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London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Womenswear Preview: On|Off

In our third London Fashion Week preview, Lauren Smith takes a look at the designers showing at On|Off - the showcase that combines on and off schedule designers, featuring Pam Hogg, Aminaka Wilmont, Bryce Aime, Julian J Smith and Roksanda Illincic…

Written by Lauren Smith

Aminaka Wilmont A/W 2010, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

London Fashion Week is renowned for showcasing up and coming design talent – and nowhere is more uniquely ‘London’ than On|Off. Now in it’s twelfth season, this is an independent fashion showcase away from the major players at Somerset House.

Helping launch the careers of off-schedule designers like Mark Fast, the On|Off Presents…  catwalk show is a go-to for international press and buyers looking for the next big thing.

The main exhibition has expanded to a mammoth 22 designers, with fourteen catwalk shows and three presentations, and has attracted exciting on-schedule talent like Gareth Pugh and Jasper Conran, looking for a ‘freer’ space to showcase their work. So who can we look forward to this year? Here’s our pick of the ones to watch…

Roksanda Ilincic

A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

After the massive success of her catwalk show last season, Roksanda Ilincic returns to show at On|Off. With three capsule collections with high-end high street chain Whistles under her belt, the London-born designer is most famous for her beautifully draped dresses in jewel tones. Roksanda loves to dress up, and her signature looks are dreamy flowing dresses in asymmetrical lengths, toughened up with exposed zips and raw hems. Her AW 2010 show, inspired by “Dark clouds, metal flowers and the Brontë sisters” was as romantic as ever – with draped dresses in jersey and rich plum tones.

Bryce Aime

A/W 2010, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Adding some French flair to proceedings will be Bryce Aime, a Parisian born designer who honed his craft in London and opened his first store in Chelsea in November 2009. With an emphasis on modern, architectural design, A/W 2010 was a futuristic affair, with lots of clean lines, and black sculpted pieces paired with abstract prints – manipulated into headbands and skintight leggings. But for S/S 2011 it sounds like Bryce is looking east, with the “Beijing opera, Kabuki and the modern Far East Asia” as inspirations.  

Pam Hogg

A/W 2010, illustrated by Stéphanie Thieullent

Pam Hogg is best known for her skintight cat suits (and with The Runaways just out, they would be just perfect) so expect a collection of rebellious body conscious looks from this designer with attitude. This woman knows how to dress the female form, and her A/W 2010 collection saw models parade around in sheer capelets, bodystockings and thigh high boots. One thing’s for sure, Hogg sure can fill a front row – Peaches Geldof, Jodie Harsh and Nick Cave were just some of the turnouts last season.  

Aminaka Wilmont

A/W 2010, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Japanese/Swedish/Danish duo Aminaka Wilmont are also a dab hand at draping – their last collection was a riot of ruched dresses in mini and maxi lengths, with some feminine florals and futuristic headwear thrown in for good measure. This season we can look forward to a collection inspired by “Sleep psyche and surrealism”, with the designers testing “new shapes and silhouettes…more intricate fabric manipulations… and an emphasis on couture hand-embroidery.”

Julian J Smith

A/W 2010, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Our one to watch is new label Julian J Smith. After stints working with Erdem and Jonathan Saunders, this designer is “obsessed” with print and pattern, contrast and colour, creating vibrant dresses that have been snapped up by Victoria Beckham and Olivia Palermo. True to form, our favourites from his A/W 2010 collection were the modern dresses – skater skirts, mini shifts – in a blown up ikat print in mustard and cornflower blue. We’re excited about this ‘Prints Charming’ already… 


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