Jason Wu Spring 2021

Jason Wu had the distinction of being a fashion brand to stage a  runway show in New York City since the city shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the bar was set high for the designer to give us even just a morsel of the glamour that New York’s fashion scene has been longing for. For spring 2021, Wu was inspired by Tulum, Mexico. He wanted to create a collection that was reminiscent of bright, tropical hues and recalled happy memories, because most of us could use memories of better days right now.

There had long been a quintessential sophistication to Jason Wu’s customer. It was a class act approach to style that was fitting for a man who quickly became a household name after former First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his eveningwear pieces for President Obama’s inauguration. However, Wu decided to go in a different direction than he has before and explored the more casual side of the Jason Wu woman.

The spring 2021 runway show also marked the first runway collection for Jason Wu’s contemporary-priced line, a more affordable offering compared to his Jason Wu collection line. In a world where normal life has been uprooted, the democratization of fashion appears to be a trending topic again, meaning how can it be possible to give more people access to fashion? There is also the question of what is fashion’s purpose right now? While the world might quite literally be burning–thoughts and prayers to those affected in California–fashion can still give people something to celebrate. As something always looking toward the future, fashion is representative of hope.

From the first look, modeled by “Pose” actress Indya Moore, Wu stated fashion can be a literal vacation from our problems. The rust-colored maxi dress in a relaxed silhouette was bright and cheerful and great for breaking the ice of the pandemic spell. Tunic tops, pleated skirts, cashmere bras, and Bermuda shorts all gave a “let’s go to the beach and getaway” vibe as we hope by the time this collection hits stores, we can be planning tropical vacations again.

Ephemeral dresses with modern floral prints rounded out the typical spring tropes. Summer may have just left us, but this collection left us longing for it again.

Images courtesy of Jason Wu

While it has been questioned if Jason Wu still has the same mojo he had during Michelle Obama’s tenure as First Lady, he’s found a new voice for himself. With the luxury market taking a hit, it was best Wu focus on his contemporary line. Wu may have found a little bit of the magic the fashion industry needs, the kind of magic that will hopefully see brighter days ahead.

Kristopher Fraser

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