Bristol fashion designer Laura Wood, founder of independent label Laa Woof, is back, celebrating female empowerment with her new fashion collection Vulva La Revolution. It’s a powerful range of festival fashion and clubwear mixed with bondage styling – perfectly summing up Laura’s no-holds-barred attitude.
“I wanted this collection to represent strong independent women, getting over our struggles and overcoming them whilst being fierce,” explains Laura. “There was so much passion behind this collection. I really enjoyed seeing it all coming together.”
The launch of this exciting collection coincided with the run-up to International Women’s Day, with an all-female collaboration of designers, photographers and models involved. It’s a tough and provocative range that retains a fun edge. “There is such a big movement of empowering women at the moment, it really is amazing,” Laura says proudly. “I collaborated with an ethical bondage designer, Gee Martin from Broke Boutique in London, who creates her pieces from old tyres. I thought the bondage worked so well with the clothing, it was great working with an all-female team when it came to shoot day and it made my models feel even more in charge!”
The range consists of flattering bodysuits, sequin-encrusted dresses and bombers, kimonos with black mesh, Buffalo-style platform boots, bondage gear, faux-furs and fiery vulva-printed catsuits. The fiery orange garments contrast perfectly with the checkboard catsuits and tailored tartan trousers that move the collection away from bodycon, keeping things fresh for festival and clubwear lovers with just a nod to original punk designer Vivienne Westwood’s infamous bondage trousers.
“It’s been great working to the Vulva La Revolution theme,” Laura says. “I kept to a colour scheme and strong ideas, which I think, moving on, is how I want to design my collections.” When not working on her collections, Laura works in Bristol’s favourite shop, Fabric Land, as says that being surrounded by fabrics is a constant inspiration. “It has a big influence on what I create and what inspires me, as it’s usually the fabric that starts an idea.”
Laura proudly creates and designs all of the Laa Woof collections herself, from cutting the patterns and making the clothes, right through to designing her own prints. “I am a self-taught seamstress. I have been teaching myself for the past ten years and I am so happy to see my progression to where I am now.
“The flaming vulva print started out as a sketch whilst brainstorming, and evolved to a more ambiguous design. My boyfriend helped fine-tune it and turned it into a repeating pattern, and now the exclusive Laa Woof prints have been printed by an amazing small company in London called Contrado. The quality is amazing, and they offer so many fabrics to print on with an insanely fast turnaround. I highly recommend them!”
Laa Woof has been available to buy from Rex: The Concept Store in Cabot Circus since last summer, with Laura supplying her previous collections and one-off trial items at the store, leaving her latest collections as online exclusives. “It’s going really well at Rex. I keep them topped up with lots of sparkly party wear, and I try out and test new shapes in there. It’s good to see what sells well and what doesn’t,” says Laura. “Bristol fashion is so unique with so many cultures and music scenes, it really is a sizzling hot pot! With shops like That Thing and Rex: The Concept Store supporting local independents, it means even more amazing unique fashion is accessible to all.”
The whole Laa Woof package works: it’s a brand that knows what it wants – from fierce photoshoots, strong on-point styling to a joined-up social media presence. One recent video showcasing the latest collections featured a soundtrack of day-glo punk icon Poly Styrene from X-ray Spex shouting Oh Bondage Up Yours! alongside quotes from inspiring feminist and riot grrrl Kathleen Hannah’s Bikini Kill record Rebel Girl. There is a positive and strong female influence that will make any Laa Woof fashion devotee feel empowered.
With the brand going from strength to strength, the Vulva La Revolution collection is sure proof of a Bristol fashion designer that is going places creatively and politically, as an inspiration to young women and designers. “On International Women’s Day I got in touch with all my girlfriends to celebrate how amazing we all are,” Laura says. “It’s great to support and empower each other. I wore head to toe Vulva La Revolution!”
The Laa Woof Vulva La Revolution collection is available from Laa Woof’s etsy shop
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