London Fashion Week Interview: Willow
Three words to sum up the collection? "Whisp. Tailor. Dream."
As soon as I entered the dark, subterranean show space for Kit Willow’s SS13 presentation, I knew that some hectic white lights were going to flood the room when the show started. Nursing one heck of a hangover, I felt the way a vampire must if threatened with sudden exposure to the brilliant light of day. The room thudded like a heart; light (aaargh!) flooded the room, and out marched Willow’s shimmering, ethereal army of ladies of the night. They wore complex corsetry, super-sheer and sparkly butterfly-wing tops, and harder, more tailored pieces. The final silvery pieces flowed in a way that made the models seem as if they were on fire.
Zac Bayly: The collection is called 'Dream Possession'. Does that have anything to do with sleep paralysis?
Kit Willow: No! I’ve had that so many times, where you just can’t sleep.
Sleep paralysis is where you’re dreaming, but your eyes are open and you can’t move.
Oh my god.
So, you’re seeing the dream happening around you.
No, that’s weird. I haven’t had that before. And you can’t get out of it?
So, what were you seeing?
I saw like a big black demon just, like, hanging out. He was leaning on the windowsill nonchalantly.
And your eyes were open?
No! No! Don’t! No! I don’t even want to know about this! I hope I don’t have it now. That sounds horrible.
OK — so 'Dream Possession' isn’t about sleep paralysis. Is it about Roald Dahl’s The BFG?
No! What did you think?
Of the show? I loved the sparkly garments at the end! They kind of looked like fire when they moved.
Yeah, It was a play on transparency and translucency. That fabric is the finest weave. It’s this amazing fabric that they’ve invented.
Where does the name of the collection come from?
It was that moment between dream and reality, because it exists. It is a reality, that moment.
Tell me a little about the clothes?
Willow started with lingerie, so I wanted to go back to that with all the corsetry. I wanted to have a tailored hard edge, but also a very soft, floaty feel, but also tough. Like, “Is she seducing me? No she’s not. Yes she is! No she’s not.”
You’re playing mind games!
Yeah! I’m playing mind games. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
If your collection were one of the X-Men, which one would it be?
What’s The X-Men?
I don’t even know what they are!
OK — it can be any superhero.
Who is there? There’s Wonder Woman… I’m not sure.
I was thinking the collection would be Storm from X-Men, because she controls the wind and —
Yeah! She sounds good... That sounds perfect.
Why did you decide to show in London?
Our first season that we showed internationally was in London, then we got chosen to go to New York, and we had a fully sponsored show there, so we stayed in New York. Then I pulled out, because it’s very difficult to do the show and have babies. London feels like home. It feels right to come back here. It’s not against the grain, and I love English people.
Who was your favourite model in the show?
Oh, they were all such gorgeous girls. Lovely! Usually I do have a favourite, but they were all great — kind, lovely girls.
How would you sum up the collection in three words? Or less.
Float… Give me a sec… Whisp. Tailor. Dream.