Jemal Countess, Getty Images


DESIGNER: Jason Wu

INSPIRATION: Robert Polidori's photos from his book about the restoration of Versailles, specifically "the juxtaposition between the rough undersurface and the opulence of the decor." The result? "Baroque meets sportswear."

WHO: Three languid blondes named the Clarence girls, who are attending shows this week with Vogue. Big-name bloggers like Bryan Boy (in an Afro wig), Susie Bubble and Hanneli Mustaparta. Swan, Zani Gugelmann. Top editors and retailers, including Anna Wintour.

TOP LOOKS: Charcoal wool anorak with opaline crystal embroidery on the shoulders. Trio of ostrich feather and lace dresses. Black radzimir-silk sculpted dress with a white petticoat, cut like a ball gown, but above the knee. Gold lace paillette-embroidered long-sleeve gown.

ACCESSORIES: All from Wu's signature line. Heavy platform pumps with heels dipped in gold. Ivory and burgundy leather bags and clutches. Crystal embroidered clutches. Round sunglasses. Black lace headband veils. Filmy fishnets.

WHAT WE THOUGHT: Walking into the show, the first thing visible was an assemblage of cut-up antique gilt-framed mirrors, fashioned into an off-kilter runway. This reference to Versailles carried into the clothes (and gilted hair). Looks were restrained, polished and often heavily embellished. The palette was mostly black, white and nude, with pops of powdery brights like chartreuse, cherry pink, navy and gold. There was lots of lace, 15 kinds to be exact.

Wu carried forward several tropes from his pre-Fall collection, including black lace running down jacket sleeves, in an almost matador style. Buttoned-up collars were wrapped with black ribbon tied into bows. As for the stunners? They included ostrich feather minidresses and a knee-length skirt. Also striking was the embroidery -- whether in crystal or gold, the look felt rich and regal. Just like the inspiration itself.