February 08, 2011
Wild zebras are out and dressage horses are in. "I'm still interested in the connections between humans and animals," Kit Willow said, "but this season, I wanted to explore the very formal way we dress to ride these beautiful horses." That meant there were snug, tailored riding jackets with high, fitted armholes; high-collared white cotton shirts; and a draped jodhpur. So what happened to this Aussie designer's trademark edge? It's true that the body-con dresses that stalked her runway last year at this time were gone—chalk up the easier, more forgiving silhouettes to the fact that she gave birth to her second baby three months ago, she said. But look closely and there was attitude to spare in the laced leather neckline of a little black dress in tulle, in the black and white check of a pair of high-waisted pants that was actually a macro print of woven horsehair, and in the copper, horseshoe-shaped sequins of a sleeveless party top. Motorcycle riding was Willow's other fixation this season, so she added black leather to the lineup, in the form of a quilted and cropped perfecto, second-skin skirts, and stretchy leggings. They were plenty sexy, but they didn't feel like a step in a new direction the way the equestrienne pieces did.