A Successful First Date for Jason Wu and Hugo Boss

Jason Wu showed a collection centered on rigorous pieces designed for women working in the business world, says Jessica Michault.

NEW YORK, United States — There were a lot of raised eyebrows in the fashion industry when Hugo Boss, the German brand known for its stoic menswear line, tapped Jason Wu, a designer known for his feminine slant to fashion, to become the company’s artistic director. Would it be possible for such diametrically opposite design aesthetics to find a common ground?

Let’s just say it was a successful first date, even if it wasn’t exactly a love at first sight encounter.

Before a front row groaning with an eclectic assortment of high wattage stars that ranged from Gwyneth Paltrow, the face of the brand’s perfume, Diane Kruger, Reese Witherspoon and Gerard Butler to Adèle Exarchopoulos, Scott Eastwood and Benedict Cumberbatch, Wu showed a collection that unsurprisingly found its foundation in the world of menswear.

With that as its guiding principle this collection centered on rather rigorous pieces that looked designed for women working in the business world. Basically, the models in this show were dressed to act like the female counterpart to the male Hugo Boss client.  The collection was all about creating a style that didn’t rock the boat. Unthreatening sophistication via strong tailoring in safe colors of black, charcoal, camel, white and blush print. The use of a barcode-like linear grid pattern throughout the collection also accentuated the corporate undercurrent of the show.

There were moments when Wu’s feminine side won out. Particularly in the eveningwear of gauzy gowns embellished with sequined skirts, and a few vertical ruffled shift dresses for day also had a ladylike look about them.

But it was the last exit that really crystallized the way forward for Wu. The statuesque supermodel Stella Tennant graced the catwalk in a perfectly cut black tuxedo and semi sheer black shirt. Taking the best of both worlds Tennant never forsake her femininity to fit into a man’s attire, she just made it her own. Which is exactly what Wu is sure to do over the coming seasons at Hugo Boss.

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