The Canadian designer takes an architectural approach to his new collection
For Canadian designer Jeremy Laing, fashion is never just about the clothes. The process of learning something new is crucial also. In the past he has taken a cerebral view on designing, taking inspiration from disparate sources such as starbursts, volcanic eruptions and artists like Josef Albers and Lucio Fontana and created outfits for the Venice Biennale recently. This high minded approach continues for S/S 10 where he used the drawing technique of ‘vanishing points’ to create prints and draping that converged at different points on the body. The lean, sculptural silhouette was softened with folds, pleats and layers. It was a mesmerizing effect with a lightness of touch that kept it away from being too sci-fi and when paired with the stone coloured leggings created a cool new look for the Jeremy Laing girl.
Dazed Digital: How were the prints for the season created?
Jeremy Laing: All the prints are generated on architectural rendering software. We actually created these hypothetical rooms that can’t exist because the structure would have been bent and we looked at it from different views. Then we strategically placed them on the body so you got a sense of a vanishing point. And all the dresses are created in the same way.
DD: The palette you chose reminds me of concrete.
Jeremy Laing: Yeah yeah, and plaster and stucco – all these sorts of humble materials. I wanted everything matte and a lot of texture. Crinkly gauze, fabrics like that.
DD: You have taken inspiration from Bauhaus and Lucio Fontana in past seasons, was there any artistic inspiration this season?
Jeremy Laing: Not really. I worked with Karen Azoulay who built the set, she’s an installation artist. But really this season was about the discovery of perspectives.
DD: In hard times, is making clothes about trying to make an emotional connection with the customer?
Jeremy Laing: Yeah and it’s about the process and discovering new things for me as a creator.
DD: Working in Toronto away from the hustle and bustle of New York informs your perspective?
Jeremy Laing: I like it. I like being a little isolated. We come here for business and come here for shows. I can be here in a couple of hours if I need to but the lifestyle in Toronto is really nice.
DD: There’s such an architectural focus in your clothes. You’re a self taught designer but are you also a frustrated architect?
Jeremy Laing: Not really. I am very involved in making my patterns. I’m not interested in making a building but I’m interested in the formal properties of buildings and how design relates to function.
Photography by Tommy Ton of Jak and Jil.