Judy Wu is now firmly on the cusp of becoming one of London’s pre-eminent new designers of the moment, and in the process, a new woman herself. Her latest collection unveiled for AW16 at Freemason’s Hall, the aviation inspired AVI-A-TRIX soared to new heights, emerging as a collection designed by a woman for a woman. And quite the woman it would seem.
Embracing a new relationship with cloth that saw Judy break loose and liberate her latest collection with a subtle eroticism that gave special meaning to the utilitarian edge of the high-impact day dresses and fluid parachute dresses, which gave strong yet sensual silhouettes by way of utilising cotton webbing harnessing and tailored aircraft panelling.
These took flight on the runway and are sure to do so elsewhere. Other pieces which would go on to pique Glass’ attention was the even more developed and increasingly more adroit approach to taking on technical patterns and prints.
These, rounded off by so-called “dominatrix” bondage touches such as winged shoulders in PVC and rubber showed that if the sky’s the limit for Judy, she went there. One final apex for AW16 was the way in which Judy remained delightfully on brand whilst venturing into new territory. Her zesty zeal for the colour blocking of profuse tropical tones met with resplendent metallics and scaled back by clean whites was cancelled out to some extent but not at the expense of her voice as a designer who wants to make compelling looking clothing.
A tart tangerine hue, the only real boom of colour, was chosen to be scattered onto the asymmetrical décolletage of one of the standout dresses in the form of some such aviation paraphernalia. This style choice didn’t for a moment look out of place however, for this was a prime example of a collection that evidenced a designer’s lexicon enriching before our very eyes.
Backstage when speaking to Judy she spoke of designing for the woman that she wants to be, a sentiment which touched us. Idol-wise for AW16 Judy looked to female pioneers of aviation such as the American Amelia Earheart and the British Amy Johnson, the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia. These fearless and mountain moving one-of-a-kind members of their discipline were an inspired choice of womankind to look to.
In a spirit akin to both Earheart’s and Johnson’s in her own fashion design discipline Judy showed above all else this season, strength. To show this by putting together such an invigorating collection and one that will surely set her on the right course in an industry of increasingly unknown upshot was as inspiring to us as the fashion press as some of history’s most iconic heroines evidently were to Judy.
by Liam Feltham
Images courtesy of Judy Wu