Our Chic Report columnists certainly love their hotels! Why did designer Wes Gordon feel one untied shoelace away from being escorted out of the famed St. Regis? Let’s find out!
“The magic of hotels is that they come in all different shapes, colors, sizes, and types. There are the Workhorses, those with fertile carpeting and sheets that fear a black-light. The Hipsters: sparse, cubicle-sized rooms camouflaged by acrylic-heavy lobbies and pounding soundtracks. And, then there are the Grande Dames: those whose names convey total luxury and glamour. In four weeks, on February 10th, I will be presenting my third collection. In order for this to actually happen, a large amount of things need to come together: approximately 18 models, sixty pieces of clothing, lights, invitations, music, seating, and a million other details. In addition to all of this, I need the perfect venue: an architectural manifestation of the collection’s spirit.
This time around, I’ve decided to return to the site where I debuted my first collection: the incomparable St. Regis Hotel. Last Friday, with Lauren and Michelle from my office, Tom Palmer Productions, and BPCM, we descended for a tour of the event spaces available at Fifth Avenue’s most iconic hotel. Regardless of what one wears, it’s almost impossible to not feel embarrassingly underdressed when entering the St. Regis’ gilt and marble lobby. In ripped jeans and layers of warm clothes, I felt only one untied shoelace away from being escorted out by security.
New York is a hotel mecca. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of hotels and at least a few dozen that are known for their own particular take on luxury. In my opinion, few can measure up to the character and history of this palace on the corner of 55th and Fifth. Prior to its opening in 1904, many Europeans complained that New York had an lack of luxury hotels. After extensive travels abroad, John Jacob Astor IV felt up to the task of creating a ‘hotel where gentlemen and their families could feel as comfortable as they would as guests in a private home’. No expense was spared, and it shows. Winding through the building is a white marble staircase which, when constructed, cost a staggering sum that represented something like a third of the overall budget. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, clean, modern space or an intimate boutique hotel as much as the next person, but there is something about the St. Regis that never fails to take my breath away.
It is a well-known adage in the fashion industry that a good collection should tell a story. I am always inspired more by the woman I want to wear the clothes than by some strange and inevitably obscure reference like ‘Flemish leaf prints’ or ‘zebras’. My wish (and my intention) is for someone to look at my creations and know instantly the woman for whom they’re for and the life she leads. Everything in the show, from the shoes to the hair, all contribute to telling this story and creating this aspirational female. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful and appropriate place to showcase the latest take on the ‘Wes Gordon Woman’ than the romantic, feminine grandeur of the hallowed halls of the St. Regis.”