It’s official. I’ve fallen in love with the Laura Orchant AW17 range.
Up-and-coming British design house Laura Orchant produce luxury printed silk scarves that are unlike anything I’ve seen before. Kaleidoscope colours and feminine prints are high on the agenda, as well as abstract nature motifs and the occasional floral detail.
Lead designer Laura Orchant hand draws her designs before digitally manipulating them into the vibrant, colourful designs that we find on the finished garment. This commitment to a lengthy production process and the undoubtable quality of her design are just two of the reasons why Laura stood out to me when I was exploring her newest collection online. As a young female designer, Laura is working hard to forge a name for herself in an extremely competitive industry. She’s talented and hard working and I for one seriously admire her drive!
One of the highlights of Laura’s career so far was being asked to design the scarves for the Rolling Stones Exhibitionism Show; which was held at the famous Saatchi Gallery back in 2016. Since then, Laura has set her sites on the US and German fashion markets and is continuing to develop her womenswear range.
I caught up with Laura to find out what made her want to pursue a career in design in the first place and to find out what inspires her to create.
When did you first realize you had a passion for design?
From a very young age I loved to draw, and had a little fashion sketchbook I took everywhere with me. Looking back at some of my original sketches there is a strong continuity of looking at patterns and symmetries in nature.
Do you have a creative background?
I truly believe that everyone is creative. I have always loved drawing and I was fortunate enough to be encouraged to carry on sketching and developing my drawing skills. I have always been obsessed with clothes and my grandmas amazing scarf collection, which I played with throughout my childhood.
When you design a new product, do you have a specific kind of client in mind? Who is the archetypal Laura Orchant woman?
I am always conscious of women who like the idea of colour but don’t want to look “colourful”. We dress to give ourselves the armour we need to get through each day and I hope that my designs give strength and vitality to my customers.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Timeless, classic and always with a twist!
Where do you tend to find inspiration?
I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of nature with the human world. Beautiful flowers behind shattered glass, trees along an avenue. The human condition is always interfering with nature but never totally conquering it. That’s what I try to depict.
Who or what has had the biggest influence on you as a designer?
My Grandma and my mum. I owe everything I know about style to them.
You recently designed scarves for The Rolling Stones? How did such a fabulous opportunity arise?
Honestly, it requires a lot of work, and when you think you have made it… more work. I think it is easy to think of the ‘lucky breaks’ but these opportunities are only created from the effort put in.
If you could design a scarf for anyone – alive or historic – who would it be and why?
Audrey Hepburn – a beautiful woman who is never totally knowable.
You’ve started to expand your brand into womenswear. Was this a natural progression?
Our customers have been pleading with us to offer more clothing with our prints on – it turns out that the scarves are not enough for them! It has taken a while to develop the right items of clothing for my designs but I am really proud and delighted with what we have achieved so far, this will constantly be evolving.
What can we expect from Laura Orchant in the future?
We are continuing to develop our womenswear and resort collections and we intend to offer more classic designs with Laura Orchants prints over the coming months.