February 01, 2008
The saturated palette of Bauhaus artist Josef Albers and his "Homage to the Square" paintings were Laing's starting point. You could see the Albers influence in the first look, an easy dress sewn together from two squares of silk, decorated with a block of Swarovski crystals. Loose-fitting tank dresses in vivid shades of orange and pink, with rectangles of fabric fluttering up and down the side seams, were a less literal take on the concept. The theme, though, threatened to get the best of the designer with the sleeveless dresses with nipped waists and slashes of extra fabric suspended from rivets at the neckline or waist; these, like the "skirt-pants" (which, as their name suggests, appeared to be slacks from the front and a long skirt from the rear), looked overdesigned. Laing said his focus was on tailoring. Lose all the extras, and he would've gotten the season's structured silhouette just right.