It was a case of quality not quantity of looks for veteran designer Kit Podgornik (nee Willow), who just presented her umpteenth fashion week collection but just the second under the relatively new moniker KITX.
(Australian fashion history crib note: Podgornik sold her brand Willow to The Apparel Group in 2011, but was shockingly ejected less than two years later. The label has since gone bust, with rumours circulating the name is again up for sale.)
Still, the fashion biz is all about the now and next week, so old news was far from anyone’s mind at the KITX Resort 2018 runway presentation. Enclosed by purpose-constructed scaffolding, guests at tonight’s show were focused entirely on each exit onto the seriously long concrete runway. Even the duo behind the show’s music – Sneaky Sound System’s Connie and Black Angus – were a hint of Podgornik’s friends in cool places.
Last year, the buzz around the (then) newly founded label was its ethical focus – the working mother consulted with sustainability groups such as the Global Organic Textile Standard while creating her new-look ready-to-wear and footwear collection.
“Nature has ceased to be what it always had been – what people needed protection from. Now nature – tamed, endangered, mortal – needs to be protected from people,” said the printed card on each show-goer’s seat, a quote from American writer and political activist Susan Sontag.
This year, however, the brand’s organic undertones were par for the course with the crowd. Rather, the buzz centred around this new collection’s expertly crafted drapery, soft tailored suiting and strong primary colour palette broken up with the occasional ikat print and flash of bare skin through wide mesh.
A designer with less experience or skill set might have fallen into ho-hum territory by relying on nothing by clever cuts and frayed edges for effect. Tonight, though, but tonight the only thing predictable were the quips about the former Miss Willow’s “last laugh”. Well played, Mrs Podgornik.
All photography: Getty Images