If the fashion gods have their way, all “Who is the Wes Gordon woman?” questions will be answered with the preternaturally adroit designer’s Spring 2015 collection, his most cohesive, fully articulated to date.
Gordon’s cult following includes culturally and intellectually curious women: think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Liya Kebede, Gwyneth Paltrow. This season, he was in part inspired by iconic women with equally exacting sensibilities: Carolyn Bassette Kennedy, Julianne Moore, Greta Garbo, Peter Lindbergh’s ’90s supers, “and of course Cate Blachett.” His mood board also suggests he has been thinking about Cy Twombly and the French decorator Jacques Grange. These men’s styles are suggested in Swarovski crystal-adorned laces and the considered embroideries Gordon has favored in the past. But perhaps it’s the influence of Lindbergh’s mononym glamazons in white shirts that’s most evident.
We visited the 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist, who is often referred to as “the man with the best hair in town” by industry peers, in his Financial District design studio, a stone’s throw from the new Freedom Tower. The location seems particularly fitting this season, as the clothes are exactly that: Free, as in non-constricting, emblematic, built to last.
Long, lean lines and ankle-grazing lengths that stop just short of the floor have become a staple for Gordon’s four-and-a-half-year-old label. He’s updated the sexy slip dresses he first won praise for his “grunge couture” collection last fall, which he carried into resort. “We really want to show our girl’s functioning wardrobe,” explains Gordon. “It’s always about her lifestyle. So there are simple sheaths and lingerie-like dresses inset with lace and whisperingly subtle embroidery. And then there has to be something on top. What’s on her shoulders?” he ponders.
With their unaffected purity of line and technical bravado, Gordon’s coats and coat dress (some sleeveless, others short, or fully-covered), complete with invisible closures, come in cotton, bonded crêpe, and linen mixes. These pieces, in addition to an assortment of salt-treated denim separates, will delight many a woman looking to highlight her best asset: herself. A pair of sorbet-colored, pleated-chiffon dresses and a deceptively simple ivory double-breasted duster, Gordon’s minimalist take on “the new evening gown,” might very well be the defining moments of the collection. And then, of course, there’s Gordon’s signature chain mail (favored by the likes of Kim West) updated in the form of a blouse and a sexy robe-style shift, and his ongoing shoe collaboration with Manolo Blahnik. This season’s Wes Gordon Blahnik comes in the form of a classic suede d’Orsay pump with a single center strap across the upper made to look like a cutout mule. It is also available in coordinating flat and scrappy sandal styles. “Since I’ve started doing fittings with flats, the looks have become so much more versatile,” Gordon remarks.
Whether high or low, Gordon is certain on the right track.
For more from New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015, click here.