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Laitinen A/W12

Shown alongside the Heikki Salonen show, the Finnish designer brought out sporty unisex looks with an unusual injection of colour

Laitinen being shown side by side with Heikki Salonen was a challenge in itself given the opposite aesthetics of the two Finnish designers. Laitinen hijacked stereotypically female pieces, to give them a new, genderless dimension: short kilts worn on top of trousers, fur collars, capes, and cable-knit dresses – all worn so effortlessly and devoid of any silly embellishment, that they seemed like natural items in a man’s wardrobe. Salmon wools, ruby and emerald puffer jackets, and flame-colour jersey brought a new, poetic palette to the usually monochrome label.

Dazed Digital: What’s the newest thing about this collection?
This season we really challenged ourselves with colour, not just with print, but also with knitwear and woven fabrics. We've been primarily known as a label with a very black aesthetic, but this time we really felt that it was time for a change and used extremely bold colors and glossy textures in most of the looks. Also regarding fabrics we're introducing more sporty hi-tech materials into the collections and also functional sportswear details.

DD: What was the biggest challenge of the presentation?
The biggest challenge was make two different collections (Laitinen and Heikki Salonen) work in the same space and still show their separate identities in one event. Fortunately it worked very beautifully and also the audience really liked having the both collections shown simultaneously, in the end it was a nice relaxed party with great music, which is rather rare during Paris Fashion Week.

DD: You always play with materials – what was novel for you here?
Besides the traditional menswear fabrics we're using a lot of glossy metallic polyurethane coated cottons and waxed wool tweeds, which give the collection a slightly futuristic and technical feel.