September 10, 2011 New York
Laing explained after his show that he was inspired this season by a trip to Joshua Tree, California, a reference that was easy to read in this collection's earthy palette and in its utilitarian, trekker vibe. More specifically, Laing said, that trip to Joshua Tree awakened him to the idea of erosion, and the beauty of decay. "There was something about the stillness of the landscape," he noted. "It seems so permanent and monumental, but of course it's all changing and going away—you just don't see it." Laing's silhouettes tend to err on the side of monumental, anyway; the decay was reflected in his materials, which included cracked, mud-dyed silk, hammered satin, and technical linens that had been treated to restrain the fabric's natural wrinkle. A lot of the fabrics were also washed and worked over with sprayed dye, giving them a sun-aged effect.
Not that you needed to know any of that. Laing's clothes may intimidate people who can't quite buy into his signature tent- and balloon-like shapes. But it's really easy to extract chic, accessible pieces from his collections, like the kimono trenchcoats in olive-toned hammered satin, or the red vest-and-culotte suit, executed in one of those technical linens. (A one-shoulder draped dress in stretchy viscose jersey even made you wonder whether Laing should have gotten a crack at Halston.) Where the collection faltered was in its overemphasized apron theme—a few of the apron-inspired dresses and jumpsuits looked pretty awkward. Overall, though, it was another strong collection: Jeremy Laing really is consistent.