Laura Siegel Fall 2014: The designer takes us on yet another journey with her latest sustainable collection

Laura Siegel Fall 2014
Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani
Laura Siegel Fall 2014
Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani

See the Laura Siegel Fall 2014 collection »

As folks settled into the cozy, faux-candle lit studio space at the World MasterCard Fashion Week tents in Toronto, it was a rare moment of calm during the otherwise frenetic goings on of the week. It was a fitting scene for Laura Siegel’s Fall 2014 collection, made in partnership with the Soko sustainable production facility in Kenya, which focused on natural materials and handcrafted finishes. The bohemian styles could have been plucked straight out of the Outback. For just a moment we were able to forget about the snow outside.

Although the collection of safari-inspired pieces had a few expected pieces, like relaxed drop crotch pants, billowing ivory silk shirts, and several bush hats, there were a few glimmers of ingenuity. The layered tie dye wrap skirts were a slick nod to the current ‘90s revival, with the front knot and side slits echoing the once omnipresent trend of tied plaid button downs slung nonchalantly around the hips. Siegel’s outerwear was another high point, proving her deftness in working with a material’s innate folds and shape, as seen in a distressed leather jackets with shawl collars and asymmetrical hems. Her grey green quilted pieces, a skirt and belted jacket, were neither bulky nor weighty and would be perfect fall transition pieces. A constant theme through out the collection was a unique finish of exposed cross-stitches, slightly worn down and imperfect seen on skirts, shirts and dresses. The simple stitching was clever way to do light embellishment without sparkle or flash, adding custom handcrafted appeal to the pieces.

While the unifying palette of earthy greens and browns and with the occasional pop of crisp ivory was cohesive, it felt a little safe and expected. It would have been refreshing to see a sustainably sourced collection done in a bright palette of dramatic shades and colours with natural materials employed in unexpected ways, still staying true to her aesthetic of unfussy easy-to-wear pieces in slouchy silhouettes. Siegel’s philosophy and mission of producing sustainable handcrafted pieces that are nevertheless stylish is admirable and worthwhile—but it’s high time to break out of that ethical-fashion look. We look forwards to where Siegel whisks us away to next.