“Baroque sportswear” is how Jason Wu sums up his fall 2011 collection, which he showed this afternoon at Center 584 in Chelsea. The runway consisted of fragmented — or deconstructed, if you will — antique mirrors that caused one model to have a slight bobble as she rounded a corner. “It was really slippery,” model Karlie Kloss told us after the show. “And I, thank goodness, had a full dress rehearsal, so I got to kind of experience it before everybody else. Some of the girls [walked on it] for the first time in the actual show, and everybody was a little caught off guard, but the show goes on.”
And that runway was the perfect complement to the collection: Wu’s inspiration came from a series of photos taken by Robert Poliodori of the restoration of Versailles. “We’re definitely in a lace state of mind,” said the designer, who used over fifteen different kinds of it, all of which he had made in Paris. Dresses had lace sleeves, skirts came with lace panel overlays, and some models wore “sculpted lace masks,” as the show notes called them, with their evening gowns. “I’m sort of a nerd — love techniques and I love beautiful fabrics. And they have to be right now — our customers are looking for things that are truly special,” Wu said, hinting that recessionary buying habits were still on his mind.