Designer Jackson Wiederhoeft Finds Inspiration in Granny Style and Curtains

For the designer Jackson Wiederhoeft, life is a beautifully produced ballet—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. “I very much love the idea that people could be wearing poodle dresses day-to-day,” the 28-year-old tells me on a recent Friday afternoon Zoom call.

In the few years of its existence, Wiederhoeft’s namesake fashion label has established the Houston-raised designer, who graduated from Parsons School of Design, as one to watch. Wiederhoeft’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 alike—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 he’s working on at the moment, will be his first runway show, and he intends to present a full meal. “It’s going to be fashion show meets theater, so everything from scenic to choreography to casting,” 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 Portman’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 sale—my favorite place to shop—at Bergdorf’s.

Describe your style in three words.

That’s hard. Is self-aware one word or two words?

We can say it’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. It’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 moiré shirt—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. It’s cool.