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Behind the Seams: Wildfox’s Kimberley Gordon

For Wildfox‘s latest lookbook, Kimberley Gordon transformed Dutch model Valerie Van Der Graaf into a modern-day pinup girl, reviving nostalgia for classic Americana. We phoned the Los Angeles-based designer to chat about this very playful spring/summer ’13 collection, and she in turn created a few sketches (exclusive to The Thread) that reveal her creative process.

A Woman of Many Talents: Gordon wears many hats—designer, photographer and graphic artist—and is also a noted fashion illustrator.

A self-described pop-culture junkie, the British-born beauty is the creative force behind the vintage-inspired knitwear brand Wildfox. Since launching in 2007, the brand’s girl-power-promoting tee shirt designs have become a Hollywood standard for cool. Celebrity fans include Beyoncé, Katie Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Swift, which should give you an idea of what the Wildfox girl represents—it’s empowerment.

Wildly Foxy: The Wildfox girl is “unattainable and beautiful” just like a quintessential pinup girl.

This season Gordon was seduced by the allure and innocence of this pop icon that is reinvented every decade.

“The whole era of 1950s rockabilly is so interesting to me, and it’s very American. I love Grease, oldies and I collect all the cheesecake pinup books by Olivia De Berardinis. It just kind of made sense to do a pinup girl collection that captured an Americana feeling and remembered a wartime sex symbol,” she says on how the line was conceptualized.

Gordon certainly is a master in the art of visual storytelling. And although she’s not a formally trained designer, taking on the role was a natural manifestation of her many creative talents.

“I never really set out to be a designer. I moved to LA because of my love for movies,” she explains. “My background is in film and cinematography. As I was carving out my career here, I realized that design encompasses all of the things that I’m passionate about, such as film, photography, casting, beauty and styling. I’ve always done illustration and graphic design, so it all just fell together—that’s why you see a lot of storytelling in the collections.”

Cherry Bomb: Wildfox ‘Joan’ Cherry Print Top

From childhood, she has been obsessed with American pop culture. Teen idols like Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and the Backstreet Boys were catalysts for her interest in the world of calculated fantasy.

“I wasn’t fascinated by the idol itself, but by the team of people working together to create their iconic image. There’s really a formula to it all because pop stars aren’t born, they’re made and supported by a team, a lot like the production of fashion.”

Truth or Dare: Wildfox ‘Hippie’ Crewneck Tee

When it came to the production of the collection’s lookbook and campaign, Gordon knew she had to photograph London-based model Valerie Van Der Graaf. “It’s so hard to find a model with curves, and Valerie is such a rare girl,” she says. “She’s busty, beautiful and has this intoxicating energy, which are all things a pinup girl should represent.”

Oh là là: Wildfox ‘Falling In Love’ Tee

What present-day starlets would make for an ideal Wildfox pinup girl? “Scarlett Johansson, Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried and of course Dita Von Teese,” adds the designer, who aspires to express the collection from an LA girl’s point of view.

Say What?!: Wildfox ‘Cry Baby’ Top & Wildfox ‘Double Dare’ Halter Top

This spring, keep the boys guessing with your own pinned-to-perfection Wildfox style.

–Qianna Smith
Photos courtesy of Wildfox