Whizz kid designer inspired by Little Mermaid

2010-07-02 16:42

“I wanted to portray water, sand and different elements of the

ocean,” says New York designer Laquan Smith of his collection at Africa Fashion

Week 2010.

This was Smith’s first collection, which comes as a surprise since

the 21-year-old’s work has already adorned the bodies of A-List celebrities such

as Pop stars Rihanna and Lady Gaga, as well as models Tyra Banks and Amber


In fact, in her video for Rudeboy, Rihanna wears one of his

designs, a tight-fitting holed gold catsuit.

Smith brought a dress similar to that outfit to the fashion

showcase in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The collection features body-hugging, power-dress-like, diva-ish

dresses and suits.

Smith is not afraid to use accentuated shoulder pads, and he seems

to be exploring how vertical lines fall on long female legs.

Aptly named Water Goddess, the show featured materials such as

spandex and neoprene, the latter being the material that is used for

scuba-diving gear.

Both these materials serve to accentuate his water theme, which he

says was inspired by the movie The Little Mermaid.

Smith says: “Most of the garments in the collection are waterproof.

I chose these materials because they’re easy to manipulate to create the kind of

effect I want.”

So who is the collection geared towards?

Smith has a ready answer: “There is no specific type of woman that

I design for. If you look at the Little Mermaid, Ariel, and her many sisters are

so different from each other. If I could, I would dress all the women in the



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