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More tales from NYC with Faith Wignall

Behind the scenes at Jason Wu NYFW

Faith Wignall shares with 2OPINIONATED her observations and the fun times in New York during Fashion Week…

On Friday evening I had the good fortune to be invited to not one but two Jason Wu events.

This is thanks to my dear friend who works on various projects for Mr Wu, so I was able to tag along and be her plus one.

Following his show at 1pm, there is a party from 5pm for a few hours, which is for Brizo and Jason Wu.

Brizo are a high-end, bathroom furnishings company and who have collaborated with Jason Wu to create a range of faucets and basins.

Brizo are one of many sponsors of Jason’s shows, and to acknowledge their support, there is a small party held where the Brizo staff can come and meet with Jason, and get the chance to hear a little speech from the man himself.

As part of the Brizo Jason Wu relationship, a tradition has been set at these parties each fashion week, where Jason can watch his show with everyone at the party for the first time, as for the duration of the show he is back stage frantically finishing the looks before the models hit the runway to debut his garbs.

Although I didn’t get the chance to go to the show, it was nice to watch it on a screen, drink in hand, in a nice air-conditioned penthouse suite setting on the upper west side of Manhattan.

It was also special to see Jason Wu watching his own show, and seeing the looks and garments that have taken up so much of his time for the past 6 months or more.

Jason’s dear friend Carolyn Murphy opened the show, perhaps the only show she will feature at during fashion week.  The models were styled with fresh crisp make up, slicked back hair and bold and bright red lips.

High-waisted short shorts, black patent stilettos with studded ankle cuffs, long lace gloves, black leather braces on beautifully tailored dress pants.

Sheer flowing skirts over high-waisted briefs.  The variety of styles for one season was great, as was the use of leather, lace and sheer silks, and strong understated prints here and there.

Following the show, Jason did a short Q & A and spoke about the inspiration for this line, “form and the feminine form” being the strongest inspiration for his overall aesthetic, but with a focus on the “naughty side of a women, sex and sophistication”.  When asked about his goals with each collection he continued “to beautify everything, and aim to have beautiful things surrounding me, but always following my instincts”.

On finding inspiration in general Jason went on to say that “it can come from anywhere, it might be a poster up on a wall in the East Village, or a ribbon on a gift from a friend, but sometimes inspiration can come late and other times it comes immediately, which was the case with this line”.

Jason does not stop working, although his show had just ended, he had already begun work on the next season’s collection over two weeks prior, not to mention that he has a lower price point line in the works for retail mecca Nordstrom.

He spoke about the challenges of creating a line, finding inspiration, then producing the line, and having it ready for sale in stores up to one year after the initial conception.  It is hard to see how the range begins, and then know how it will be received in a years time when it finally hits the stores.  But given his success so far, I think he is on the right track.

The Brizo team have their photos with Mr Wu, and then he heads off to another appointment.  Most likely to eat something, read some reviews and prepare for the next few events on his agenda for the evening.

Following the Brizo party, we headed over to the Standard Hotel for the La Perla Jason Wu party.  La Perla, makers of exquisite lingerie, are another of Jason’s sponsors and help to make the show happen.  They hosted a party at the Standard Hotel where Belvedere Vodka (Jason’s favourite Vodka) was on offer to a very special set of guests.  These parties are hard to be invited to, even if you are a sponsor of Jason’s show, you may not get the privilege to watch his show in person.  Those seats need to be saved for the fashion editors, and buyers of the fashion world who get Jason’s wears into magazines and stores to be accessed by his strong customer base.  The party was beautiful, the bar at the Standard Hotel is stunning, and I recognized it from the scene in the film Shame, where Carrie Mulligan’s character sings with a band, and Michael Fassbender’s sexually frustrated character sheds a tear.  The sort of horse shoe bar is in a room, with plush cream leather sofas surrounding a beautiful centerpiece which you can see in the photo, floor to ceiling windows looking out to the Hudson river on one side and the Manhattan skyline on the other.

A mixture of La Perla people and Jason Wu people filled the room, with music pumping throughout the room.  The toilets were definitely a highlight, each stall is its own room, painted black and dimly lit, with a floor to ceiling window overlooking the Highline and the Meatpacking District.  You feel cheeky and naughty up there peeing and looking over the city, but there is something thrilling about not knowing or caring if anyone can see you from down below.

To finish off, Jason was asked his favourite quote of right now, he replied “Please excuse my beauty” and explained that “if you go on youtube and find an old episode of Cops, you will get the reference”.

Following the excitement at the Standard Hotel, we jumped in a taxi, made our way back down to Tribeca and stopped in Chinatown at midnight for some much-needed and well deserved dumplings.  I love this city! – Faith Wignall

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