Studio Visit: Willow Knows
October 29 2013
Jessica Lee, the designer behind Willow Knows, sits in her sunlight studio on the second floor of an inspiring local shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the past couple of years, she has turned a small line of hand-dyed and one-of-a-kind silk scarves into a full collection of dreamy, easy-to-wear and ethereal clothes for women. We visited Jess in her bright new space one foggy morning to get a eye behind the scenes of her still handmade and small batch process.
Willow Knows pieces are individually hand dyed in small color rotations, making every garment unique. Jess considers the wearer, her lifestyle, and the materials and aesthetic she appreciates with each piece, resulting in a collection that is the definition of understated elegance.
“My philosophy behind the collection was to create simple, wearable garments inspired by the comfort of lounge and sleepwear. I am searching for a balance between clean, basic silhouettes and sophisticated modernism. My designs are minimal, which lets surface design and drape speak for itself. When designing, I look for juxtaposition and versatility. Free of trend, my hope is that my pieces can remain wardrobe staples for years to come.”
This fall season, Jess debuts a full clothing line for the first time, transitioning seamlessly from draped silk scarves to beautifully dyed dresses, tops, and pants.
“The transition came very naturally. My goal has always been to have a line of clothing. My scarves gave me a solid foundation to create a brand and to explore different ideas and techniques. They continue to be a creative outlet for experimentation and design research. I can go a little crazy on the scarves, and stick to simplicity with my clothing. I need that give and take. For me, balance is key.”