Moving from presentation to runway is a big deal for a young designer; the transition has a very "coming up from the minors" feeling about it. Wes Gordon made the leap for Spring, and proved that he was ready to play with the professionals. "Casting was interesting," he said in his studio a few days before the show. "When I asked the models to walk, there was an actual reason to see them do it."
Gordon was just a babe in the nineties, but like many of his peers, he was inspired by that era—particularly the elegance of the supermodels and, even if he didn't mention her, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. There was also a subtle nod to grunge. A gray cotton cashmere crew-neck sweater was thrown over a lavender silk crepe halter dress with black lace insets instead of the requisite slits. A slinky pale pink pullover—done in a cotton cashmere mesh that made it look almost like a thermal—was dotted with jet black Swarovski crystals and layered over another halter gown, this one done in black silk twill on a bias.
The designer launched his line in 2009 with clothes for the Lady with a capital L, and even if Nirvana's "Come as You Are" was playing in the background, he still needs to cater to those clients. A series of cotton pieces embossed with teensy checks did the trick. A pencil skirt in the material, worn with a pale green leather motorcycle jacket, was both proper and cool. But the standouts were the sexy body-skimming gowns. A racerback in white tulle, a slip in a weighty copper-colored satin—with a longer lace slip peeking out from below—and a cap-sleeve bias-cut sheath in rose-colored satin were all well played.
The sexy pumps were yet again courtesy of an ongoing collaboration with Manolo Blahnik, but the small capsule of box clutches, done in partnership with the accessories line Kotur, was new. And Gordon doesn't want to stop there: He's quietly determined to build a lifestyle brand. "Bit by bit, I'm making the woman more real," he said. You could almost smell the fragrance that is surely taking form in his mind.