Inside Jason Wu’s ‘Normal Retailer’ throughout New York Style Week

The creations were in his 1950s-inspired “Mr. Wus General Store ‘among rows of fresh produce in an empty Broadway store.
(Dan Lecca / Courtesy Jason Wu)

The creations were distributed in his 1950s-inspired “Mr. Wu’s General Store” among rows of fresh produce displayed in an empty Broadway store.

“Over the past year, cooking has proven to be a creative outlet for me,” the 38-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian designer said in a statement.

“The joys of cooking and spending time with loved ones make me hopeful of celebrating the moments that really matter. This show represents who I am, not just as a designer but as a person.”

The edible ingredients were donated to City Harvest, a New York charity fighting food insecurity, after the show, one of the few live events of this year’s Fashion Week.

Wu, who founded his label of the same name in 2007 and became known worldwide as the designer of the dress that the former first lady Michelle Obama wore for her husband’s first housewarming ball in 2009, documented his pandemic time in a diary on his Instagram account “MrWuEats”.

In keeping with its 1950s Americana theme, Wu also partnered with Coca-Cola and delved into the U.S. brand’s archives to discover prints, logos, and styles.

“These logos bring that multicultural aspect to the collection and a nod to what America means to me – a melting pot of different cultures,” said Wu.

The show featured loose fitting long dresses and skirts combined with knitted sweaters and long masculine coats. Red and blue emerged against white, black and gray. Long fringes and boots made of yellow snakeskin and pink patent leather made for a more somber style.

On the previous Sunday, Tadashi Shoji presented his autumn / winter 2021 collection with armor-inspired metallics and decorations.

In a recorded video, the American designer, known for his evening dresses, revealed silhouette-hugging dresses adorned with fringed sleeves, puffed shoulders, sequins or lace details.

In the video, the models were standing in front of a fire-lit sky and on a pile of old furniture – including a piano, a chandelier, and a bed frame – and at some point smoke rose from below.

New York Fashion Week, February 14-18: The Shows is a primarily virtual event, with most brands sharing videos of their latest designs and very few socially distant live presentations.

“The past year has challenged us in ways we could never have imagined. Nobody got away unaffected. We long for security. We are forced to regain our strength every day,” Shoji said in show notes.

“This season I wanted to create pieces that evoke a sense of protection, a collection that reflected our strength – a strength that is so palpable that you can tap it with your knuckles and that sounds like steel.”

Other designers showing off their designs at New York Fashion Week include Badgley Mischka and The Blonds.

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