PLAYING with femininity, gender and heritage, Jason Wu’s collaboration with Mary and David Martin’s MADWORKSHOP and the Otis College of Art and Design offers a new alternative to women’s uniform. The resulting collection was inspired by the history and symbolism of uniform and uses those from the 1940s and ‘50s as a starting point. A new short video shows the process behind researching and designing the pieces.
Finishing touches are made to the piece as Jason Wu looks on
The finished collection was informed by special access to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Costume and Textiles department. Led by Sharon Takeda (MADWORKSHOP board member/ Senior Curator and Head of Costume and Textiles) the class went behind-the-scenes at LACMA to see rare garments and discuss costume history, tailoring techniques, fashion illustration and innovative design.
Original sketches next to the finished product worn by a model
Focusing specifically on uniforms worn by women, the collaboration delicately combines mid-century tailoring with modern haute couture to create a thoughtful reflection on the history of fashion, work, identity and society. The collaboration toys with tensions between masculine and feminine, past and present, hard and soft, using timeless tones to convey a feeling of enduring desirability. A trench coat in a demure sand colour contrasts with a governess blue-navy, which in turn is offset by a pinched-cheek pink.
The finished collection
Highlights of the collection were on display at the Los Angeles Neiman Marcus in June 2019.
by Alicia Pountney
Photos by Buddy Bleckley/Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP. Video by PLANE—SITE