Laing's first print release sees a collaboration between designers Darya Bing and Nikki Walker, textile designers and founders of Walker & Bing. An ode to balmy summer evenings abroad, the timeless range has a resort-like feel, without an exact location. The inspiration? “Bali meets Santorini” describes Murray. Fitting effortlessly into a holiday wardrobe, each piece is considered in design, and able to be worn poolside or elevated for dinner out. Each piece in the collection works cohesively together as a set, but is bold and architectural to stand alone in an existing wardrobe.
Here we talk to Anna Murray, founder of Laing, and Nikki and Darya about the collaboration, how they worked together, the inspiration and their favourite pieces.
Anna Murray, Founder of Laing
How did the collab come to fruition?
I have always admired the aesthetic and quality of Walker & Bings scarves and sarongs, so much so that I stock them on my online store. When I started formulating the idea around a print for SS22, it seemed logical to reach out and see if they would develop a unique design for me.
Why did Walker & Bing feel like the right alignment for Laing?
Three women working together to develop a print for women appealed. Darya and Nikki brought inspiration and ideas to the table to throw around, not just take a brief and deliver to that. They understand fabrics, quality, timelessness, art and culture. It meant that we dropped into a "short-hand" style of conversation very quickly.
What was the inspiration behind the capsule?
I wanted the range to feel resort-like but not be able to put your finger on where in the world that resort was. Like Bali meets Santorini. It also had to be elevated in feeling so that you can wear out to dinner in a chic restaurant. Pieces that talked to each other as sets, but could be worn back with favourite items in your wardrobe to breathe fresh life into your style and look. I also wanted it to be strong and sort of architectural.
The collection has limited pieces, what was the concept for each piece/why have you chosen each style?
For many seasons, customers have been asking me when I would do the Celeste Popover Dress in a print. So that was the starting point. Then I wanted a floppy pair of pants that I could pull on over my swimsuit or wear with a shirt when I went out to dinner. I love the fabric of the Lou Pant, it feels like a silk crepe de chine, but has some weight to it so that it falls well and can be machine washed. Next was a beautiful silk shirt that elevates any bottoms you put with it or could be worn open like a "shacket" over a slip, camisole or t-shirt. The styles and quantities are limited because this is a print that you want to be the only one in the room wearing.
What is your favourite piece in the capsule?
The Schell Silk Shirt. I took the sample away on a recent trip to LA and got stopped in the street by women asking me where I got it!
What feelings does the capsule evoke for you?
The print is strong and bold but the silhouettes are soft. I love that juxtaposition and for me, it feels like so many of the women I know and admire. They have this inner strength and sense of purpose and direction but a softness and empathy towards the world around them. Plus, I can just see myself sitting around a pool or a beachside bach this summer in one of the prints looking and feeling like I've just come from a resort from a far flung place.
Niiki Walker and Darya Bing, Founders of Walker & Bing
When Laing approached you, what excited you most about the collab?
We had been looking at working with a fellow New Zealand designer and when Laing approached us, it seemed like the perfect fit. Both brands believe in a classic and modern aesthetic, offering versatile pieces that are unique and timeless.
Can you explain the creative process to bring the capsule alive?
We like to work with a brief. It's important to get an idea of where a client is heading with their collection so we can immerse ourselves in the idea and from there we can create mood boards, colour palettes and original artworks. Laing had a very clear idea of where this collection should sit and we were able to offer several ideas and of course, they have chosen the design we loved the most!
What is your favourite piece in the capsule?
A tough decision to make, but we love the shirt in hazelnut. Its versatile, feels soft and beautiful on and works with any colour palette for all seasons.We love styling the rest of the pieces with the complete Laing collection of soft tones and effortless silhouettes
You predominantly work with silk, how do you source your silk crepe de chine?
We're lucky enough to work with a very experienced textile agent who has long term relationships with fabric suppliers locally and offshore, ensuring that all our silks are of the highest quality, from reputable producers.