Saturday, February 12, 2011
Wes Gordon Fall2011
Wes Gordon is a young designer in the mold of the old school showman. I think of Blass, Oscar and Galanos when I look at his charm and youthful enthusiasm. He comes from a place where Ladies are still just that and girls are their daughters. With only a couple of years under his belt he's moving purposefully forward with tight collections that highlight his strengths while gradually flexing his muscles in areas he's cautiously cultivating. He showed his collection at the St. Regis hotel's Fountainbleu Room in a still life presentation to the live music of a crooning chanteuse. It was all very civilized and reminiscent of days of old. Fashion designed for women with taste and lives that mirror said taste is almost a breed forgotten. Yes, they are addressed in the couture houses of Paris and Rome but here they are little more than subjects of dioramas at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute. I admire his adherence to a way of working that celebrates the fine art of design. Every line has a meaning and every detail a provenance. The fact that he continues to show in a still life format is wise as there is time for the grand gesture. Too many young designers race to the runway with little steam left once they've arrived. His collection of twenty looks covered the bases of luxury sportswear, dresses for day and night and a small offering of long evening dresses. He has a love for shape and plays with volumes in a few fur-trimmed jackets and coats and a trapeze jumper in graphic wool plaid. These shapes that fly away from the body remind me of the vocabulary of couturiers of the last century. The fact that he is experimenting with construction to achieve these volumes without heavy underpinnings give them a modern twist. His passion for fine tailoring is apparent in sleek jackets subdivided by piping in seams and sleeves that have been divided and reconstructed. Construction is something that sets him apart from many others who care little for such requirements. His senior thesis collection at London's Central Saint Martin's was filled with fantastical creations of draped duchesse satin and hand-blown glass. From that collection he appeared to have a penchant for over the top evening clothes.Up until now he's soft pedaled evening in deference to sportswear. I hope that he'll climb further out on that limb over time.