NEW YORK, United States — Working within an established code can be an exercise in restraint that, although challenging, is liberating instead of constricting. Having fewer aesthetic options is, in fact, a wonderful fuel for invention.
Precision has always been the byword at Hugo Boss. The house was built on the straightforward Bauhaus ethos — that form should follow function. And, now, in his fourth season as artistic director, Jason Wu has finally begun to approach the pragmatic ethos of the German brand with a newfound softness, and it worked to his own advantage. If some of his previous outings felt cold and adamant in expressing a sharp sense of minimalism, this latest collection offered a warmer take on the idea of simplicity. Lines kept intersecting and overlapping even on the simplest pantsuit and the result was both visually interesting and wearable.
Texture, shape and movement were high on the designer's agenda. Dresses were dematerialised into layers of technical, sheer pleating, while fringes running along the edges of lapels and jackets created an interesting counterpoint of sharp and wild, urban and tribal. The collection looked tightly edited. But, there were many echoes of well-known fashion tropes, the most notable being Issey Miyake's pleats. Welcome to the age of fashion appropriation: invention, today, is mostly about reinterpretation.