Champagne, cooking, and fashion. Seemingly separate but the mix completely makes sense to me and apparently I am not alone. Jason Wu shares my inability to pick a lane. On any given journey, we prefer to weave in and out of traffic.
I met Jason two summers ago at an event in the Hamptons. We sat beside one another and got to chatting about cooking, but we quickly changed lanes to clubbing the moment he saw who was sitting beside me. Turns out, Jason and I likely shared the dance floor on one of our many late nights out in N.Y.C., busting a move to Victor Calderone. Victor is my hubby and a D.J., and Jason is a fan. Victor played a little part in Jason’s early days in N.Y.C. You see, before Jason was a famous fashion designer – before he got nominated for a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award and before his clothing repeatedly graced former first lady Michelle Obama – before all of this, Jason spent a few of his early N.Y.C. nights dancing at the club.
Between Jason and my shared love of cooking and house music, it was clear soon after we met that a fast friendship was brewing. We vowed to get into the kitchen together one day, and that day finally came to pass a few weeks ago. On a Saturday afternoon Jason invited me to his home to cook together and to share with me his love of all things epicurean. His passion for food is so great, in fact, that his sub-label Grey Jason Wu is intended to encompass this aspect of his life. Grey speaks to a sophisticated, relaxed side of Jason’s personality, one that extends beyond fashion and into entertaining.
Each season Jason creates a Grey dinner that is fantastical and chic. These meals are a way to celebrate his collection but also to highlight a chef and gather with his nearest and dearest. Whether he is equipping guests with bonsai shears so they can trim their own sprouts for the meal or forgoing standard place cards in favor of fruits carved with guests’ names, no detail goes unnoticed in these delicious, highly-personalized experiences.
Some might find it peculiar that meals play such a starring role in each Grey collection but to yours truly, fellow lane-hijacker that I am, it only feels natural to cross-pollinate between food and fashion.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, upon entering Jason’s uber-sexy apartment (which was featured in AD!), I was reminded of yet another old dance floor buddy, Andre Mellone. Andre, a dear friend whom I’ve known since I was 19, designed Jason’s home. Good vibes from the moment I walked in. Feeling happy and excited, the first order of business was a mimosa. It was Saturday afternoon, after all!
Second order of business, Jason was to dress me in the Grey collection. With so many chic choices, what was a gal to wear? Well, no need to worry about that – Jason had already preselected a few options! The chambray short sleeve number seemed best suited for our cooking endeavors, so off we went to the kitchen. Jason moved about this space with confidence and instinct. No recipe-following for this intuitive cook. He handled his knives with precision and whipped up not one, not two, but three masterful spring dishes. There was a bright pea soup. A butter lettuce salad with the yummiest green goddess dressing, complete with a secret ingredient: sour cream. And finally there was the most succulent roasted chicken with carrots, potatoes and herbs. All was not only impeccably prepared – Jason sure does have an eye for beauty – but it was also delicious.
The day could not have been any better. With Harry Styles “Sign of the Times” on repeat (SWOON), we likely went through three bottles of champagne. We were like two giggly, fashion- and food-lovin’ friends, trading cooking tips and techniques. At 5 p.m. I turned into a pumpkin, wiggled my way out of my Grey dress, and with a full belly and an ever-so-slight misstep, hopped into a taxi so I could rush off to the jitney to meet my family. What a fun afternoon cooking and reminiscing about the good ol’ dancing days with friends anew, and crossing lanes left and right!