Jason Wu’s Spring/Summer 2022 Collection is All About Embracing Femininity

The collection debuted at New York Fashion Week, tying contemporary designs with a tradition of elegance.

Jason Wu is no stranger to the celebration of femininity. 

In seasons past, the designer’s runways could typically be seen flooded with emblems of poise and delicacy, toying with fun prints and patterns: an abundance of ruffles and soft pleats, an elevated take on the bucket hat and Bermuda short, silky fabrics with flowing silhouettes, a palette of neutrals underscored with shades of tangerine, or cerulean, whatever the season called for.

In his spring/summer 2022 collection, “Reverie,” Jason Wu latched on to this running theme, fusing femininity with florals for a collection that might make Persephone herself swoon. With slicked-back hair and natural makeup, models were sent striding down a runway equal parts concrete and garden, a gray path lined with bunches of green grass and red and yellow flowers—divine is a word that comes to mind watching the show. 

While the collection was nothing short of beautiful, it was also nothing new. In the sarcastic words of the most famous (fictitious) fashion critic of all time, “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” Wu’s excellence in tailoring to the feminine silhouette, in draping a delicate bodice with a pleated skirt in just the right way, in matching floral prints to watercolor-like patterns from natural dyes made in collaboration with fabric artisan Cara Marie Piazza, is apparent again and again in each look; the collection bears no question to the quality of Jason Wu’s collection, only its contents.

Florals bloomed in nearly every look of the collection, dainty and delicate, highlighting the rosy palette of the collection laced with hues of crimson, cerulean, bright green and canary yellow. Flowy shapes of taffeta, silk habotai and memory cotton made each look a perfect day-to-night look: a transparent beige slip dress that is both sweet and sensual, a ruffled, off-shoulder red mini dress that is at once a statement and a sweetheart. Some sequinned looks intermingled with the pleats and ruffles Wu does so well, while simple—yet elevated—strappy sandals pulled the simple grace of each look together.

The true heroes of Jason Wu’s collection are not the floral prints, nor the dichotomy of super-cropped-top with super-flowy-skirt or super-sheer-dress with super-voluminous-dress, but rather, the necklines. In some of his most stunning looks of the season, from a high-necked black ruffled blouse with transparent panels to a plunging V-neck on a tiered dress, Wu’s necklines again and again prove to be the most interesting elements of his dresses.

In line with the deviation of the norm for spring, the most powerful statement looks in the collection were those that dosed a teaspoon of drama into an otherwise predictable collection. Notable looks were striking, and perhaps not coincidentally, devoid of the repeated floral print. A sheer black slip dress with pleats exudes the femininity of Wu, while being contemporary and striking; an off-the-shoulder yellow gown boasts the designer’s proficiency at creating a billowing silhouette that still flatters the body; and the finale look, a watercolor-like gown of white, blue and green with a structured ruffled neckline, reminds us that while the collection as a whole might not be trailblazing a new era of ready-to-wear spring fashion, there is a remarkable beauty to be found in tradition. 

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