New York designer Jason Wu. Photo: Courtesy Jason Wu.
Thirty-two-year-old American fashion designer Jason Wu will tell you that there are very few people whose opinions really matter to him — one of those people being actress and former model Diane Kruger, whom he calls one of his very best friends.
Today, Wu made a lasting first impression on hundreds of Houston’s most fashionable ladies — and new friends — at the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon and Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation benefitting the March of Dimes.
On the subject of first impressions, when asked about his early notions of Texas, he answers intelligently — and reminds us why we love him so: “The first thing people think of is ‘Big.’ But I am very impressed by the art scene here. So, yes, it is big — in the sense that it feels big. And that really is a compliment, because you have the space to build this kind of collection [referencing The Menil Collection and Cy Twombly]. There’s a lot of history here and appreciation for design. And that’s significant. Art is one of the most visual of inspirations and a natural place to pull from, so I was literally dying.”
As you may recall, Wu’s star rose in 2008 when Anna Wintour put him on the map by nominating him for a CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund award. Since then, he’s dressed everyone under the sun, including first lady Michelle Obama. Today 10 of Houston’s first ladies — Kelli Cohen Fein, Cynthia Petrello, Carol Linn, Gina Gaston Elie, Gracie Cavnar, Denise Bush Bahr, Allie Fields, Kristy Bradshaw, Katie Mattingly Brass and Duyen Huynh Nguyen — preempted his own fall collection (which debuted last month in New York) on the catwalk.
For everyone who missed him today, not to worry. Neiman Marcus will host an in-store trunk show tomorrow (Friday, March 27, 10 am to 5 pm) in designer sportswear on Level Two. Both his pre-fall and fall collections will be available for special order, and Wu himself will make an appearance from 11 am until noon to meet and mingle with his fans.