Laitinen Spring/Summer 2012
Finnish siblings and design duo Tuomos and Anna Laitinen debuted their self titled brand Laitinen in 2006 at Festival d’Hyeres. The then fledgling brand won the coveted Grand Prix prize and was publicly backed by Ann Demeulemeester; Laitinen has since accrued numerous industry fans and is supplied across Asia, Europe and America.
Laitinen cite Yohji Yamamoto as their primary inspiration, and even five years later the Japanese influence is clear to see in their SS/12 menswear collection. Their designs are styled with beaten up Converse and New Balance trainers which epitomise the Harajuku reference in the collection.
The monochrome garments played with visual intensity by introducing floral and stripe print to block colours in at times monolithic shapes. Short suits were broken up with buckled waist belts and cut outs on the shoulder blades. The anarchic inference of the collection was visible in waistcoats worn with a bare chest, and dense parkas with an adjustable drawstring.
Another visible influence was biker leathers as narrow lines of quilting embellished knees which, despite the floral and light fabrics, gave the collection as a whole a tough edge. Stripes were used to the same effect. On shorts with vertical stripes, the designer rotated the stripe 90 degrees, to horizontal for the knee.
The tailored and boxy collection was softened with knitted pieces such as a side buttoned jumper and a loosely knitted herringbone crew neck. Other quirky, mod-ish surprises such as exposed shoulders, adapted three piece suits and slashed back seams complete this exciting, unconventional collection.
– Rachel McCulloch