Hard doesn’t feel quite so tough unless it’s countered by soft; similarly, soft doesn’t have the same sweet effect unless there’s a clear contrast in the mix – and nobody knows this like Jason Wu. Inspired by dueling images of Helmut Newton’s sexed-up, powered-hungry vixens and Lillian Bassman’s slender, dreamy ladies (usually depicted in grainy black and white), Wu’s latest character is not so much torn between them as she is a decisive combination of the two. Bondage and S&M have never looked so ladylike!
Bursts of tulle and clusters of crystals are more evil queen than innocent princess, while artful merges of leather and lace (like a knee-length skirt with the right amount of pouf) somehow don’t go for shock value. They aim for intelligent seduction, and they are successful. Jason manages to make all that’s sheer and see-through look demure. A pert collar here, fine tailoring there, the waist nipped in ever-so carefully: this is not your average bad girl. Even the jaw-dropping harnesses have a delicacy to them! Similarly, an apron executed in leather doesn’t exactly have that wholesome, cupcake-baking mom vibe.
From shadowy florals to revealing bustier tops, Swiss dots to leather suspenders, the new Wu girl has an angel on her right and the devil on her left, so to speak. So who will she side with? That is clearly all up to her. She’s as in control as Newton’s original bombshells.
Image Credit: New York Magazine