Jeremy Laing – Rave On, Barbie

Jeremy Laing lives and works in Toronto, where the winter is long and dark, and summer is lovingly referred to as three months of bad sledding. An understandable longing for hot summer days and hotter nights informed his Spring-Summer 2014 collection, shown in New York, where we take heat waves for grumpily granted. When the sprightly young designer was asked to verbally autograph the show moments before it began he chirruped, “its Malibu Beach Barbie goes to a rave!”

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story by Lisa-Maria Radano
photos by Charles Beckwith

Jeremy Laing lives and works in Toronto, where the winter is long and dark, and summer is lovingly referred to as three months of bad sledding. An understandable longing for hot summer days and hotter nights informed his Spring-Summer 2014 collection, shown in New York, where we take heat waves for grumpily granted. When the sprightly young designer was asked to verbally autograph the show moments before it began he chirruped, “its Malibu Beach Barbie goes to a rave!”

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For rave attendance, there were ample and voluminous layers, with Laing’s signature boxy yet flowing cut. Shorts, culottes, tunics, unstructured jackets in both neutral shades and salt water taffy colors, many with large patch pockets (so you can twirl all the night long without carrying a purse), had a 90’s feel. But you’d never catch our girl Barbie in any of these breezy tech poplin numbers. For her, there were zero slack zip front tube skirts with sliding off the shoulder crop-top bustiers in steely silver mesh bonded jersey.

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Known for his love of prints, Laing collaborated with his friend Julia Dault, a New York-based artist to create several originals, including the delicate butterfly wing print on creamy white backing used for two chemises, one draped and one fitted. Another print looked like a windshield wiper slathering of muted pastels, and was beautifully used in both a long and short column with a fly-front bodice. There was also a pastel ground with squiggly black lines, which I was told was an homage to a Canadian Ice Cream called Tiger Tail, peach-based, with licorice swirled throughout. I’m guessing that’s a ‘don’t knock it till you’ve tried it’ treat.

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Along with his spiffy prints, Laing had fun with texture. Burnout jersey, rip stop silk, chalk-stripe stretch linen, glass organza and a charming pattern of squares suspended in finest mesh all provided depth and girding to the fly away pieces. So did the chunky ankle boots Laing offered by way of a brand new collaboration with LD Tuttle. New for Laing too, was the menswear shown, however with the exception of Barbie’s curve-hugging skirts, a boyfriend and girlfriend could easily share most pieces in this well crafted collection.

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As “Malibu Beach Barbie goes to a rave” portrays much of the population of young Hollywood these days, it’s a cinch to picture these modern, chic, roll-out casual clothes in the Brentwood Farmer’s Market, or on a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf run with Papparazzi nipping not far behind.

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