Take a closer look at Hugo boss SS15 designed Jason Wu, the man who knows what women want.
Taken from the Summer Fashion Issue of Wonderland.
There are three sides to Jason Wu: playful, effeminate and downright serious. From his influential line for Integrity Dolls to his current position as Creative Director of fashion monolith Hugo Boss, when I ask Wu what advice he would have given his younger self, it’s “that the slow-burn is always the better one”, adding, “we all want success, but it takes hard work and dedication. That’s how you really build something that lasts.” No need to step in a time machine, it appears Wu was wise beyond his years from a young age. That’s why he’s the man responsible for putting Boss back on the NYFW schedule, with his second SS15 collection.
As a child Wu was an avid reader of his mum’s fashion magazines. Requesting a sewing machine for his 10th birthday, four years later Wu was kitting his dolls out in all the right threads. So right, that after sending examples of his doll-size dresses to American toy manufacturers Integrity Dolls, aged 14, they bought into his designs right away. The Jason Wu doll line was born. Within two years he was Creative Director of the company, at the tender age of 17, but Wu had his sights set on the Big Apple. “I came to America for the first time when I was 15 and there’s really nothing like it,” he says. “It’s a city that has so much energy and so much diversity. I think as a designer and a creative person I thrive on that kind of energy.” Leaving Taiwan for a place at Parsons School of Design, Wu stayed in NYC following his studies to intern for Narciso Rodriguez.
Fast forward to 2006 and Wu made his dream a reality, launching his eponymous label at the tender age of 24. Before he knew it, he was designing an evening gown for Michelle Obama to wear to the presidential inauguration. As you do. That’s the thing about Wu, he’s a man who knows a thing or two about what women want – and having grown up picking laboriously through the work of Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix, it’s no surprise. “I’ve always just loved their sensibility and the way they use colour and print, and the way they play with shapes.” With his namesake label so rooted in femininity, 2013’s news that Wu was to take the reigns at the helm of Boss – the Germanic powerhouse renowned for masculine tailoring – came as a surprise to many.
Three collections later, anyone could see that an injection of femininity was exactly what the brand needed. Re-inventing the Boss woman, Wu took inspiration from the architecture of the brand’s headquarters in Metzingen, Germany and the flora surrounding it. “It’s this really, really modern glass building in the midst of these green fields,” explains Wu. “It’s really quite picturesque and I loved the juxtaposition between the modern and the raw.” In turn, Wu’s debut AW14 collection played out as a series of powerfully masculine, architectural pieces worn over sheer sensual layers, V-cut dresses and structured satin suiting. Femininity, with an edge. Whilst his third AW15 collection, shown in February, was a continuation of the nature-meets-urban utopia theme, SS15’s aforementioned landmark show was poignant not only for its setting – taking place in the World Trade Centre building – but also for Wu’s current stage in life. “I loved the idea that the World Trade Centre was a work in progress,” says Wu. “To me, that was a metaphor of me at Boss, a work in progress, a journey.” This is Wu’s journey and he’s the boss.
All clothing Hugo Boss Pre-Fall 15.
Photographer: Oskar Gyllenswaäärd
Photographer’s Assistant: Tom Hill
Fashion Editor: Sam Carder
Fashion Assistant: Sinead Brennan
Make Up: Jade Bird using DERMALOGICA
Hair: Susanne Lichtenegger at Ballsall Management Hamburg using BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
Set Designer: Thomas Bird
Set Design Assistants: Jeff Lambert and Ami Evelyn
Model: Oli @ Established Models
Words: Brooke McCoord.