“I stopped doing four-themes-a-year years ago; that’s not sustainable. It’s one idea for four seasons for me, four chapters for one year.” So said Jason Wu on a walkthrough of his well-edited resort 2024 collection. The designer’s fascination with the sea, and with engraving-style prints, both of which appeared in his main line for spring, continued here. Hidden within a fig and flower motif was an octopus and pearl-bearing oysters. A group of these printed pieces were over-embroidered with sequins, yet finished with exposed seams, which sort of replicated the cross-hatch aesthetic of engravings while also keeping things unexpectedly casual.
This kind of high/low play fits in with Wu’s feeling for treating utilitarian fabrics as precious and precious ones as utilitarian. What he described as a “couture” tweed turned up on a field coat. A beautifully tailored hourglass jacket featured yellow top-stitching like jeans often do. Continuing in the structured mode, Wu made a petal gown in homage to Charles James. “I’m really infatuated with the 1950s, I really love shape,” he said.
Wu’s resort collection mixed elements of that era, with that of another, the sinuous 1930s. There was a narrow saffron-colored tube that would transform its wearer into a goddess, and slip dresses with seaweed-like frills. These also appeared down the side of full-legged pants and the edges of the square-shaped top it was paired with. Modern, elegant, and with freedom of movement, this ensemble was a beautiful example of the viability of evening separates. You might say it was in the swim.