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From Paris to Toronto: I’m on Jeremy Laing’s fashion trail!
Florals? Leathers? Tailored looks? Am I really looking at Jeremy Laing’s fall/winter 2012 collection? Has the minimalist, modernist designer taken leave of his design senses? “To keep engaged, you have to give yourself different challenges and be open to where they take you,” said Laing, when I met up with him at a Paris showroom last week. “This time, I wanted to do more tailoring with the jackets; it just felt right.” His tailored separates—like the moulded-shoulder knit sweatshirt—still capture his Asian-artsy architectural style, but last season’s
digital prints have been replaced with bleach-stained abstract and floral designs. “I wanted to move away from digital, loudly defined, symmetrical prints. I think I’m done with that. Instead, I wanted to create reactive bleach prints. So it’s not just something on the surface of the fabric; it reacts with the fabric to create something that is more organic, tactile and sensuous.”
Find out why Laing has ventured into floral territory. Click here.
And the lily-like
florals? “Yes, it’s something I thought I would never do, but it’s nice to find exceptions to rules in ways that still satisfy you. To take a cliché and make it interesting was a challenge.” Although he has worked with fur in the past—vests and coats in muskrat, raccoon and beaver—this season Laing used leather for the first time. He said that he has always liked the fabric but felt it was burdened with clichés. “What do you do with leather?” he asked rhetorically. “You can make a biker jacket, but no one needs a
biker jacket from me. Honestly, enough is enough. So I approached it like I would any other fabric and applied it to my shape, my silhouette.” There are 80-plus pieces in the collection; I asked him if he has a favourite. “Ultimately, what I want is to have a good season. I don’t need to be irrationally attached to any one thing.” But surely there has to be one that stands out for him? “Okay, I’m really happy with the prints, and I love the leather dress. You will probably see more leather from me, including suede, in the spring.” But that’s a year away. For now, back in Toronto, I’m going to enjoy seeing some of Laing’s collection later tonight at the Holt Renfrew show opening LG Fashion Week and again next Tuesday at the Ritz-Carlton as part of this year’s The Shows lineup. If you can’t make either of these venues, check out this
video of Laing’s New York runway show and