Enter the Mother Goose Multiverse with Wiederhoeft
Jackson Wiederhoeft's Spring 21 collection is inspired by nursery rhymes—and high glam, of course!
For his latest collection, Wiederhoeft created a comic book, currently for sale on his website. The profits benefit the Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, which provides youth performing arts education.
When was the last time you watched your favorite movie as a child? How did you feel? Jackson Wiederhoeft, a young designer who got his start at Thom Browne, views these moments as important source material for his clothing. There is something eerie, nostalgic, and transporting about experiencing our past through a new lens.
Wiederhoeft’s Spring 2021 collection’s nascence happened during quarantine. Like the rest of us, he fell into a depression, and began to dig into his past, reading old nursery rhymes and taking screenshots of what he found. He fixated on Mother Goose, and decided to use her story as the narrative arc of his upcoming collection. Like many designers this season, he decided to pare back on the looks, but not to make his job easier, rather to have each look become an immediate statement. “I kind of decided to do only a few looks, to make every single look like a showstopper,” he tells GARAGE over the phone. “I wanted to not do any filler looks.”
Wiederhoeft views his collection as an art piece, something he needed to make for himself, to hone his craft, regardless of its commercial success. He makes outfits for club kids who want to be noticed the second they enter any room, regardless of where that room lives in space and time. With Mother Goose as the source material, Wiederhoeft dreamed up costuming for all sorts of different childlike fixtures, reimagined with a tinge of psychedelica and hedonism. There’s a Little Bo Peep moment, that involves bright blue curls, lots of bows, and patent leather stiletto boots. There’s also a frock to wear to a dinner party hosted by the French aristocracy that features a see-thru blouse and a metallic green hat. “Even if no one's going to go to a party for 20 years, it's still the art that I want to make,” says Wiederhoeft.
These are perilous times to be a young designer. Wiederhoeft has been making clothing under his own name for exactly a year, and recently launched a bridal collection, reimagining his penchant for frills, corsets, and bows in all white. In the year Wiederhoeft has been making decadent clothing, he’s dressed celebrities like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Aquaria. This collection feels no less over the top and fascinated by drama than anything he made for celebrities to wear. Wiederhoeft designs for himself. He makes joyful clothing that does not require an audience. What it requires is imagination and the ability to be seduced by whimsy.
How could you not feel absolutely full of whim wearing something like a lilac Queen Anne collar with a corset that looks like a swatch of Victorian wallpaper? Or perhaps a pair of entirely see-thru black bell bottoms paired with a very witchy, burnt orange bustier. If no one can go to the club until 2025, that’s fine. We’ll all be wearing Wiederhoeft in our bedrooms, being glam as ever just for ourselves.
- spring 2021