Jason Wu Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Jason Wu is a cool kid trapped in a would-be couturier’s body – at least that’s what his latest collection seemed to signal. He’s also a ravenous aesthete. He is an artist who is inspired by other artists and is not afraid to acknowledge it. His Fall 2011 collection, inspired by Robert Polidori’s ‘Parcours Museologique Revisite’, a three-volume set covering the 25 year restoration of Versailles, had editors and customers in raptures – the transference of influence to 37 executed garments maintaining a real follow-through, while still keeping his own red-carpet friendly, First Lady-loving stamp from beginning to end.

So when Wu referred to KAWS – the famous NYC-based graffiti artist who rocked the 90s with his cartoonish superimpositions on Kate Moss posters as not just an inspiration, but as a collaborator, it was bye bye dauphine, hello … well, truth be told, when you put Jason Wu and KAWS in the same equation, who knows what that could mean.What Wu ended up using was KAWS’ amazing use of color and they both collaborated on the flower print that came on almost every garment. KAWS contributed to that? The longer you look at it, the more his influence begins to show itself.

The edgy factor was new for Wu too. The Wu girl has never had a chance before to sport a cropped top with matching hot pants under a parachute parka made of ultra-light silk nylon. He kept it quite prim still with shirts buttoned up to the neck with shiny beaded collars and a bit naughty with a sheer gauzy top with a hardly-there white pied-de-poule print. His starlet clientele can now sport his wares outside the red carpet, but when awards season comes around, you’ll be sure to see them posing for the paparazzo in those grand mullet gauze skirts.

It’s surprising that Wu’s name hasn’t been thrown into the list of myriad designers supposedly suitable for the Dior job after Galliano’s maligned exit. That majestic chartreuse dress at the end should be enough to gain him entry into the vying pool. It’s still early, but don’t be surprised if it ends up on many a blogger or editor’s list for best dress of the week.