Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wiksten Summer Preview

I can't describe how thrilled I am to be previewing Jenny Gordy's latest summer line. As expected, EVERY single piece is oozing with Jenny's personal style that I've come to admire.

Those of you familiar with Wiksten and its huge following know how hard it is to get your hands on one of her creations - and those of you who aren't, well consider yourselves warned! So please make sure you've got her shop wikstenmade.bigcartel.com bookmarked and start training your fingers to click on those "add to cart" buttons as fast as you can... you have 4 days to get your mouse fingers into shape - shop opens this Saturday, May 31st!

>> continue reading Wiksten Summer Preview



Jenny's Wiksten line originated from humble beginnings via a line of bags she was making out of her Greenpoint, Brooklyn apartment back in 2004. The bags were sold at a Kansas City shop named Spool, owned by her friend Cobi Newton. The following year, Jenny began making tops and jackets and the rest, as they say, is history.

>> Wiksten Summer Preview...

1. Tell us about your latest collection.

I basically designed things that I needed in my own wardrobe. I find that my pieces are much more wearable when I design from that perspective, as opposed to when I try to do something innovative. For instance, I’ve been wanting a denim dress because it’s one of the most versatile pieces of clothing a woman can own. It’s as easy and comfortable as wearing jeans but much more chic.

I basically designed things that I needed in my own wardrobe.

Since the collection is coming out in the summer, I chose to make a few of the pieces sleeveless. It’s so important to stay cool in the summer because pit stains aren’t sexy! I’ve also reworked some of my old styles because they continue to be popular.



2. What is your design philosophy?


My design philosophy has evolved over time. As I’ve matured I’ve learned to aim for functionality, comfort, and simplicity in my designs. A simple garment allows the wearer to look effortlessly chic and make the style her own by adding accessories. If something is timeless, fits perfectly, and is well-made, a person will wear it over and over again until it falls apart. I would like to make a favorite garment that a person reaches for to wear every time they want to feel good.

I would like to make a favorite garment that a person reaches for to wear every time they want to feel good.

3. Where do you find inspiration?

Blogs, internet, friends, my childhood….I don’t really read American fashion magazines much anymore. I’m just really sick of wading through the ads, celebrity interviews, and socialite photos. This year I’ve been more inspired by Japanese magazines, craft books, and shopping websites. I like the clean lines, the muted colors, and the simplicity of the garments I see coming from Japanese sources.

4. Who is your favorite designer?

I don’t really have a favorite designer, but I think Caitlin Mociun is brilliant. I would buy absolutely everything she makes if I could afford it.





5. Are there any up-coming designers that you currently admire?

Mostly I only admire people that I know or people that friends of mine know. I have a tremendous amount of admiration for Martha McQuaid of Uniform Studio. The work she does is endlessly interesting to me, and she’s really paved the way for handmade/independent clothing designers. I would have never opened an Etsy shop if it hadn’t been for her success, and then I would have never found my market. Not only that, but she has been incredibly encouraging and kind to me.

6. Do you have a fashion icon?

This is a tough question. I have a really short attention span, and I tend to not be that interested in celebrities. So I guess I would have to say that French women in general are pretty cool to me. A lot of them seem to have that effortless style that I love.

I’d just like to dress friends of mine or other designers/artists that I respect. If someone I know that has really good taste wants to wear my clothes, then I am super happy.

7. Is there anyone you'd like to dress? Which celebrities would you love to see wearing your clothes?

Like I said before, I don’t really care that much about celebrities. I’d just like to dress friends of mine or other designers/artists that I respect. If someone I know that has really good taste wants to wear my clothes, then I am super happy. But I guess I could see someone like Kirsten Dunst or Zooey Deschanel wearing my clothes. I think my pieces fit with their style.

8. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills?

Do I do this full-time? Yes. what pays the bills? My husband’s student loans. In fact, I’ve had to make some tough business decisions lately which involve either raising my prices or going out of business.

I work so hard that I don’t have much of a life, and yet I’m still not making any money. Since it’s just me right now, it’s so hard to get everything done.

9. What's the most challenging thing that you've experienced since starting wiksten?

I work so hard that I don’t have much of a life, and yet I’m still not making any money. Since it’s just me right now, it’s so hard to get everything done. I can only grade so many patterns and make so many garments. It’s very limiting. I’d like to expand and relinquish some control, but I need to pay off my debts before I can think about doing that.

