Jason Wu Workshop

Renowned American designer Jason Wu teams up with Otis College of Art and Design to mentor 15 students this fall.

Jason Wu
Otis College of Art and Design
Fall 2018
Project Type:

Renowned American designer Jason Wu, known for dressing glamourous women including Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Diane Kruger, and Michelle Obama, is teaming up with Otis College of Art and Design to mentor 15 students this fall. This collaboration will examine the history and symbolism of the uniform from the 40’s and 50’s translated into a modern ready to wear collection. The final collection will be informed and enriched by special access to the Costume and Textiles Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The studio begins this fall and culminates in a runway show in May 2019.

The Jason Wu studio falls on the occasion of the Otis College centenary and is made possible thanks to Mary and David Martin’s MADWORKSHOP Foundation.

The uniform is more than just an item of clothing — it also speaks to larger issues of work, identity, and society. In focusing specifically on uniforms worn by women, the collaboration will also explore the history of fashion, bringing mid-century tailoring together with modern haute couture. The collaboration will play with the tensions between masculine and feminine, past and present, hard and soft.

Building on Jason’s existing mentorship program, this collaboration deepens his long-term commitment to education and knowledge-sharing. Jason Wu says: “I am very inspired by the hard work and dedication of the students and I hope to elevate and enrich their work through my mentorship in collaboration with the brilliant faculty at Otis.”

This studio class will also go behind-the-scenes at LACMA for a session with the curatorial team to discuss costume history, tailoring techniques, fashion illustration, and innovative design. Led by Senior Curator and Head of the Costume and Textiles Department, Sharon Takeda, this collaboration will give students the opportunity to enrich their learning through contact with museum professionals and the rare extant garments that they collect, study, publish, and exhibit for LACMA. Sharon — who has recently been appointed to the MADWORKSHOP Advisory Board, alongside the now-Provost of ArtCenter Karen Hofmann — will graciously host the class at the museum during the semester and offer them access to their library and archives. Sharon Takeda says: “We are delighted to welcome Jason and his Otis master class to LACMA in order for his students to closely examine, learn, and be inspired by some of the finest examples of historic, modern, and contemporary fashion in our world-renowned collection.”

There will also be a public conversation between Jason Wu and Sharon Takeda at LACMA’s Bing Theater in Los Angeles on October 26. The two will discuss Wu’s career and this unique collaboration in more detail, as well as the history and symbolism of the woman’s uniform. More information about this event to follow shortly.