Will there ever come a time when we stop using the awkward phrase underwear-as-outerwear? When lingerie styling in women’s ready-to-wear fashions doesn’t seem edgy and outrageous?
Fashion wunderkind Jason Wu gave us a glimpse into that future during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, with a bold spring 2013 collection that blurred the lines between undergarments and outer layers.
Wu’s runway show was a major departure from the kind of structured and intricately ornamented looks he’s known for.
His spring collection seamlessly incorporates looks borrowed from corsets, bustiers, slips and nighties to create some truly dramatic ensembles. In many pieces, skirts or dresses are sheer or cutaway so as to draw attention to the feminine shape underneath, not the clothing that usually covers it up.
This isn’t revolutionary — recent seasons from McQueen, D&G, Mugler, Gaultier, Balenciaga and other fashion houses have toyed with these themes — but it’s probably the most fully realized treatment of lingerie as an all-occasion fashion staple that we’ve seen. (Second best: anything from Anthony Vaccarello.)
And in a way it makes sense to see Jason Wu leading this new direction. Sure, he dressed Michelle Obama that time, but he also learned his chops sewing clothes for dolls as a boy, and cemented his early reputation with a line of RuPaul dolls in leather corsets and thigh-highs.
Here are several pieces from Wu’s spring 2013 runway show held last week.