Thursday, May 29, 2008

Central Saint Martin BA Press show, London, 27/05/08

Fashion graduate shows are always a love/hate subject for me. On the plus side you have a gang of fresh-faced fashion students, eager to show off their exciting collections. The down side is sometimes just that - their bubble of imagination, held back during their three-year BA course, have burst and the craziest, ugliest and most horrible creations emerge from that dingy Dalston basement studio it should have stayed in. But of course we have to give them the pleasure of exploring colours, shape and sanity. After all, they pay way too much (£9,000 a year if you’re unfortunate enough to be an international student) to attend art college, in this case, the renowned Central Saint Martins.

But remember that a certain degree of imaginative costumes are needed to attract attention and to, hopefully, land a job. The competition is fierce, thousands of fashion students graduate each year in London alone. Pupils who put their money and time in to carefully crafting their pieces to perfection might suffer since this cannot be seen on the catwalk.

Hannna Sager Forsberg

Still, I would argue, they should maybe cool down their exaltation, which, admittedly, some might have done when CSM had their annual press show in Bethnal Green’s Town Hall. Exactly 40 students had been selected from the third year women’s, men’s and knitwear courses. That is quite a few, I’ll tell you. Each designer show off about six outfits, which they have spent the bigger part of spring to ponder over, design, stitch, rethink, sew and fit. An impressive job indeed, and an expensive one as well - many students spend up to £5,000 on their final collections.

Hanna Sager Forsberg

This year’s highlights included two Swedes. Hanna Sager-Forsberg and Emma Hedlund’s collection differed in many ways but both maintained an elegant colour spectre. Sager Forsberg’s shades were maybe the braver ones, with orange turtlenecks as scarf’s and a beautiful plum coloured blouse (possibly her best piece). A darker shade of plum also featured on a velvet and mesh patchwork coat. True to her fondness for masculine shapes, Sager Forsberg had designed shorts in a slacks style and often opted for over sized garments, such as her flowing white t-shirts and formal blazers. A reoccurring abstract print in grey and white came out as both tops and trousers. Her skirts were cut up and demanded trousers underneath. As the slashed creations swung on the catwalk, they reinforced the feeling of flowing elegance.

Emma Hedlund

Hedlund went for a more futuristic look, predominately in white, silver, grey and black. She used hard and rectangular shoulders, which totally reshaped her designs. Wearing excitingly weird hats, some of them attached to the model’s top, Hedlund sent out her sexy Air Stewardess from cyber space. High-waisted skirts, cropped trousers and others with panelling made for interesting leg watching and the goggles perfectly fitted into her look, but it was her jackets with extreme shoulders that made most spectators cast another eye. Exquisite indeed.

Emma Hedlund

From Korea I give you Katy Yookyong-Chung. Her collection focused on gold, black and grey. It was mystique personified and clearly showed off Chung’s Asian influences. Also here we saw sharp, over-sized, Margiela-esque shoulders. All her models had black lipstick and Ipso Facto bobs. It featured an impressive mish-mash of fabrics – everything from silk, cashmere and feathers. Super stylist and Androgyny Magazine’s Creative Director Andrej Skok tastefully put the collection together.

Katy Yookyong-Chung

In other news, Charlotte Taylor went all navy blue on us with a fantastic mixture of sleek and body hugging outfits, which all featured red and yellow lines. And Alice Kirkpatrick continued in Hedlund’s footstep, launching a streamlined and futuristic line, mostly in black, red and olive green.

As always, the menswear designers found it difficult to come up with new shapes and most kept to trench coats, cropped blazers and biker jackets, teamed up with skinny trousers. Quite a few also went for the hiking/lonely cowboy/surviving-in-the-wilderness look. Andreas Svensson’s street version of that was probably the better one. But still, leave the sleeping bag, lantern and binoculars at home next time!

Felipe Rojas-Llanos

Perhaps the best menswear collection came from Felipe Rojas-Llanos (Swedish again. What do they do to their kids? Feed them minimalistic soup and monochrome bread as toddlers?). He had crafted formal outfits, mostly in black with patent leather details popping up everywhere. As accentuate colours, Felipe showed off yellow, red and lilac socks under his cropped trousers. 

Well done everyone, see you at next years show


Anonymous said...

I love Katy Yookyong-Chung's work.

CSM is just overrated. You pay so much to learn to work by yourself, all alone.

I just hope that this school will be old fashioned in the years to come...

Anonymous said...

I am meant to go back to csm this year to graduate. I am dreading the thought as my first two years for me was torture. CSM is just a brand a money making machine and they are lucky enough to develop a system which means they don't have to teach. I agree with the girl that u are totally isolated at csm and that it is highly overated!!!

***!!!????? said...

uninspired teachers, horrible facilities, over priced, ... the list goes on... (BA FASHION)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others. As a student at CSM in fashion, I can weigh in on the fact that you spend most of your time working alone, teaching yourself, with little or no guidance from your tutors. They pick their favourites and the rest of us are screwed.

I had high hopes for this place, but now I am not so sure I want to finish my degree at CSM. The name looks good on the CV but many designers don't seem to want students from CSM...

At least there were a few beautiful creations at the press show. That was comforting. But I am tempted to say that students at CSM learn DESPITE CSM, not because of it.

Anonymous said...

hahaha yah, I think they have been banking on their name for far too long and need a good hard kick to get themselves back in line.