Jackson Wiederhoeft wowed the fashion world in February with his elegantly dark retelling of the classic myth of Eurydice and Orpheus for his eponymous brand. The young designer again delights us with a beaded and tufted expansion to this past season’s couture-level collection, debuting fresh new bridal designs engineered for the edgy bride looking to veer from the norm on their special day. 

We sat down in his atelier to chat with Wiederhoeft about his upcoming “poodle era,” “tearing off the tulle,” and signature high-fashion buffoonery.

Stepping into Jackson Wiederhoeft’s welcoming New York City atelier feels akin to stepping into another dreamlike world. Cloud-like tulle poms sit next to ornate painted chairs, worn rhinestone-bedazzled pointe shoes lie artfully on the floor, cherubs and busts perch haughtily on Grecian pillars, and the sun filters in to hit a well-loved velvet chaise lounge that seems to invite some long-gone film noir star to drape herself dramatically over its arm. The brand is self described as “a design house obsessed with theatre, dance, and the magic of live performance,” and their workspace reflects these values like a mirror. Everyone’s outfit in the room, of course, is also to die for.

Despite its intimidatingly artful curated presence, Wiederhoeft’s workroom somehow feels like you’ve just come home. The designer’s romantic aesthetic is everywhere – from the muted colours on the walls to racks lining the walls with the latest collections to crystal-laden cases holding runway accessories. Wiederhoeft himself is equally approachable, upbeat and enthusiastic to discuss the extended offering for bridal based off of the latest ready-to-wear “Eurydice” runway collection he premiered at New York Fashion Week in February for Autumn 2023. You can see this enthusiasm and care clearly infused into the line – the brand is known for its trademark corseting, impeccable tailoring, quality materials, and astounding hand-embellishment. As the designer puts it, clients often “come for the tailoring, and stay for the corsets” with his latest offerings exhibiting a mixture of both signatures.

There were several bridal looks in February’s runway showcase, and this latest bridal showing fleshes those out into a full collection standing on its own. The design story follows the same vein in a fresh way to meet bridal client demands – after his uproarious success a few months ago, Wiederhoeft was called upon by popular demand for even more new variations and bridal addendums to the lineup. 

The designer states, “February’s [very keen reception] was exciting; this is my bridal response within that same fashion-week context. There’s this weird connotation of bridal being too ‘low-brow’ for couture designers” that he disagrees with wholeheartedly. Wiederhoeft explains: “the American bridal industry is seeming so conservative. Post-COVID, I wanted to go absolutely crazy, but I’ve mellowed out now to be unique, yet still approachable for bridalwear. I’m tearing off the tulle for a new take that’s edgier than a princess.” After all, there are certainly many different kinds of princesses. 

With that being said, what can we expect in these new designs? Wiederhoeft beams as he proudly announces that he’s entered his “Poodle Era.” After initially drawing design inspiration mainly from cherubs, the designer has turned his attention to the iconic luxury dogs as both fun and sassy, perfectly aligned with his overdrawn theatrical design stories. This vision manifests across the new pieces, most notably in a white pom bridal dress that hit the runway in February, and a brand-new stunning “poodle veil” created from 80 years of tulle. Hand-embroidered and gathered, the vast dramatic veil took up most of the room and filled the arms of two people upon its arrival. 

The inclusion of these signature tulle and feathered pom-pom motifs into the latest collections is both fresh and fun for the brand. Wiederhoeft wants to bring that trademark “buffoonery” and lightheartedness into high fashion through details like these, and it works. Each garment is a couture-level masterpiece, flattering yet wildly wearable. Wiederhoeft’s showroom model agreed, and told us “it is fun – how could you be serious in this dress?!” as she twirled in the designer’s white runway poodle minidress, sparkling in the sun. Wiederhoeft himself noted that his clients usually “want to be sexy, but also so comfortable…fun and sexy!” Making unconventional materials fun yet still sexy is nothing new for the designer, as he offhandedly mentions he created one of his previous looks out of his curtains. Surprised by our shocked faces, Wiederhoeft heads to a corner rack and pulls out a fashionable minidress featuring all-over bows. “These were formerly my curtains when I was stuck at home [during the pandemic]” he says nonchalantly – you would never know. 

Despite his heavy use of masterful corseting and unconventional materials, the brand’s looks are indeed surprisingly comfortable, made to be wearable for a variety of events. The racks are made for a party of any kind according to the designer, and are meant to be mix-and-match pieces for versatility. Our favourite standouts included a short white bridal extension of a blue trompe l’oeil runway piece with a striking hand-beaded silhouette of lingerie and corsetry. A fully-beaded floor-length white version of the designer’s lauded gold corset midi dress was an in-demand design addition after the runway show, and this iteration is an exquisite piece that caused us all to audibly gasp upon its reveal – Jackson Wiederhoeft included. He explained, “I haven’t actually seen some of these new pieces on a real body until now” with a sheepish grin. Similarly beaded in full, another bias-cut slip featured runway motifs of slim arrows and classical figures. Wiederhoeft admitted that converting this piece for bridal became challenging due to the word ‘hatred’ emblazoned, which he later changed to ‘oblivion’ as a design choice – he told us one couple has also custom ordered the classic gown with a romantic swap for their two names embroidered there instead. 

However, dresses aren’t the only shapes the brand debuted for this Bridal Fashion Week. Wiederhoeft may be known for its corseted gowns, but the designer told us that his very first bridal collection only included one dress in entirety – and he said bridal shoppes absolutely hated him for it. Despite that initial reception, he stayed true to his brand identity – and it’s paid off. Alongside stunning gowns, this latest collection includes a zippered denim matching set with a wide legged pant (which the designer states is his first denim piece,) an iconic pom-pom bucket hat instead of a veil, crystalline gloves and leggings, a cropped blazer, and multiple mini skirts (including a less intense styling of his brilliant crystalline droplet white runway look.) 

The brand aims for this versatility and inclusivity as a major tenet of design – metal-boned waspie corsetry lacing as the foundation of many of the bridal pieces helps with custom-fit flexible sizing right off the rack, and the designer aims to break down gender norms and traditions, creating clothes for anyone to wear of all sizes and presentations. The pieces are incredibly flattering for all bodies: the model in Wiederhoeft’s strapless corset column gown noted that she felt “amazing [because] it’s tight for support but not uncomfortably tight” and the added padding at the hips is “so flattering” to exaggerate the wearer’s silhouette. The designer is also currently working on a new corset blueprint with specialised cups for larger brides, so they “are not too busty” and already offers four different skin tone colours in his mesh crystal glove accessories, which he calls a “veil for the hands.” It’s of little surprise that Wiederhoeft is already contracted to dress two different celebrities for this year’s upcoming Met Gala, one of which will be in an all-white bridal look.

With all of this recent success, what’s next for Jackson Wiederhoeft? As he artfully arranges the gigantic “poodle veil” by himself on the crown of our model with some effort, he promises us with a smile that there will be “lots more poms and poodles coming!” Personally, we can’t wait to see what fun, whimsical designs the Wiederhoeft design house will bring to the table next. 

Words by: Laur Weeks @Laur.Weeks

Photography: Victoria Bruno @vb.media

Designer: Wiederhoeft @wiederhoeft_

PR: Lindsey Media @lindseymedia

Model: Elena Azzaro @elenaazzaro

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