After winning the Women’s Designer of the Year in 2016 at Parsons, the designer worked at Thom Browne, honing the craft and gaining the understanding of a fashion show as a holistic, theatrical experience. “He was so dedicated to this very theatrical experience that would transport the viewers, and every detail of the collection had to support the experience,” the designer reminisces about Browne, known for his conceptual presentations. “I was never particularly drawn to tailoring really, the suits and coats and trousers that Thom is so famous for,” Wiederhoeft admits. “It was more about his mindset, the incredible other world he created.” The theatrical essence of Browne’s creations is very much present in Wiederhoeft’s bridal collection.
With fashion evolving incessantly, bridal wear is slowly straying away from the traditional silhouettes, but the quintessential white gown has endured. “I think one aspect of weddings that can be challenging to many celebrants is the idea of tradition. We are definitely raised to believe weddings should look a certain way culturally,” the designer comments. His bridal collection breaks away from the mould with unorthodox separates, “crafting the narrative” through drapery, fabric and silhouettes.
Wiederhoeft believes pandemic is a high time to launch a bridal collection. “I actually hope that corona will inspire people to start to rethink their weddings more seriously... now more than ever is the time to figure out what you really want, what will make the day truly magical for you.”
The designer’s references for the alternative bridal wear span from ballerinas like Anna Pavlova, Alicia Markova and Moira Shearer, to masters like John Singer Sargent, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and Edgar Degas. Actually, as well as Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (now closed due to Covid-19) rekindled the interest in the extravagant world of the glamorous and eccentric socialites, seen through the eyes of Beaton, Erdem’s Fall 2020 collection earlier this year, for example, married Beaton’s 1920s to Erdem Moralioglu’s 2020s. For Wiederhoeft, it was more about “the spirit of the time, rather than the actuality of the time; The spirit of reckless abandon.” “It's all the impression,” he says, “Primarily of Beaton’s work – this very staged, theatrical, seen-through-gelatin world with lots of lurex and lamé. It feels very effortless while simultaneously very produced.” Like Zoom weddings, you know.