Bright Young Things
Everyone knows that Central St Martins is home to some of fashion’s next biggest names. Judged by some of the industry’s most revered, including Susanah Frankel, Grace Wales Bonner, Yesmin O’Brian (from L’Oreal), Lutz Huelle and the Director of the Fashion programme Willie Walters (who is about to end his tenure), the 41 collections that were shown were a mix of womenswear, menswear, knitwear and print, with every technique, skill and fabric being explored and experimented with to create collections of wearable art. Commencing with an installation by Chiara Tommencioni Pisapia, the collections were an exploration of globalisation, art, mixed cultures and political events (Phillip Ellis’ sleeves were a literal representation of his thoughts on the Brexit). No two collections were alike, but all were equally as mesmerising.
Bigger Is Better
The bigger the garment, the bigger the impact, right? At CSM, the BA students adapted traditional shapes and warped them, blew them up to enormous proportions and elongated them to the floor. Soyeon Chang’s menswear collection showed a boxy black jacket and oversized camel coat, whilst Aimee Stroud took ‘bigger’ to a whole other level by attaching works of art to her garments, creating dreamlike visions. Grace Lant wrapped her models up in layers upon layers of knitted icy greys like they were off to explore the Antarctic, and Liam Johnson inflated jackets to engulfing sizes, using cream and purple swirls and patterns on top of the voluminous coats that were wider than they were longer.
This year’s BA graduates had a penchant for the see-through. Polyester mesh, wire, lace and paper were utilised by Sergiy Grechyshkin in fuschia, white, midnight blue and ice grey, while other students adapted mesh crochet and plastic bags to create intricately designed sheer layers to play nipple peek-a-boo. Among the best was Jaeeun Shin, who created a bright red lace turtleneck offset by surreal sleeves, weighed down by balls trapped inside them that brushed along the catwalk. Essie Buckman paired fishnet tights together with a corset as Carmen Chan adopted one thigh-high blue and white sheer sock and covered the rest of the model’s body with stickers. CSM showed some skin.