The designer, formerly of Thom Browne, exclusively shared the inspiration behind his inaugural bridal gowns with Martha Stewart Weddings.

By Nashia Baker
July 27, 2020
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Courtesy of Jackson Wiederhoeft

After an acclaimed three-year run as a designer at Thom Browne, career costumer Jackson Wiederhoeft has launched his first bridal collection under the eponymous label, Wiederhoeft. Before he began crafting his big-day couture designs, he focused primarily on women's runway collections; his fashions have been worn by elite celebrities, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and more. Now, under his own leadership, the designer has extended his expertise into SS21 Wiederhoeft, a series composed of multiple mix-and-match pieces for brides.

As for the inspiration behind the collection? "The clothes I design are always instilled with a sense of historicism and romance. I call it 'modern nostalgia'—something unapologetically romantic, and perhaps familiar, like something you may have seen as a child," he exclusively explains to Martha Stewart Weddings. "My work is always inspired by art history, ballet, and fairy tales. There's a sense of 'dress up' that leans toward theatricality, but in a way that's graphic and modern."

Courtesy of Jackson Wiederhoeft

While Wiederhoeft intended to unveil his collection in April, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the designer to shelve his line until further notice. "The collection I had planned—which was maybe a bit more formulaic—slowly disappeared, and instead this collection became my refuge from the anxiety of quarantine," he shares. In addition to infusing the oeuvre with unique design concepts, like dramatic tulle skirts and textural bows, he took a layered approach, pairing several pieces together to offer "celebrants versatility, and a chance to engage with the wedding look in a modern way that's not just about finding 'the dress.'"

Courtesy of Jackson Wiederhoeft

Wiederhoeft—who was forced to get creative when resources became limited—even used some textiles from his home to piece together several of these looks. "Of course, by about a month into quarantine, I was scrounging my apartment for scraps of white fabric. I was creating looks from fabrics I had stored away for years from various projects," he says. "Luckily, my home is furnished like my grandma's house, including curtains in the living room of white satin." He notes that he had just enough fabric from one panel to fashion a jacket, while the other was used for a dress—making these garments all the more personal to him.

Courtesy of Jackson Wiederhoeft

The wedding dress collection features 10 handmade looks comprised of 23 pieces, total—including dresses, masks, corsets, skirts, veils, tiaras, and a jacket. One of the designer's favorites? The "Gabrielle," a number composed of silk taffeta, with openings for a belt or corset. This look is also ripe with special meaning: "I named it 'Gabrielle' after the angel Gabriel, because the dress made me think of the angel on top of my Christmas tree growing up," Wiederhoeft explains. "I remember being so in love with how weightless and magical she looked up there, and I think that emotion is reflected in the dress."

Courtesy of Jackson Wiederhoeft

Ultimately, however, all of his ensembles were inspired by and designed for the "Wiederhoeft girl," he says. The creative curated pieces that would allow his clients to feel confident; he hopes they will help transform brides into the best versions of themselves, thanks to a medley of options that can be used before, during, and after the big day.

The SS21 Wiederhoeft bridal collection is available on Wiederhoeft.com. Interested brides can schedule virtual appointments to view the collection in detail.

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