To the many doubting the merits of New York Fashion Week - some do so lazily, it has to be said, but most have a point or two – I’d like to present as evidence the opening look of today’s Jason Wu show. A khaki double-face cashmere skirt suit, the jacket rounded and ‘sporty’, the skirt stopping at mid-calf and seamed, and bursting between them a belted fur gilet. Unfussy, easy and ridiculously luxurious. 'Strength and Seduction' were the only show notes Wu left for his guests and in that look and every one that followed he managed to offer us both. The sleek patent ankle boots with their gold triangle heel were the exclamation mark missing from that statement of intent.
In the very few years that it’s taken him to make his presence in this industry felt and known - his womenswear line for Hugo Boss is doing pretty well, thank you - Wu has defined what his brand is about with an effortlessness that’s nearly offensive to everyone else in the game. And he is evolving his message unhurriedly yet efficiently. The very next look, for example, was a pinafore dress in the same khaki wool, a fur stole covering one shoulder and the back all bare bar a single strap. The same dress appeared again in a bold red and it showed how quickly Wu has learnt to play with sensuality. Strength and Seduction, again. The collection was full of the perfectly tailored pieces Wu’s customers have come to expect and rely on - see the pair of olive green high-waisted cropped trousers or a camel cashmere wrap coat. But the croc-skin shift dress (the back all wool) and a black croc pencil skirt, teamed with a red silk blouse, will also make it on many a wish-list. But his clientele also come to him for red carpet glamour and for this Wu was more restrained than previously - the two all-sequinned long-sleeved dresses were the loudest although they hung on the body with the ease of a t-shirt. Elsewhere you could spot a deep neckline on a gold silk wrap of a thing, a simple white column and a flash of skin in barely-there black lace, and yet, it was the girl in the tailored black jumpsuit, cut low and covered with a belted fur stole that stole the show. That one, she knew what she was doing!