Fashion designer Laura Dawson makes her homecoming Monday as she shows her collection in Cincinnati Fashion Week (CFW) for the second year. A graduate of The University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), Dawson went on to New York to work for Donna Karan, style/design for Moby, The Brazilian Girls, Yelle and The Scissor Sisters and even appeared on Bravo's The Fashion Show. She founded her line of women's clothing in 2003 and has worked out of London since 2009.
Dawson has designed a new collection to be shown at CFW, featuring Fall/Winter 2011 apparel but will also show some colorfully playful Spring/Summer pieces for those who just can't wait to the weather to cool down again.
Her fall collection was inspired by Robert Harris' novel Enigma, set in World War II England. Dawson based her collection on two characters: popular, bubbly Claire Romilly and serious, sensible Hester Wallace.
"Claire was the girl-about-town before the war," Dawson explains, "and has managed to cling on to several luxe, glam pieces such as a calf-length Italian napped-wool driving coat and no small amount of jewel-toned silks."
"Items representing Hester's wardrobe are exposed zippers of best German quality, slim-fitted rain-proof parkas and huge, nubbly, hand-knitted alpaca cardigans," Dawson continues.
"Hester gets a few silk dresses as well, but in more serious and determined silk twill. Not as flashy as Claire's shiny silk satins," she says.
Dawson's line will hit the runway during May 14's Fashion Finale at The Edge (310 Culvert Ave., Downtown). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Eager fashionistas will get a few opportunities to view and buy Dawson's collection as DAAP hosts a pop-up shop on the 6th floor Tuesday, and The Brush Factory (3229 Madison Road, Oakley) opens a merchant fair-style sale 3-5 p.m. Sunday. Shoppers will be able to buy Dawson's current line and be some of the first to pre-order the Fall/Winter 2011 collection.
"Cincinnati is a lovely, livable city," Dawson says. "I'm more than happy to return to the city to show there, particularly with the way that [founder Nathan Hurst] has engineered Cincinnati Fashion Week to tie-in to fashion fans directly."
"I think it may well be the next step for fashion shows," she says.
Go here to read more about CFW and Laura Dawson.