Central Saint Martins MA Fashion Designers light the way to escapism, 26.02.09
When it comes to fashion, London's Central Saint Martins College is in a world of its own. Forget practicality: fantasy's the name of the game. When this year's stellar MA Fashion Design cast aired it's wares on Friday, there was no shortage of imagination. Think wild structural shapes and vibrant colours, billowing silks and plenty of humour.
jotta caught up with five rising fashion stars in the wake of their catwalk shows to talk life, inspiration and future fashion.
Words by Imogen Eveson
Oden Wilson Winner of the L'Oreal Professionnel Fashion Design Award Design inspiration? Avant-garde proportion and geometrics along with sport and industrial wear. Do you feel the recession has affected your designs in anyway? The recession has given me a great excuse to escape the everyday downs the media have been firing at us, through my collection! It probably wouldn't be half as dramatic if it wasn't for the good old credit crunch! There's been questioning recently about the future of the catwalk in the traditional sense, do you haveany views on this? I still think it is one of the best ways to view clothing and create media hype but I am sure that will change in the future! Virtual shows perhaps, who knows? Downloading your garment purchase in a digital format and taking it to your local 3D printers to print your new jacket! Imagine!
Laura Mackness How are you feeling after the show? Dazed and tired What is your design inspiration? Elsa Schiaparelli and Franco Moschino for the sense of humour employed in their designs; Yves Saint Laurent whilst Yves was still at the helm, for its elegance and sophistication; the unexpectedness of Maison Martin Margiela; Raf Simons' work at Jil Sander for its graphic simplicity. There's been a lot of doubt over the future of the catwalk, do you have any views on this? I don't think that we could ever do without the catwalk and it would be a great shame to loose it. However saying this, catwalk presentations don't always suit everyone's collections and for that reason it is great that people are more open to different ways of presenting a collection now.
Katie Greenwood What first got you interested in fashion design? I think possibly I wanted to annoy my parents who would have liked me to become a lawyer. My favourite band was Elastica when I was about fifteen, and I saw a picture of Luella Bartley's first collection, graffiti jackets with Elastica scrawled all over them. I decided it looked like a fun job. Any highs and lows from studying at Saint Martins? Highs: When all the security guys on the door started greeting me by my full name every morning. I knew I'd been here too long! Lows: Louise (Wilson) describing me as a dagger in her heart! Soundtrack to your life right now? There's a guy called Jim Moray I'm listening to a lot at the moment - he reinterprets forgotten English folk songs using his iphone (honestly it's much better than it sounds!)
David Koma Congratulations on winning the Harrods Design Award. How do you feel after the show? Thank you very much! This award is an immense compliment, the positive feedback is really exciting, and it feels great to see my work being recognised. After graduation, what will your next steps be? For now, I see myself hopefully in London fashion week in September with my own label and show. Who would you like to see wearing your clothes? I usually imagine strong, sexual, confident woman wearing my clothes. For example - Daphne Guinness, Carine Roitfeld, Monica Bellucci.
Chary Westberg What was your inspiration behind the collection? I was initially set off by a make up ad from the 80s but this later lead me to American painter Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. I wanted the colour to stand out, so the clothes had to be very minimal like the canvases of Newman and Rothko, which is very difficult as it is tempting to put frills everywhere. Do you feel the recession has affected your designs in anyway? I don't think it has affected my design work at all. Inside Saint Martins you forget all those things. Fashion at our level should be pure fantasy so allowing one to escape -that is true luxury. Who would you like to see wear your clothes? Mia Farrow - Rosemary's Baby era.
Images from left to right - Laura Mackness catwalk, Laura Mackness illustrations, Katie Greenwood illustrations, Katie Greenwood catwalk, David Koma, Chary Westberg, Oden Wilson.