ABOVE: BACKSTAGE AND JASON WU’S SPRING 2012 SHOW.
One genre of music that you will never hear at a Jason Wu show, DJ Wilson Chan assures us, is “cacophonic death metal from Tampa.” It would be an odd combination—Jason’s lady-like dresses, a favorite of the current First Lady, floating down the runway to hoarse screams and frenetic electric guitars—and a drastic change from Wu’s previous soundtracks, which include songs by Nick Drake, José González, and White Lies. “Producing a fashion show is all about story telling—the music plays a huge part in setting the tone an inspiration for the season,” Jason Wu tells us.
Wilson Chan met Wu through mutual friends and is responsible for every Wu show soundtrack—from his NYFW debut in February 2006 to his Spring 2013 presentation this Friday. The Brooklyn-born DJ has plenty of experience; he’s produced music for high-end houses such as Louis Vuitton and YSL, mass-market chains (The Gap, Mattel), and even the Museum of Modern Art. Tracking runway shows is no mean feat; “the opening track should grab the attention instantly and set the mood for the show,” Chan explains.
Jason Wu, who received CFDA’s Swarovski Award for Womenswear in 2010, is most famous for his full-skirted dresses, cinched waists, form-fitting pencil skirts, and crew-neck sweaters. “Elegant,” however, is too stiff and simple to describe the 29 year-old’s designs. Instead, we asked Wu for a theme-tune for his latest collection. His answer? “Roy Orbison meets Gothic Punk.”