Behind the scenes at Jason Wu’s inaugural Singapore Fashion Week show

Nurul Azliah
Senior Lifestyle Reporter
Model fitting boards at the backstage of the Jason Wu show during Singapore Fashion Week. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Jason Wu’s inaugural fashion showcase in Singapore also meant that some of us were able to catch the New York-based designer in action backstage at the National Gallery’s Supreme Court Terrace.

Despite having arrived in Singapore a couple of days ahead to prepare for his Singapore Fashion Week (SGFW) showcase on Saturday (28 October), the headlining designer for this year’s event still insisted on having one final rehearsal before the lights went on at 8.30pm.

No other designers were given the opportunity to squeeze in a final rehearsal but him, and judging by the immense crowd he had attracted, I could understand why.

The previously L-shaped runway was extended to form a “U” and more seats were added for Wu’s show. The standard choreography for models seen at previous SGFW shows was also changed to suit Wu’s vision, such that each model would leave the stage via a glass door at the end of the runway instead of walking all the way back to where they came from.

It was a small yet impactful amendment that enabled the audience to see his Spring 2018 collection against the contrasting expansive wall of greenery located just outside the transparent door.

While Wu had already introduced this collection to the world at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) earlier this year – featuring models such as Bella Hadid – it was surreal to see it come alive on our shores.

And despite being a part of a fashion week that is lesser known in contrast to the “Big Four” – the Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris, Milan and London – it was heartwarming to see Wu taking it just as seriously.

Clad in all black and a Nike hoodie, Wu appeared tense backstage and was accompanied by his husband Gustavo Rangel. The couple were married a year ago in Mexico.

New York-based designer Jason Wu backstage at Singapore Fashion Week. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Standing under a monitor that displayed the stage, Wu stared intensely at the screen before requesting for changes. The time was already 7.50pm, nearly half an hour before showtime.

He scanned his fitting board before calling for some of the models to switch outfits. Meanwhile, others were still getting their make-up and hair done upstairs and had yet to get changed. Those who were ready stood in a single line for a final check by Wu, who would personally correct the minor details, from laces to hair.

At the end of the show, which was attended by local celebrities including Fann Wong, Christopher Lee and Fiona Xie, Wu appeared more relaxed and was ready for media interviews.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to creating outfits for women?

JW: Especially today, I think women don’t have to be afraid to express their femininity and confidence. You don’t have to dress like the boys. I think femininity is the new power suit.

How do you feel about being in Singapore?

JW: This is actually my first time in Singapore so I’m very excited. The food has been amazing. I had chilli crab, I went to “Super Peking Duck” and the markets. I’ve just been eating everything I see.

Will we be expecting a Jason Wu boutique in Singapore?

JW: Right now, we’re thinking digitally. We’ve already partnered up with Net-a-Porter as our first step into Singapore. We feel like that’s really the modern way to shop.

Wu made his debut as a fashion designer in 2006 and is well-known for dressing Michelle Obama for both of her presidential inaugural celebrations. Watch the interview here:

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