It’s been twenty years since Hugo Boss last showed during New York Fashion Week. Can you even imagine what New York Fashion Week looked like twenty years ago? In 2014, the art of not just producing a fashion show but manufacturing a memorable spectacle that calls the right viewers to come and watch and the right photographers to come and click has changed so comprehensively, one is left to wonder why the brand, seemingly holding down its own fort in an elevated distance, would choose to re-enter such a progressively competitive environment anyway.
And especially on the second to last day of a week that spared no mercy for the respect and integrity of a Saturday or Sunday and blew right through the betoken days of rest. By Fashion Week Wednesday, it takes a heart beat that’s been skipped, an avalanche of butterflies to the stomach or a visceral double take, neck whiplash and all, not to find yourself throwing all the clothes that have thus far been into a blender that will not let you discern where Derek Lam’s knits begin and Alexander Wang’s boot mules end.
Of course, though, it is not without reason that the arguable Hallmark of American consumerism and fashion reemerges right now. Hugo Boss has just tapped Jason Wu to serve as creative director for the brand and today’s show marked his first show for what will assuredly become, at the very least, something ample to talk about.
From a distance, the Wu influence is evident — these clothes emanate a sense of confidence that only the anterior has been known to craft. It’s also deferential. There are no tricks, no traps, no deeply aspirational pieces that make you wonder if this woman can be you. and where a designer like Hedi Slimane may have tried to manipulate the fabric and DNA of a brand like Saint Laurent, Wu for Hugo Boss seems to understand and further respect the nuances indigenous to his new post. He gets this girl — she’s no-bullshit and she’s edgy with her black and grey wardrobe. But she also doesn’t mind a First Lady moment, which is where the tea-length white sheaths come in.
Wu managed to slip in a few evening wear looks too, which vaguely harken back to previous looks from his fall/winter 2008 and 2009 collections. But nothing is too derivative of his past work, proving his dexterity to multitask and offering the promise of a titillating, continued first chapter in the new book of Boss.