London Fashion Week: New Talents from CSM

As every other year, during London Fashion Week, the Central Saint Martins graduate show represents the future of fashion. This year, the whole impression of the show was promising, but there are certainly four designers that stood out a bit in the young CSM niche.

Hayley Grundmann showed exceptional technical knowledge when sending her graduation collection down the runway. By combining voluminous, knitted material with sleek and more anonymous fabrics, she created interesting silhouettes and shapes, that expresses the postmodern idea of combining different and unexpected influences into something new. Pieces like the grey sweatshirt with knitted details became a great reflection of this peculiar desire to be both included and stand out, all packaged within a beautiful collection.

Paul Thomson seemed to be influenced by the same ideas as Grundmann, since the mix of materials played an important role in his collection, as well. Instead of focusing on playing with different shapes, Thomson has mainly used the knitted fabrics as details to create patterns, play with finishes and draw attention to clean cuts. The result is a collection that feels both luxurious – with the sober color scheme and in the choice of fabrics – and in the same time cozy, thanks to the knitted fabrics. This impression is strengthened by the styling which is topped with grey knitted socks.

Catriona Mcauley-Boyle’s collection is colourful and experimental: it is obvious that she is not afraid of exploring or realising her design visions and that she does it without compromising. It is a refreshing collection that feels optimistic both in the amount of colour, combinations of patterns and the execution. We look forward to seeing what McAuley will be doing next.

Beth Postle has drawn clear references to the art world in her graduation collection. The abstract patterns and the clean cuts are two elements repeated systematically throughout the collection. The art influences, nevertheless, do not feeling dated. Instead, Postle has taken them and transformed into contemporary mood, while, at the same time, adding her style to it. These are two aspects that we are interesting in seeing developed in her future designs.

Hanna Cronsjö 
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European Fashion Schools: Central Saint Martins

We’re back in London and back at the University of Arts, but this time we’re heading into the world of Central Saint Martins. CSM, the initials breathe talent and creativity, they breathe design, fame and innovation. The Blogazine has previously looked at its talents and the work executed by its students, but more than heavy names on its list of graduates, is Central Saint Martins the answer to the question asked by themselves too: What’s the point of art school?

The question is interesting, when coming from an art school itself. Central Saint Martins brought up the discussion in a moment when art and design education have been facing a hard time, and by that CSM communicates that the need to deliver a clear answer to what art, fashion or design education actually brings to the students, society and industry, is greater than ever. They highlight the point that fashion – or art – education is becoming more exclusive but less diverse. So how does a school like Central Saint Martins, famous for not being only exclusive and of high quality, but a school that graduates talent, after talent, after talent, create a diversity different from the competitors?

At Central Saint Martins everything is gathered under one roof: art, product and industrial design, drama and performance, fashion, textile and jewelry design, graphic communication and all the other courses on all levels that fit into the culture of CSM. According to the school itself, their approach to art and education is curious and may result in a challenging, but never dull, journey. Without saying that boundaries were made to be broken, in the world of Central Saint Martins they were at least made to be explored. The courses at the school, located in the midst of London’s bursting creative scene, have a strong connection to the actual practice of the industry. The approach of the teachers, which often seems to take colour on the students, is forward-looking and always on the edge, bringing the school to be one of the ones always standing in the forefront of the discussion.

Like for any school that seems to be able to produce great talent, it’s hard to pinpoint how, what, and why they succeed. Maybe it’s the approach, maybe it’s the experience, maybe, and most probably, it’s the combination of a certain structure and vision created by the school. An approach that dares to ask if art school is necessary, an approach that encourages people to be brave and to do what they love.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins 
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PITTI 84: European Fashion Schools United

Lately The Blogazine has been busy in the world of fashion schools around Europe: in our special series, three out of six chosen schools have already been featured, with the remaining three coming up in the following month. Educational institutes are an important corner stone of the fashion industry and together with the Marzotto Group, the contribution of Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale and Bonaveri, Pitti Immagine is promoting a special project connecting three important schools together: Central Saint Martins, IUAV and the Florentine Polimoda.

