The Times' Ruth la Ferla recently wrote about Kate Middleton's effect on the runway. Before I even read the article, Wes Gordon's collection struck me as an example of that. Lo and behold, he's referenced in the first paragraph. He tells la Ferla that designers must ask themselves, “How do I make elegance relevant to someone who’s young?" We think the clothes he showed at the Hosfelt Gallery yesterday were the perfect answer to that.
We're not saying Wes was inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge directly, since that's been his thing since the beginning, but he definitely makes clothes for cool, young girls who want to look nice and put together, day or night--a market that has perhaps grown thanks to Middleton.
Instead of going for obscure reference points, edginess, or androgyny, Wes goes for pretty and does it really, really well. One of our inaugural Fashionista 15 members, his clothes keep getting better. This season was all about rich colors and textures. "We wanted to take in these rich textures and embellishments and have that feeling you get from fall so easily but sometimes it's hard to get in spring," Wes told us. We marveled over the beading on a sheer jacket and a knee-length cocktail dresses. There were also chic snakeskin shorts and a gorgeous red floral print on a dress and a jumpsuit. We also loved the cropped blazers and skinny pants.
The clothes are certainly sophisticated and show a maturity that some might say is beyond Wes' years. People are always commenting on how young he is, but to him, age ain't nothin' but a number. "There are other people just as young! I don’t get that. I get carded, too. I think I have a baby face. I’m getting a lot of gray hair though," he said, "I think this is definitely a field where age isn't such a factor. It's really about the quality of what you’re producing. At the end of the day, what I do and what everyone in fashion does is you try to make something that everyones going to fall in love with and wanna wear and how old you are and who you are--none of those things matter." Also, he has an incredible head of hair, greying or not.
So, where does he see the line five years from now? "I’d like to continue on the track we’re going. We’re growing each season. We showed 18 looks last time, 23 this time. We’re partnering with great stores and to continue growing those relationships and gaining new fans for the clothes." At the rate he's going, we wouldn't be surprised if Kate Middleton herself ended up being one of them. Click through for the full collection.