Jason Wu courts the woman on the catwalk

SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
The Associated Press
Modified: February 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm •  Published: February 13, 2013
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photo - Fashion from the Fall 2013 collection of Jason Wu is modeled on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 in New York.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Fashion from the Fall 2013 collection of Jason Wu is modeled on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK — Jason Wu's fall collection, previewed Friday at New York Fashion Week, was all woman. Not girlie. Not mannish. That was by design.

"This collection is really about the woman," Wu said backstage before his show at a former Park Avenue church. "I wanted to bring back the woman to the runway."

The clothes were full of strength, with exaggerated shoulders and some military touches, but chiffon pleats floated down the runway. Two outfits were long — as in floor-length — pleated, peplum tops over tuxedo pants, the perfect yin and yang.

Red that offset the mostly black-and-white combinations was the va-va-voom. Use of the color both here and on Michelle Obama's inaugural gown last month was not a coincidence. Wu started on the collection in October and the gown — for which he received plenty of congratulations and accolades — was designed in November.

"Certainly red was on my mind. ... I felt it was right for right now," he said.

One of the looks for next season Wu highlighted for reporters was a strapless cocktail dress that was mostly black but had a red overlay. It embodied the complex "poetry" he was trying to convey, he explained.

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