For the designer Jackson Wiederhoeft, life is a beautifully produced balletâ€”and in it, the streets are full of illustrious gowns brushing past one another in melodic unison, as the wearers head to all-hands meetings, errands, and lunch breaks. â€œI very much love the idea that people could be wearing poodle dresses day-to-day,â€ the 28-year-old tells me on a recent Friday afternoon Zoom call.
In the few years of its existence, Wiederhoeftâ€™s namesake fashion label has established the Houston-raised designer, who graduated from Parsons School of Design, as one to watch. Wiederhoeftâ€™s childhood inspirations of The Nutcracker, Beauty & the Beast, and general nostalgia of being a theater kid are apparent in his most recent resort 2022 collection, along with his 3-year tenure at Thom Browne. His meticulously detailed awareness and ability to create a fantasy fashion universe have garnered him attention from celebrities, designers, and critics alikeâ€”and the fashion industry has taken note, too; the designer has been named a 2022 CFDA finalist.
Although he notes that his brand has not reached its final form, there is a throughline of fantasy in all seven of his collections. His eighth collection, which heâ€™s working on at the moment, will be his first runway show, and he intends to present a full meal. â€œItâ€™s going to be fashion show meets theater, so everything from scenic to choreography to casting,â€ he explains.
For now, we may not see the average human heading to their 9-5 decked in a poodle-embellished gown, but Wiederhoeft, (along with us like-minded individuals,) can dream. Below, the Sunset Park native discusses why Natalie Portmanâ€™s Star Wars character, Queen Amadala, is the ultimate style inspiration; his first big fashion purchase; and why it is okay to be fancy at work.
What was the last thing you purchased?
I bought some sparkly green platform Loewe sandals [while] shopping the clearance, end-of-season saleâ€”my favorite place to shopâ€”at Bergdorfâ€™s.
Describe your style in three words.
Thatâ€™s hard. Is self-aware one word or two words?
We can say itâ€™s one.
Okay. Self-aware. Unapologetic. Fancy.
What were you wearing yesterday, and why did you decide to wear it?
Yesterday, I was wearing a skirt from our fall 2022 collection. Itâ€™s acid green, fully beaded, a very plain pencil skirt but with crazy embroidery. I wore the new shoes I bought and a pistachio-colored moirÃ© shirtâ€”I was giving Green Lady of Brooklyn. I love people to see the clothes on me [so they get] the sense that they can actually wear it. You can be fancy at 2: 00 PM. Itâ€™s cool.