Jason Wu's got a new collection exclusively for Nordstrom, and he spent some time with me yesterday to talk Miss Wu and answer a few lifestyle questions as well. But before we get into the interview, a little about what you'll find in various Nordstrom stores and online now. The Miss Wu collection is wrought with beautiful fabrics, bold colors (lots of fuchsia, chartreuse and cobalt blue), exclusive prints (confetti dot, Baroque lace, Ginko leaf and Jason's signature stripe) and impeccable detailing. Ranging from $195 - $995, Miss Wu is a clear nod to the 1960s, with a whimsical nod to the 1970s. There's a black feather evening dress, shearling moto-inspired jacket and red wool military coat that I know will do well here in the Pacific Northwest!
How did you get into fashion design?
I was 9 when I lived in Canada, and I would read my mom's fashion magazines. There was always a lot of inspiration in them. It wasn't one 'Eureka!' moment; I just realized fashion could be a career and it always felt right.
You spent some time growing up in Vancouver. What are your favorite memories about the area?
Vancouver is beautiful. It's so serene. I live in New York City now, and it's so bustling. Vancouver is so peaceful and quiet in comparison. It was a great place to grow up. The food is very good; there's a lot of really good Chinese food as there's a large Chinese population there. I discovered fashion, art, design, and myself there. My mom would take me to antique shows, which we don't have in Taiwan. I got my first sewing machine and learned how to sew in Vancouver. My appreciation for beautiful things definitely grew there.
Who inspires you?
My mother has always inspired me. The women I dress as well. Women in general, really! You can see in my work - it's all a celebration of the feminine form and femininity. It's the string that connects the aesthetic from collection to collection.
Tell me about Miss Wu.
The collection really came about organically; it's an extension of my design DNA. It's very reminiscent of my early work. While the Jason Wu collection is heading more femme fatale, Miss Wu is very feminine. Prints, srtipes, full skirt, feathers. I'm very inspired by the women of the '60s: Penelope Tree, Anna Karina. When Nordstrom approached me about an exclusive collection, it was the perfect opportunity to take affinity to that era and those beautiful things.
What do you like to do to take a break?
I like to go to the spa; my favorite in New York is Mandarin Oriental. It's very peaceful, quiet and nice. I'm not hard to please! I love going to dinner with my friends. I do that 3-4 times a week. They're my friends I went to high school and college with. In many ways, I designed the Miss Wu collection with my friends. We all grew up together and somehow all ended up in New York. I guess you could say Miss Wu was designed for the girls around me.
Is that you behind your social media?
Yes! I don't do my Facebook page, but it's pretty clear that's run by my team. I send my own tweets and Instagrams. I just did my first Instagram video here today for Miss Wu (watch it here.) It's really fun. I was never good at keeping a diary or taking photos. I'm a very spontaneous person. It's nice to be able to share something in a few seconds. It's like a peek into my world; no filter, very organic. I think it's important to be authentic in that way.