Jason Wu Masterclass

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

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

Renowned American designer Jason Wu teams up with MADWORKSHOP to develop a yearlong course on the women’s uniform at Otis College of Art and Design. This collaboration examines the history and symbolism of the uniform from the 1940’s and 50’s and its translation into a modern ready to wear collection. The final collection draws inspiration from the course’s special access to the Costume and Textiles Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

The uniform represents 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 explores the history of fashion, bringing mid-century tailoring together with modern haute couture. The collaboration plays with the tensions between masculine and feminine, past and present, hard and soft.

Building on Jason’s existing mentorship program, this collaboration at Otis 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 goes behind-the-scenes at LACMA with the curatorial team of Costume and Textiles 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 gives 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 — has graciously hosted and provided further mentorship to the students, offering them access to her 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.”

The studio began in the Fall of 2018 and culminates in a final runway show in May 2019.