I never thought of myself as a “girly-girl” until I was introduced to the art of Kimberly Gordon. I was a self proclaimed Tom-Boy who was obsessed with Halloween, Sum 41, and Indiana Jones. The girliest things I thought I liked were Sailor Moon, Greek mythology, and the Centaurettes from Fantasia.
And then I saw this:
The Wildfox Couture 2010 fall lookbook: “It’s Witchcraft”.
I had seen beautiful ad campaigns before, but never had I seen one that told such a story. It was like a romanticized version of one of my childhood sleepovers; where friends and I would mix travel size beauty products in glass bottles and blame each other for guiding the Ouija board. But the girls in the campaign were girly and feminine, not dark and masculine. They were the high school versions of the "Witches of Eastwick".
The next Wildfox lookbook I saw was Marie Antoinette themed. If my blogging handle didn't already give it away, I'm obsessed with Marie Antoinette. From a history nerd standpoint, she's my favorite historical figure (it's a long story why). From a pop culture aspect, Kirsten Dunst is my favorite actress (she leads/co-leads three of my favorite movies), Sophia Coppola is one of my favorite directors, and I'm a complete sucker for visually pleasing films.
As you can imagine, I was also a complete sucker for Kimberly Gordon's interpretation as well.
From that point on I was hooked. Never had I seen a designer create such a story through clothing and photography like Gordon does. The witty phrases on the clothing pieces matched the attitude on the models faces flawlessly; and every character portrayed was always so believable thanks to strategically placed period pieces (which were often made by Gordon herself).
The lookbook images below are what inspired me to start blogging. Around the time I "found" Gordon's work I was also graduating from college and moving to Southern California to work at Disneyland. It was easy for me to appreciate the drama, fantasy, and theme portrayed in her Wildfox lookbooks and to then apply them to my own life.
When Gordon left Wildfox in 2016, longtime fans like myself felt an immediate shift when the next lookbook was released. You could tell the new director was trying to imitate old shoots, but magic simply can't be replicated. Luckily, Gordon has been weaving her creative directing and photography magic into new projects with brands like Alpine Butter Fly, Planet Blue, and Fete.
Beyond her photography skills, Gordon has continued to inspire me through her watercolor paintings, feminist tendencies, movie recommendations, and more. Gordon's social media accounts serve as an encyclopedia for all things visually stunning, and the personal stories she chooses to share on social media have also led me to find other inspirational women like Kelsey Harper, Amanda Booth, and @eatglitter.
Ultimately, Kimberly Gordon's artwork has pushed me to accept the "girly side" within; because Gordon understands that all women are girly, Tom boy or not. Her work has always portrayed strong, confident females no matter if they're practicing witch craft, riding off into the sunset, or adjusting their crown.
Gordon recently shot the first lookbook for her new clothing brand Selkie, and I couldn't be happier. Selkie references Irish, Scottish, Icelandic and Scandinavian folklore in which women find their true skin. It's a romantic brand with strong feminist undertones, plenty of pastel, and what appears to be a variety of soft pieces. I look forward to purchasing pieces from the new collection and sharing them with you all next Fall.
From the Selkie site:
I want girls and women to see their own beauty does not rely on their size or skin tone, it comes from within. It comes from intelligence, humor, compassion and confidence. I want to show women they can be the heroine of their own fairy tale, the lead in their own movie. Worthy of love, pride, respect and self exploration.
Selkie is inspired by these women, maybe they are free, maybe they’ve lost their way, but in the hopes that someday soon they will re discover their own skin. - Kimberly Gordon