Jason Wu Talks Nails, Fall 2011, and Fashion Week

Jason Wu
Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
Designer Jason Wu

We all know Jason Wu designed the First Lady's inaugural gown, which catapulted him to fashion stardom. But do you know which celebrity he really wants to dress? We do.

FashionEtc caught up with Wu as he was preparing his Fall 2011 collection to find out the impetus behind his new nail collection, his mood for Fall, and more.

You’ve dressed everyone from the First Lady to Natalie Portman. Who would you like to dress that you haven’t yet?

Cate Blanchett.

You just launched an amazing nail line. How did that come about?

Every season I play with different ways of using color in my collections, so it was a natural choice to collaborate with CND on a capsule of nail colors that reflects my aesthetics.

Do you ever get manicures?

Yes, but I always ruin them because I work with my hands so much.

Your accessories line debuted for Spring ’11. Have you wanted to do shoes and bags for a while?

When I launched my RTW collection in 2006, I always had a goal to introduce accessories and evolve into a lifestyle brand. The launch of shoes and bags is a natural extension to completing that goal.

Your accessories are very Hollywood glam—classic yet chic. Are you going to keep that a running theme throughout the line?

I wanted to apply my aesthetic and vision to a collection of accessories that is timeless and sophisticated. As my company grows, I would definitely like to further develop into the world of Jason Wu.

What materials are you working in for the bags and shoes?

Baby-soft calf, python, wolffish [also known as the Atlantic catfish or wolf eel], and Karung [a.k.a. the elephant trunk snake].

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Photo courtesy of Jason Wu
A bag by Jason Wu

Do you find it’s a different way of thinking when designing accessories as opposed to womenswear?

They are very different, but they do go hand-in-hand. When I design accessories, they are to complement the womenswear I design. It completes the vision.

Last season we were offered a diverse array of trends—70s, prints, sheer, lower hemlines, orange. Is there the same mood for Fall in terms of variety?

I am still very much influenced by the lean and sophisticated silhouette of spring, but you will have to wait till the show to find out more …

How do you stay sane during Fashion Week? You’re so in demand, can you relax?

It is crazy, but it’s what I love to do so it never feels too overwhelming. In the past few years I’ve really gotten the hang of it, so when Fashion Week comes around I know how to cope. Being organized and prepared helps—also having a good team is so important.

What is your Fashion Week like?

It’s a managed chaos with many late nights.

What are you looking forward to seeing this Fashion Week?

My parents.

Any surprises in store for us?

If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?