Lines We Love: Willow

– By Nausheen Shah – 

Olivia in a Willow blazer at the S/S '11 Giambattista Valli show.

You can’t deny it.  It happens to all of us every once in a cobalt blue moon.  Wandering through racks of clothing and fashion websites where everything seems either too hot or too cold, the unthinkable strikes.  Your inner Goldie Locks escapes and you discover a designer that happens to nail every piece off your ‘wanted check list.’
Behold WILLOW.  An Australian brand that gets it ‘just right.’  Led by Madam Kit Willow Podgornik, whose talent, cultivated through her years working with a master pattern-maker in Paris, and non-stop travels from London to the Middle East, Asia to New York.  Now residing back in Sydney, WILLOW debuted in 2003 at Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week.  Premiering at London Fashion Week in 2004, British Vogue declared: “The collection was both beautiful and varied enough to convince her fans that she is a talent set to last.”

Kit Willow Podgornik backstage at her Spring 2010 show

Since the beginning, WILLOW has managed to nail that difficult balance between the stylish and the wearable.  With such collections as “Industrial Artisan” and “Future Memories,” Podgornik has been known to create intricate, feminine pieces with an edge.  Which leads us up to her last collection where it is all about ‘the edge.’
For Fall/Winter 2012, her aptly named “Monarch Movement” collection is all about ‘the edge.’.  By combining burnt sienna, onyx and alabaster with the slightest acid yellow details, Podgornik has found a way to create markings, graphic prints if you may, through textiles emulating that natural skin of the iconic butterfly.  But she doesn’t stop there.  Showing a constant effort to keep the collection modern, but still familiar and comfortable, WILLOW juxtaposes armor styled leather and wool in combination with delicate textures making it strong yet everlasting.

The Fall/Winter 2012 "Monarch Movement" collection

The latest collection takes quite a different turn from it’s past seasons instilling a darker, more romantic palette. Voluminous silhouettes dominate the collection in forms of funnel collared cocoon coats, embellish printed swing jackets and multi-paneled seamed skirts and dresses.  Yet one attribute Podgornik doesn’t stray from are her signature, monochromatic all-over-print looks which are perfection this season.

The Fall/Winter 2012 "Monarch Movement" collection

Venturing into the land of “unique personal style,” Podgornik finds it important to not only consider the development of her collections as a representation of the brand, but also the overall curation. Discerningly displaying art on her boutique walls defines WILLOW’s theory that fashion is art, and the collection held within is art commercialized.
It’s no wonder why Podgornik surrounds WILLOW with some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces; each one of her gems truly are masterpieces within themselves.
Nausheen Shah is a New York based fashion designer turned stylist/creative consultant who has worked for the likes of Catherine Malandrino and Zac Posen.  In her travels, Nausheen’s love of language, cuisine, art and interior design flourished, informing her unique, distinctive, and global style.  She also runs her own ‘fashion as a lifestyle’ blog – A Shah’s Life and can be followed on Facebook @nausheenshahstylist and Twitter @nausheenshah

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