Linen Yarn is the special project and exhibition put together by some of the most promising students from the three schools. Each school has been able to translate their universe and take on the linen yarn into a small collection shown in a common space during Pitti Uomo 84: menswear design with a dedication to linen, to promote a new and creative attitude to the fabric. The students from CSM brought the Englishness to Florence and presented a deconstructed and casual male silhouette inspired by the British heritage while the IUAV students present linen as an elegant option, playing with the codes of men’s evening wear. Polimoda – who more than being present at la Fortezza has also been busy with its own fashion week over at Villa Favard – showed linen inspired by the various ethnicities of Europe: volumes and forms were accompanied by prints and decorations.

Pitti Immagine has since 1972 been an important platform for men’s clothing and accessories as well as the fair and events around it are famous for being the place where many new menswear projects have been launched: for many young designers, Pitti is a starting point to something larger – a springboard, or stepping stone, to the world outside the atelier.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Image courtesy of Pitti Immagine 
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1 Granary – By Students For Students

Central Saint Martins students have recently released their last project: the printed version of the online platform
1 Granary. Just over one year after the launch of the blog, they decided to turn it into a real tangible edition by creating a collectors’ magazine with a limited circulation of one thousand printed issues.

Over the last years we have seen several annual and bi-annular magazines taking their place in the newsstands, but what makes 1 Granary magazine different from other similar publications is that it is completely composed by the school’s graduates as well as the freshmen. The project that started in 2011 got its name from the place where all courses of the school had been reunited in a single venue: 1 Granary Square, London.

The idea of using the school’s address as the name of the magazine aims to extend the location where the students can share ideas and projects without feeling pressured or fearing to be misunderstood. The magazine wants to become a foothold for all Central Saint Martins students, helping them to grow in a familiar and open reality, while experimenting with various paths. Olya Kuryshchuk, editor-in-chief and BA scholar, seeks to create a source of inspiration by students for students, but more than that, the magazine can also be a way of opening the doors to a wider public, showing insights of the everyday life and work of CSM.

The magazine’s two hundred pages are filled with photography, art and everything related to the subjects of the studied courses. Emerging talents are featured alongside the well-known names, and content such as an interview with the Sex Pistols guitarist Glen Matlock, a tale about John Galliano’s early school years and a fashion editorial styled by Katie Grand, Love Magazine editor. By bringing something digital to a printed form, uniting the two platforms, 1 Granary also forms a new creative wave with insiders under the same cover, both attempting to push a fresh growing generation into the fashion field.

Francesca Crippa 
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Central Saint Martins Goes Ascetic: Fall 2013

Central Saint Martins Goes Ascetic: Fall 2013

You cannot talk about Central Saint Martins without thinking of the big names that came out from there, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen just to mention a few. It may be for this reason that, once a year, the eye of the fashion system turns around to have a look at promised famous-to-be fashion designers’ final presentations. On the 15th of February there had their last show and it seemed that this time an ascetic, almost religious inspiration struck most of the MA students’ minds.

Eilish Macintosh, with her first group, is definitely part of it, choosing long black tunics decorated only by long ropes; she is also the winner of L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award 2013. Similar path has been followed by Nicomede Talavera, who has shown a minimal approach covering his man with togas, characterized by simple cutting and alternating black and white. Marie Rydland took analogous choices, but she made her vests more feminine adding different print-colored fabrics to the main white one.

While Hwan Sung Park’s man is undoubtedly closer to heaven than to earth, all dressed up in white and covered with a full-body light lace, Hampus Berggren presents, instead, a kind of a dark warrior. They could appear as antagonists of each other.

Last but not least, Sadie Williams can be included in this ascetic field, considering the long, quite large shapes she worked with, presenting themselves in an imposing-severe way, downplayed thanks to shiny glittery robes. We are all curious to see what the future of these young fashion talents will bring, and certainly keeping an eye on their careers.

Francesca Crippa

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