Fashion / Style

Meghan Markle Shakes Up This Designer’s Low Key Ways: The New Way of Wu Gets a Royal Jolt

BY // 10.10.18

NEW YORK — “Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” Jason Wu posted on his Instagram page as he unveiled a new black-and-white logo for his brand and a new attitude about who he is as a designer and where he wants to be.

At New York Fashion Week, Wu nixed a lavish runway show in favor of presenting a tightly-edited 16-piece collection of dresses and gowns on headless mannequins amid a garden-like atmosphere in a warehouse-like art space. Visitors milled around the mannequins, taking time to get an up-close look at his expert craftsmanship and couture tailoring.

The collection includes wispy gowns of pastel tulle, some with unfinished hems, bonded crepe sheaths, gowns featuring heavily embroidered crystals on nude fabric, and asymmetric dresses combining pinstripe business suit material with delicate lace.

The bare bones presentation revealed the new attitude of Wu, who shot to fame when he created the gowns that Michelle Obama wore to both of her husband’s inaugural galas. (The former first lady also wore a Jason Wu designed tea-length dress on the day Barack Obama left office.)]

“I just want a little break while New York (Fashion Week) is figuring itself out,” he told Women’s Wear Daily. “I want to figure myself out, too.”

With new financial backing, he is rebranding his luxe designer line as the Jason Wu Collection and has changed the name of his lower-price contemporary collection from Grey Jason Wu to the more simplified Jason Wu.

Rethinking his long-term strategy and acknowledging that his brand has to expand beyond the sophisticated eveningwear he is known for, Wu recently launched a lingerie and bodywear line with Real Underwear, his first-ever fragrance, a plus-size line with Eloquii, a series of RuPaul dolls with Integrity Toys, a limited edition scented doll with Net-a-porter, and an upcoming denim jeans collaboration with 3×1.

He also plans to open his first stand-alone store in Shanghai, where he is better known as he is in the United States.

Since headless mannequins do not make for flattering photographs, Wu had the collection photographed with Russian model Sasha Pivovarova as his star for publicity purposes. But he pulled off his biggest coup when the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle wore a cobalt blue sheath dress from the new collection to a London charity concert a few days before Wu debuted it in New York in his low-key presentation, thus ensuring massive amounts of publicity for his new way of doing things.

In Houston, the Jason Wu collection is available at Elizabeth Anthony.

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