Out with soft-spoken femininity and in with loud rock and roll clothes was the defiant message of Danish-born, London-based designer Jens Laugesen‘s spring 2004 collection. With a degree from Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Institut Francais de la Mode, an MA in womenswear from Central St. Martins, and a former fashion journalist with designing stints at numerous couture and ready-to-wear houses, Laugesen certainly has the curriculum vitae to make any declaration he wishes. But it’s the growing following for his three-season-old label among rough-around-the-edges fashionistas that has squarely placed Laugesen in the one-to-watch category. This audience for his wares will most likely share an alternative music background (think Sioux and the Banshees and Nancy Spungen) along with an appetite for androgynous lines or the preference for black and gray. Throw in utility detailing and unassuming tailoring, reconstructed multi-functional sportswear on makeup-less models and you’re beginning to get the Laugesen aesthetic. He’s often compared to Helmut Lang for similar militaristic influences — the use of dangling straps, the mix of skinny and draping silhouettes, and an overall confident modern coolness — but Laugesen has his own command of this aesthetic and a polished spring 2004 presentation to show that he’s no imitator.
- Jason Campbell
Photo: Jens Laugesen’s spring 2004 collection