Last week, Boston Common magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue hosted an event showcasing fashion designer Jason Wu’s spring 2017 collection.
Known for dressing Michelle Obama for her two inaugural balls, Wu was celebrated for his dreamy gowns and timeless silhouettes. Though based in New York, Wu is familiar with the Boston scene, having attended boarding school in Deerfield.
Proceeds from the event—10 percent of the sales of Wu’s designer duds—went toward the Museum of Fine Arts’ fashion council, which funds fashion-related acquisitions at the museum. Wu’s value of fashion as art is particularly meaningful to the fashion council.
“Having [Wu] in tow is just fantastic for us. Learning more about his design philosophy and who he is and where he came from is really wonderful,” added Michelle Finamore, curator of fashion arts at the MFA. “The fashion scene here is growing by leaps and bounds.”
We chatted with Wu about power-dressing, being back in Boston and advice for budding fashion mavens.
Tell us a little bit about the event and your new collection.
The event is great because you know Saks is the exclusive carrier of Jason Wu in Boston and were really celebrating launching the new spring collection here. We’re doing a little retrospective with my past works and I’m really excited to be here. I went to boarding school in New England, so I actually came here a lot in my childhood.
You designed both of Michelle Obama’s inaugural ball dresses, in 2009 and again 2013. Obviously, political fashion has evolved a lot over the past decade. How do you see your role in this evolution?
I’m just really happy that I’ve been able to play a role in Mrs. Obama’s political career and I feel really honored to have my work in the Smithsonian. I feel great that women feel inspired and empowered by power-dressing, and I think that shows how far we’ve come as a society and I’m really happy about that.
If you had to pick out 3 staple dress silhouettes for any woman, what would they be?
Definitely the fitted shape with a fuller skirt — I think a lot of ladies are wearing that tonight. A slip dress kind of on a bias cut is very signature for me, and a very sharply tailored pencil dress.