Thursday, February 16, 2012

Orient Express

Deciding which models and shows to highlight is in itself an almost impossible task. Almost that is, until I saw Australian model Shanina Shaik opening for Jason Wu's Chinese themed collection. Wu, who is in fact Taiwanese and immigrated to Canada at the age of ten, was inspired by a trip with his father to Taiwan. Asking himself "What is Chinese?", Wu came up with three distinct reference points; the military China epitomised by Mao jackets and shirts, the historical China of the Qing dynasty, and forties Hollywood version of China.

To fulfil this brief, Wu enlisted the services of casting director James Scully to assemble a line-up of models who could embody the many sides of Chinese culture as reflected in the collection. The challenge for Scully lay in casting models with strong enough looks and conviction combined with a womanly allure, to pull off the military style jackets, cheongsam dresses and silk tassel earrings. With the gonging of a cymbal, Shanina Shaik entered the fray via a strobe of red light signalling the beginnings of a visual feast. Red hot newcomers Katryn Kruger, Kati Nescher, Julia Frauche, and Marte Mei Van Haaster joined the procession alongside established stars Joan Smalls, Aymeline Valade, Kate King, Emily Baker and Candice Swanepoel. The line-up was one of the most ethnically diverse of NYFW with Cora Emmanuel, Jourdan Dunn, Anais Mali, Liu Wen, Tao Okamoto, Lais Ribeiro and Jasmine Tookes all landing coveted spots.

In the final moments before the show is about to start, Scully corals the models together for a pre-show motivational pep talk informing them, "It is the year of the dragon ladies at Jason Wu and you're his bitches, so make sure everybody knows. We want you confident, strong, gorgeous. I don't book you for your size, I book you because of who you are and you're all beautiful and never let anyone make you feel less than skinny or not big enough. You're all fucking gorgeous and I want you all to feel that way when you go out there and make the show happen." 

Jason Wu's Model Army
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Shanina Shaik
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Candice Swanepoel
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Cora Emmanuel
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Anais Mali
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Katryn Kruger
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Jasmine Tookes
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Kati Nescher
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Jourdan Dunn
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Liu Wen
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Emily Baker
Jason Wu - F/W 2012

Lais Ribeiro
Jason Wu - F/W 2012
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

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