NEW YORK (AP) — There wasn't a lot of room for error on the Jason Wu runway at New York Fashion Week on Friday. But he didn't need it.
From Carolyn Murphy's opening crocodile-like leather sheath to the navy silk tulle harness gown with embroidery that closed the show, the look was slim and sophisticated. Lace insets, bra tops, sheer fabrics and sharp tuxedos turned into shorts kept lively what were really refined, classic silhouettes.
Wu, in a backstage interview, said he was inspired by two photographers with differing styles — Helmut Newton and Lillian Basman. "It's two completely different styles. One's quite beautiful, couture and the other is quite provocative and sexy and I love the idea of those two coming together a softness and a hardness coming together and I wanted to make a collection that sort of balanced, just teetered on that line of sexy but still sophisticated," he said.
It was the second show in the early going to make specific reference to Newton (the first was BCBG), which could explain the dominance of black and white. The Wu collection and BCBG also both put leather harnesses on the models to give it a little bit of edge. They topped a white-lace embroidered shirt worn with black croc shorts, and over a pink lace sheath that also got a little bounce from a peplum.
One would imagine that first lady Michelle Obama, who helped propel Wu to hot-ticket status after she wore his gown to the 2008 inauguration, would wear her black-and-white "ghost print" satin sheath with organza insets sans leather hardware.