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August 29 2014

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A Boost From Bally

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“It’s rare that students get to present their designs in a venue like this, never mind getting to travel to Italy and work with creative directors of a large fashion company right on their turf,” Central Saint Martins professor Louise Wilson OBE said at the Bally and Central Saint Martins presentation at London’s Savoy Hotel earlier today. “I certainly never had that chance like that when I was a student.”

Props, then, to Bally, which is now in its third year of collaborating with Wilson’s CSM M.A. class. For the project, the brand selects two students to create a womenswear and menswear look, with a simple and admirable objective in mind—to nurture talent and to allow students the rare insight of what work life could be after graduation. Needless to say, this year’s students, Alice Bastin and Mei Lim Cooper (pictured), were chuffed to be there. “It was life-altering getting to work with the Bally creative directors (Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz)—seeing how a design is completed from A to Z,” Cooper told Style.com. And their brief? Well, let’s just say it was brief. They were both given a drawing to study, one women’s and one men’s shoe—and then charged with the task of creating a look, with the focus being on outerwear pieces this year. “It was great that the direction was so minimal because we got to use full creative license,” says Bastin, whose shoulder for her men’s jacket was almost an exact footprint, so to speak, of the toe of the shoe.

With Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, Louise Gray, and Mary Katrantzou as a few of her famous alumni, we just had to ask Wilson if she had an LFW favorite this season: “Well, I don’t like to pick and choose, but it has to be said that Louise Gray’s show was outstanding—she really went to another level of her career. If I was younger, I’d be wearing all that stuff. Well, maybe minus the mohawk.”

Photo: Courtesy of Bally

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