HOW I TRAVEL
Fashion designer Jason Wu on flowers and personal deliveries.
Just back from… Taiwan. I was there to see my family – it’s where I grew up, so I really love it dearly. I try to go back as often as possible. Next up… To Malaysia for a day, for a project I’m working on. And then
New York, then Shanghai at the end of the month.
There’s an intimacy to
Taiwan; people really feel like they’re home when they’re there. The main ingredient in my latest fragrance is jasmine, which is the flower I grew up with in Taiwan. My neighbours had a whole wall of it; we used to go pick the flowers with my cousin. That’s what’s amazing about scent – it really takes you way back. Suddenly I’m on a street near my family’s house.
I always love Paris. I went to school in Rennes in France as an exchange student and we’d take the train to Paris. That was the first time we saw all the fancy big boutiques. I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer by then, but seeing fashion on that next scale completely blew my mind. When you don’t travel, your vision of the world is limited. When I was growing up, if you didn’t leave the country, you didn’t
experience anything else. I think travel is what’s informed my work. I really find it visually thrilling.
I’m always noticing everything. I think that’s my job, to observe, whether it’s looking at buildings or how people dress on the street. I actually designed a collection of cotton dresses inspired by a stay at Hotel Esencia in Tulum – they use a lot of primary colours and flowers. It’s also where I got married two years ago. I really wanted something personal
– it’s a small resort and it felt like a big reunion. I did something with my parents separately in Taiwan before. Tulum was a three-day party, which would be rather inappropriate for my parents to see.
Always pack an extra charger. It’s very important, especially when you have a long delay. And bring as many little luxuries as you can – I always bring an Evian spray, and if it’s over eight hours I’ll use a Japanese sheet eye mask. Those little things really make a difference. I’ve flown with my dresses many times. I promised Diane Kruger last year that if her film, In the Fade, got in to Cannes I’d make her première dress and come with her. And that’s what I did
– I took the dress from New York to Nice, and from there to the helicopter. I always use a lot of tissue paper with a long garment bag. And I always hang the dress as soon as I get on the flight. I delivered the inauguration dress to Michelle Obama in 2008. I flew it to Chicago myself. I thought: I’m going to fly over there, it’s only three hours, after all the hours I worked on the dress. It was a white chiffon gown, embroidered with thousands of handmade flowers. It was this vision of pure beauty, something that really reflected the optimism and felt like a fresh beginning. It was the biggest surprise when she walked out that night. To be part of that moment, when the whole world was watching, felt significant. ●
Jason Wu’s eau de parfum is available at select David Jones and Myer stores, from $75 for 30ml.