When the Litke womenswear line launched out of Brooklyn in 2012, the minimalist separates with eccentric cuts seemed fit for any New York ensemble: clean lines with quirky details (think of strategically-placed ruffles or asymmetrical patchwork), almost all of it in black and white and crafted from natural materials.

But for the brand’s eponymous designer, New York native Catherine Litke, a love of fashion emerged in an unexpected place: her family’s homeland of Poland, which she visited every summer until enrolling at college at NYU (she’s a 2010 grad). “I have always loved all the traditional costumes that are worn throughout the country for different events and holidays. Each region of Poland has its own variation,” she enthuses. The intricate embroideries and crocheted pieces find their way into collections, as do a work ethic and eye for detail honed at a Vogue internship and previous work for Band of Outsiders.

The inspiration for Spring 2014? “William Morris illustrations, Louise Bourgeois fabric works, 1930s American dance hall culture,” says Litke. And when you slip into a pair of crisp white pants or a luxuriously baggy crocheted sweater, you might just feel inspired to dance in the streets of New York, too.

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Elisa Mala is a New York-based writer who has reported from over twenty countries for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, T, Rolling Stone Bulgaria, and others.

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