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New York Fashion Week Review: Michelle Obama designer Jason Wu's fall collection

February 13, 2009 | 11:58 am

Jason wu michelle obama nyfw mercedes benz fall 2009 NEW YORK -- The spotlight is shining on Jason Wu like never before. The 26-year-old designer created the ivory confection embroidered with organza flowers that First Lady Michelle Obama chose as her inaugural ball gown. And she is wearing a dress of his on the cover of the March issue of Vogue magazine. So of course there was much interest in his fall runway show today in New York, which offered lots of romantic -- but not girlie -- dresses with couture-like details, a Wu specialty.

Whether he was inspired by the first lady or not, there were plenty of things in this solidly elegant collection that I could see her wearing. The shapes were simple, figure-flattering (shifts, sheaths and tank dresses), and seemed appropriate for all ages.

And the workmanship was evident, which is wise in this economy. You can see what you're paying for --- lacy black embroidered epaulets on the cap sleeves of a gray cashmere shift, and scattered knotted embroideries that elevated a simple teal wool twist front sheath to something really special.

There was a dreamy quality to much of the show. You wanted to reach out and touch a navy and fuchsia plaid shift with a laser dot overlay, to feel how it was done. A navy wool forest print sheath with a vanishing organza hem seemed to disappear into the ether. And a nude chiffon tank and matching skirt with all-over iridescent rubber sequins conjured images of a futuristic flapper. There was a 1920s feel to a sweet petal pink tiered ruffle cocktail dress, too, and a violet chiffon tank gown, with antiqued diamond embroidery. But Wu's attempts at pants -- a draped wool cashmere cigarette style -- were less successful.

-- Booth Moore

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Photos: Jason Wu's Fall 2009 collection

More Jason Wu coverage

Photo: Jonas Gustavsson/ For the Times