Langan has been generating quite a buzz for her stylish and innovative work.
Hailing from Rathfarnham, Orla Langan’s fashion origin story is rather straightforward: she reconfigured a pair of classic jeans.
“From a very early age, I had a fascination with denim,” she reflects. “It probably dates back to when I was about 10-years-old and I got my first pair of Levi’s – they were flared and high-waisted. After a week of non-stop wearing, my trendy world came to a crushing end when my friend – also 10-years-old – told me that my flared look was dated and dull. The drainpipe jean is in and I needed to ‘catch up with the trends’, she said. I started to then deconstruct and cut up those jeans, before up-cycling them into a skirt – and so began my love affair with denim and fashion. Denim always stands the test of time with its versatility and appeal – I believe it will always be a staple of people’s wardrobes.”
Langan studied fashion design at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, and 10 years also got a MA in Multi Media Systems at Trinity College Dublin. The latter, she notes, was also informed by her interest in design and fashion: “I have always had a fascination with moving imagery and wearable technology.”
Having got up and running in her career, Langan went on to design for brands like Fila, Lee jeans and Puma. She was also a trend analyst WGSN, a world leader in consumer and trend forecasting.
Langan makes sure her work is always future-forward, merging fashion with technology and progressive techniques.
“I have just started consulting this year with a Dublin start-up, Think Biosolution,” she notes, “who have developed a new technology that turns sports apparel into wellness trainers. I will be designing and prototyping apparel products that will host their QuasaR sensor.”
In terms of influences, Langan’s unique vision draws on many diverse elements.
“I get inspiration from a lot of different sources,” she nods. “It depends on what collection I am creating. I particularly look at technical sportswear, multi-media, graphic art, music videos and series or films based around an era such as the ’80s. Right now, I love designer Peter Judson and artist Daniel Rich, and I also like the Korean designer Cres. E Dim. I’m obsessed with wearable technology and smart textiles. So I’m introducing some soft tech for SS18 by using reflective fabrics.”
Don’t be intimidated by Langan’s embrace of technology – her designs are also effortless, cool, contemporary and wearable. Her gorgeous upcoming collection features faded pastel denim colours with clashing contrasts, while music and fitness enthusiasts will also love her designs.
“I try to use sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics where possible,” says Langan. “I will be introducing more organic denim this season. Taking inspiration from the ’90s and Christine and the Queens’ ‘Tilted’ performance, I’ll be making clean lines and more structured and tailored garments. I cycle a lot too so, I’m introducing some reflective, colour-block design clothing, for a more seamless transition from day to night without compromising style. I’ll continue with a high-waisted culotte with panels, and my shorter cropped graphic sweaters with kimono sleeves were popular, so my customers can expect more of those with a new twist. I’ll also continue my coatigan style with more panelling.”
Orla Langan’s designs can be bought in Om Diva and the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre; on fashionofireland.ie; and via her own website, orlalangan.com