Your Style: Willow Gentile

March 24, 2019
Willow Gentile

Rochester native Willow Gentile, 25, started a small business in her home studio called Willomina Art Studio soon after graduating with a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in painting. “It’s an adventure, and it’s really great being your own boss,” she said.

In addition to teaching art, Gentile sells her works, comprised of everything from paper sculptures to oil paintings. She can frequently be spotted searching for art inspiration around town with her easel and brushes in tow.

When it comes to style, she notes that wardrobe choices are an “extension of your artistic self and how great it is to share your personality visually to everyone.”

Your style in 5 words or less:

Layers, unpredictable, classic, 1930s inspo

How does your role as an artist affect your wardrobe choices?

What I wear has to have a feel-good energy to it. That can mean bright colors or lots of pattern, or sometimes even a more subtle soothing approach. You have to think of textures, proportions, layers, color theory — it’s all there in what you wear!

In the studio, I always have on a floral or bright color apron on to go with my outfit.

You offer a lot of art classes for children. What have kids taught you about style, if anything?

When I see my students get in their creative zone and they leave the constraints of their day behind them, their artwork explodes into a beautiful array of color that oftentimes ends up as my color inspiration for my outfit the next day!

What item are you most looking forward to pulling out of storage once spring finally arrives?

First and foremost, I take great enjoyment putting my winter coat away. And after the fun of layering for six-plus months, I look forward to the ease of sleeveless dresses and straw hats.

Has your closet been impacted by the KonMari craze?

I go by the rule of: If you didn’t wear something by the end of a season it gets donated. No ifs, ands, or buts. The only exception is classic formal attire — as long as it fits, it stays.

What are the specific pieces you find yourself reaching for most often?

Collared shirts! They work great as a layering piece, and they add so much style to everything. A collared shirt immediately makes me feel put-together and tailored.

Any particular trends you’re currently seeing that you particularly like?

Smock/pinafore dresses, especially with a button-down collared shirt underneath (surprise) or a turtleneck. I’m also really enjoying the ever-classic Oxfords and penny loafers with a pair of rolled-down socks.

Favorite local places to shop?

The various second hand stores in town. Another favorite is TJ MAXX.

Any clothing stores or boutiques you feel Rochester is missing/in need of?

After visiting Amsterdam, I fell in love with all the vintage clothing shops throughout the city. It’s definitely much needed in Rochester.

What clothing items do you think are worth splurging on?

A few well-fitted jackets for different seasons and stylish/comfortable shoes.

Any sentimental items in your closet/jewelry box?

I have a vintage silk blouse that was my grandmother’s.

Words of style wisdom you think everyone should live by:

Be committed and confident, otherwise anything you wear will seem like a big question mark.