Jason Wu was on form for resort, with a collection full of updated references to the past. “I feel like what people want is something sexier right now,” said Wu on a walk-through, and he came at that goal from two directions, draping and retro glamour.

Wu’s second skin and cut-out jersey dresses are both classic and of-the-moment. “A good Madame Grès never goes out of style,” says Wu, a designer who has a deep love of fashion history, as well as film. “The 1950s has been my source of inspiration since I was like 10, watching Hollywood movies. That’s how I learned English,” he said. The looks that most dramatically carried the silver screen’s allure forward were a strapless Yves Klein blue dress with a pouf, train, and the kind of silhouette Irving Penn might have photographed way back when. Sweeter and softer were tulle gowns, an airy one in lilac, and a sandy-colored one embellished with strips of gathered net that took 100 hours to make.

Wu doesn’t only design for red-carpet outings, as a fuchsia shirt dress and shredded tweed bra and mini ensemble demonstrate. Cognizant that people don’t come to him for basics, he dressed up a blue skirt suit with a floral corsage, and offered a turtleneck in stretch lace.

Resort hits stores during the festive season, and the most party-ready pieces in the collection were trimmed with a material Wu also used in his spring lineup: a tinsel woven with raffia, “so that it took the Christmas out of it.” Still, an LBD trimmed with the fun fringe would definitely fall under the category of a gift for oneself.

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