>> Favorite tools & resources

10. Can you share some of your favorite sources for fabrics/notions?

My favorite fabric store is Sarah’s in Lawrence, Kansas. I also shop at Kaplan’s in Kansas City because they carry eco-friendly fabrics made from stuff like bamboo and seaweed. I like to get vintage buttons at estate sales, thrift shops, and antique stores.

11. What sewing machine do you use?


I use a Bernina Activa 210 and a Bernina 1150MDA overlock machine, and I love them.

12. Where did you learn how to sew and design clothing?

I was taught to sew when I was a child by my grandma and my mom. Then I took lessons from a friend’s mom at a local sewing shop. When I was in college I bought a patternmaking book and started studying it. Then in 2003 I moved to New York to go to F.I.T. for patternmaking design, and I also worked for a corporation as a technical designer and fit model.

>> A peek into Jenny's closet...


13. How would you describe your style?


French preppy.

14. What's the most expensive thing in your closet?

I think everyone who reads my blog knows the answer to that! My A.P.C. moccasins. Although, come to think of it, I spent more than that on a wool coat from French Connection.

15. Do you own any "cheap" pieces that have stood the test of time?

Yes, long sleeve t-shirts from Target. I have several in gray and several in black that I wear under everything in the winter. Other than that, no.

...I’m not into being super trendy. I dress pretty casually, wearing only what makes me feel comfortable. Most of the time the way I dress is pretty boring.

16. What trend are you loving/hating right now?

Koos has these clog-like shoes that I’ve seen on Japanese websites, but you can’t get them here! It drives me crazy. I think that’s more of a trend in Japan than here. Trend that I hate? I don’t know, hipsters wearing tons of 80’s crap and cowboy boots. Also, flared jeans. I’m not ready for those to come back. I like my skinny and wide leg jeans for now.

17. When did your cardigan obsession start?

It probably started with Kurt Cobain! When I was in junior high I would comb thrift stores for smelly old grandpa cardigans.

18. Are you a slave to fashion? A shopaholic? Or do you prefer to focus on designing and creating for others?

I don’t consider myself a slave to fashion, because I’m not into being super trendy. I dress pretty casually, wearing only what makes me feel comfortable. Most of the time the way I dress is pretty boring. I really do prefer to focus on creating for others. In fact, I spend so much time on that that every now and then I neglect looking good myself!

19. What can we expect to see from you in the future?


I’d like to hire some people and just keep doing what I’m doing, but more of it. More styles, more garments made.

Be sure to set a reminder for this Saturday, Jenny will be opening her shop at wikstenmade.bigcartel.com. Also, be sure to check her blog at wikstenmade.blogspot.com for the latest updates.

Thanks Jenny!!

Photo credits:
Shoes are from habitat and the photos were taken by hannah huffman

13 comments:

Melissa de la Fuente said...

Lovely,Lovely,Lovely! Such a fan and love Jenny's sentiments behind her designs. What a pleasure to read a great interview with a down-to- earth talent!
xo
Melissa

kaiwa4 said...

Jenny's clothes are incredible--thanks so much for doing this interview!

quaint handmade said...

jenny's clothes are lovely,and so is she. i really enjoyed learning more about her process. thanks!

UNIFORM Studio said...

thank you for such a great interview! Jenny is amazingly talented and so humble. It was great to read more about her and her process.

alyson. said...

jenny jenny jenny.... seriously fantastic. :)

great interview!

Julia said...

beautiful interview! i'm so excited for the summer collection, i'm such a fan of jenny's work. thanks for bringing us this sneak peek!

megrje said...

Someone invest in her line quick! It's so exciting to think about the possibility of more wiksten garments in the world. I love the intentionality of her designs too.

cursivedesign said...

what a great interview! i love to read about where/when people get design ideas. how could jenny's work not be so fresh?! "thinking while mowing the lawn" ha. love it!

elly said...

yes, thanks for the awesome interview! i agree with all the comments and am so impressed by what jenny does.

Connie said...

What an awesome interview on Jenny and her craftmenship! Lovely photos with lovely clothing designs and modeling! It's so great to read about up and coming designers in different aspects, wishing the best! Thaaaank you for this post! -Connie

tiffany... said...

i'll have to agree with all the others...
such a lovely interview! thank you for sharing this with us!

MARICHELLE said...

hi everyone,
Thank you so much for all the kind words and for saying hello! Jenny is amazing - I wouldn't be surprised if I saw her under the white tents of Bryant Park real soon!!!

erica said...

so happy to read this interview and thanks so much for sharing photos of her new collection. her work is so thoughtful and beautifully made, i am in love with everything she's done.