New York Fashion Week S/S 2013: Jason Wu straddles the fine line between S&M and ladylike

It’s hard to believe that just over three years ago, Jason Wu was a relatively unknown designer whose luck was about to change. After Michelle Obama chose a white, one-shoulder gown to wear on inauguration night, everything changed for the designer. This week in New York, we saw that Wu can definitely mix it with the best.

The first thing we thought after seeing the show? Well, well, well… Jason Wu can do S&M, albeit a decidedly feminine version of S&M (and there’s that reference to 50 Shades of Grey again). We saw leather skirts with lace trimmings, white blouses complemented with black lace inserts, high-waisted leather shorts, navy skirts and splashes of bright fuchsia. This was a true example of naughty meets nice, and who would have thought it would have been Wu to reveal his naughty side?

But there were of course the feminine looks, and in our opinion, two obvious standouts. Firstly, a simply stunning gown consisting of a champagne hued, embellished bodice, leading down to a cascading black chiffon skirt. But it wasn’t all girly girl: thin black leather straps leading up to the shoulders channelled the wild side of the collection; however this detail is something the gown could have done without. Transparent from the thigh down, the skirt was ultimately the perfect balance of good girl, bad girl.

Then there was a dress that looked like a midnight sky personified in the form of a breathtaking gown. A midnight blue hue complete with dazzling embellishments, the dress was much like our other favourite in that the skirt was transparent from the thigh down. This gown also consisted of leather harnessing detailing, but this time it worked.

Ultimately the collection succeeded in balancing what is set to be a huge trend next season, thanks to a certain book trilogy, and the lavishly chic ball gowns consisting of tulle and embellishments. It’s safe to say that Wu has come of age.