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Wiederhoeft Presents a 'Night Terror at the Opera' for Spring 2024

Jackson Wiederhoeft fully embodies what it means to be a modern artist: someone willing to immerse themselves — and therefore express themselves — through multiple facets of creativity in order to demonstrate their vision in the fullest way possible. That’s why their namesake brand’s Spring 2024 collection, “Night Terror at the Opera,” debuted on dancers and models during a performance at the immersive Le Mama theater, in the heart of the East Village, on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve wanted to show at Le Mama for a long time, and when the location was available, I was like, ‘We might as well just do it now,'” Wiederhoeft told Fashionista backstage. “It was really exciting to build the collection into something that felt worthy of showing at such a historical location.”

Le Mama was built during the Off-Off-Broadway movement. Its founder, Ellen Stewart, developed the space as a safe haven for emerging playwrights to freely experiment with their work. (It’s the only theater that opened during that time that’s still in operation.) So, it made for the perfect venue for Wiederhoeft’s avant-garde displays, especially for a collection they say is rooted in “drama club elements.”  

“There’s a lady standing in front of drapes wearing an opera mask printed onto a dress, drama club denim,” they said. “It just felt like a good time to reflect on so much of what makes me who I am, which is built off of theatrics.”

The Spring 2024 show was split into three acts: “Act One: Night Terror,” “Act Two: Dream” and “Act Three: Nightmare.” As the lights went up, models poured out onto the center stage, each wearing different outfits made out of sequined and shining blush-toned fabrics. While everything Wiederhoeft does is crafted with a great deal of intention, these looks came as a result of serendipity.

“The real story [behind choosing the blush color] is that I recently reupholstered my couches in that fabric, and I ordered way too much,” Wiederhoeft confessed. “We originally wanted to do it in all black, but I had all this extra fabric and was like, ‘We just have to use it.’ I was really inspired by the ascot scene from ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. I wanted to do my version of that.” (I told the designer that “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was cause for many of my own childhood night terrors — specifically the film’s villain, the Child Catcher, a visual that has stayed at the front of my mind for the last twenty years. “Exactly. I think nightmares like that are very powerful,” the designer responded.)

After the main character, outfitted in a sparkling black gown topped with a deep purple satin corset, exited the stage by dramatically dragging their chair behind the curtain, “Act Two: Dream” — a.k.a. the runway portion — commenced. 

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024.

Photo: Stefan Knauer/Courtesy of Wiederhoeft

Wiederhoeft’s signature glass beading completely covers a white, boatneck shift dress-like gown that spells out, “Wonderful Memories, Dreams of Our Love, Together Forever” — a phrase difficult to read amongst the swaying fringe. Throughout the operatic sequences of movement, it’s easy for some of these major details to be passed by, even by the most watchful eye. When I asked Wiederhoeft if there are any specific details they hoped went unmissed by attendees, they interestingly express a hope of missed details.

“Hidden details are what makes the work rich,” they said. “It’s what you do when you’re designing for the stage. When you put in all these details, no one in the audience will ever see them, but the performer sees it and it enriches their performance and their character. I think we can think of ourselves in that same way.”

Though the intricacies of Wiederhoeft’s approach remain intact, there’s a lean towards simpler constructions and less accoutrements — more T-shirts and denim, for instance — likely in an effort to appeal to more commercial audiences and buyers.

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024.

Photo: Stefan Knauer/Courtesy of Wiederhoeft

After a spectacle of more sequins, glass teardrop embellishments and, of course, corsetry, came “Act Three: Nightmare.” Two dancers emerged from the curtain, decked out in what looked to be bride and groom outfits with exaggerated shoulders and thighs, built out by layers upon layers of tulle. More dancers appeared, wearing new versions of classic staples from the brand, including a T-shirt with the image of a corset bedazzled onto it and a silver sequined mini skirt with a pair of underwear printed at the center.

With all of these theatrics culminating into such an extravagant display of drama and performance, I asked Wiederhoeft if they would consider designing for a stage beyond their own. Their answer is simple: “Consider this my cover letter.”

See every look from Wiederhoeft Spring 2024 below.

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Wiederhoeft Spring 2024. Photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

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Source: Fashionista.com

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