Jackson Wiederhoeft not only brought the joy of dressing up to the stage this season, but also to his New York Fashion Week audience through his choreographed performance, titled “Night Terror at the Opera.”
Inspired by “night terrors, dreams and nightmares, all at once,” the designer said he was looking at “impossible things happening together” with a collection that included his demi-couture, bridal and a massively expanded offering of ready-to-wear.
“We’re at Le Mama, a historic [theater] space, so we might as well go for it. It’s a fashion show, in three acts. Act One, night terror; Act Two, dream, and Act Three, nightmare. The first two are kind of performances and the middle is the runway. In the end, there’s 48 looks, which is kind of psycho. The opening scene is 20 [additional] looks, all in one color of core Wiederhoeft silhouettes, some from years ago that we brought back.”
Wiederhoeft knows his way around a corset, a throughline of his work, as seen through Act One, look one’s plum double-faced silk satin corseted dress with tonal glass cut bead hand-embroidered skirt amid a sea of pale-pink and peach signature Wiederhoeft looks. But he also knows how to add cheeky, fantastical-touches to commercial-friendly ready-to-wear and occasion glam.
Through spring’s Act Two (runway) and Three (lots of dancing), Wiederhoeft debuted an expanded assortment of denim, an evolution of draping and tailoring. It included gray jeans with hand-poked crystal bow patches; over-printed denim, or a pair of relaxed light-wash blue trousers with pearl and crystal embroideries, styled with a light blue crepe de chine blouse and macrame pearl belt. Nods to early 2000s nostalgia were also present, ranging from a pixelated cherub and faerie metallic sequined overprinted jersey slip (that will be priced under $1,000) to ribbed cotton slogan tanks with “Heiress” hot-fix crystals (with a great a-line orange taffeta embroidered skirt) or “Security” crystal embroideries, and a sheer white cotton jersey tank dress with hand-embroidered glass drops.
In the signature Wiederhoeft vein, there was plenty of handcraft — beading, crystals, sequins, pearls and more corsets (both standard and trompe l’oeil) — with standout red carpet and bridal looks (his dancing “Poodle” bride and groom in white and black ruffled tulle pom-pom looks were a delight) to boot.