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Photography by Tommy Ton

Jeremy Laing Womenswear A/W10

This Canadian designer mines his country's natural resources with ease for his collection.

You wouldn't immediately call Jeremy Laing's latest collection a patriotic one but after chatting to the designer about his inspirations, the Toronto native was not ashamed about mining the natural resources his country offers; beavers, raccoons, moss greens and rusty reds of the forests and Haida graphic imagery. However, Laing had his own methods and ways of injecting 'cool' factor into pieces such as oversized knits, hooded jackets, draped leather dresses as well as using subtle detailing such as square leather pailettes. With a little help from Mother Nature, Laing goes into the wild, albeit in a refined way.

Dazed Digital: I really liked how you explored the outdoors without doing it in an obvious way.
Jeremy Laing: Yes. I was going for a North West Coast, Canadian vibe. The palette obviously comes from that whole coastal Redwood parks. A lot of the prints we did were meant to evoke moss but we did it in this corrosion palette so it was like a rusted moss. We were trying to balance the inorganic with the organic to make it a little cooler. The geometric graphic prints are inspired by mid century Haida graphic arts, particularly Bill Reid who was one of he leading Canadian artists of the period. In the 50s through to the 70s there was a real resurgence in the native traditions which previously had been subdued for a long time, so there was this rebirth in totem pole carving and native graphic arts. It is one of my favourite Canadian iconographic things.So we wanted to do an interperative version using that graphic sensibility without being disrespectful.

Dazed Digital: Or without being too referential?
Jeremy Laing: Exactly. So we blew it up really big, we did a camouflage version in green and black. THere was a lot of fur, and outdoor elements like the toggle drawstrings whilst still trying to keep it very clean.

Dazed Digital: It's interesting how you incorporated all of those elements and still managed to make it cohesive.
Jeremy Laing: It was really to see how the story came together, I have been putting the looks together over the last few days and you never really know if you are going to come across as too heavy handed but I was extremely happy with the diversity.

Dazed Digital: As a young designer do you feel as though you have come in to your own now and have created your signature?
Jeremy Laing: I don't if I'm ever going to feel that. I hope like with every season that it is going to be that bit more so. I'm not sure if it happens in one step, I think it happens little by little but I'm definitely moving towards that and that is the goal ultimately.

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