivolous, Wu’s collection began with structured pieces like full-skirted strapless dresses, trench coats, and shifts. His color palette of black, white, and ivory was punctuated with bursts of bright color: a red cummerbund, a full black skirt that faded to a bright acid yellow, an electric blue belted dress. Details like hand-painted plaids and an exposed zipper added character.
However, the real standouts of the collection were his softer evening looks. Nude, gray and blush-colored dresses in tulle, chiffon, and a gorgeous “feathered” chiffon were ethereal and classic; model Han Jin stole the show in a tan chiffon blouse with delicate black buttons and a high-waisted black feathered evening skirt.
Wu’s influences were evident: His black-to-yellow, white-to-red and black-to-blue fading echoed Prada’s fall ombré, and his black dress with sharp white pleating recalled several fall dresses by Giambattista Valli. However, each look fit into place for a coherent but progressive collection.
The big players in the fashion industry seem to get younger and younger every day, but Wu is the real thing. He’s shown that he can do accessible, pretty, red carpet- worthy dresses, but he’s also showing that he wants to - and can do - fashion as well.
Walking into Rock & Republic’s Spring 2008 presentation on Sept. 5, one would have no idea that designer and CEO Michael Ball built his company on a pair of jeans he once designed for his girlfriend years ago in
Cocktails were served and a DJ spun while male and female models lounged on white sofas on a platform in the middle of Eyebeam in
If the dresses weren’t short, they were tight, and if they weren’t tight, they had a plunging neckline. In bright oranges and blues and spangled with studs, the models were nearly as shiny as the disco balls sparkling overhead. There were high-waisted hot shorts and silver stilettos. A male model wore black suit with a silver lamé shirt and matching shiny silver shoes.
And the jeans? Only one or two pairs trotted around, but they were as you’d expect: skintight, with the ubiquitous R&R logo on the back pockets in – what else? – rhinestones.
Clearly, Ball is trying to move his company into higher-fashion ready-to-wear (the collection included shoes, bags, belts and eyewear), but the uber-trendy party wear would look more appropriate at a Zara than a high-end store.
A combination Rock & Republic after-party and Fashion Rocks pre-party followed. Fashion Rocks, a televised concert event to take place Friday, is a Condé Nast-sponsored fashion and music assembly hosted by Entourage’s Jeremy Piven and featuring performances by artists like Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, and Maroon 5. Not to be outdone, the pre-party featured a performance by the VMA-nominated Gym Class Heroes, known for their song “Cupid’s Chokehold.”
Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz (whose record label represents the Gym Class Heroes) mingled, and Michael Ball looked on from the VIP area as attendees sang and danced along in their Rock & Republic jeans.
A glamorous party perhaps, but as for the fashion, Ball should stick to the basics – denim.