38 posts tagged "Central Saint Martins"
Less than two years after graduation from Central Saint Martins, London-based design duo Kim Trager (the bearded, Danish one) and Lowell Delaney (the statuesque British blonde) are embarking on a third season. And they’re armed with a few pieces that seem set to become house classics. Not bad for a partnership that began when they both landed in the knitwear department “by default.” “It’s not what either one of us ever wanted to do; we hated the idea,” recalls Delaney. “Now, we know that it’s a way of creating fabric, which is the best thing ever. You have total control. Actually, you have to be a little insane.”
Considering the up-and-comers are already stocked at Joseph and Matchesfashion.com, insanity seems to be working for them. And true to form, this season’s storyline is a little nutty. Trager Delaney’s heroine shuttles from the Black Forest in Germany to orphan-hood, convent school, rebellion, and misadventure in the seamier side of Hollywood, until she finds redemption in the arms of a handsome, older prince and the high-gloss world of artists, thinkers, and material comfort. It bears hearing out, though, because on the rack, the narrative becomes beautifully uncomplicated. Highlights include a white bomber jacket in laser-cut, woven suede, halter dresses with velvet trim, rebooted cargo pants, roomy silk shirts with slit backs that allow them to be worn tucked or un- and tied in front, and a black jacket with a custom baroque print. This piece, upon closer inspection, reveals key elements from our Spring femme’s life, right down to a goat and an Adonis on a raft. And the teal bomber? “That’s our Tom Cruise,” says Delaney. “Beautiful but a little spooky.”
Huishan Zhang might have graduated from Central Saint Martins only three years ago, but the 30-year-old designer has already made a lasting impression. Currently gearing up for his third season at London fashion week, Zhang, a native of Mainland China’s Qingdao, has proven his capacity to innovate and produce quality garments—and he’s followed up with commercial viability and high sell-through rates at retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Browns, and Harvey Nichols. In addition to being short-listed for the coveted Dorchester Fashion Prize last month, Zhang is also the first contemporary Mainland Chinese designer whose work has been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. And his achievements have propelled him into the fashion limelight, making him a promising talent who bridges the divide between East and West.
For Spring 2014, Zhang will showcase a thoughtful hybrid of couture-like influences (the manipulation of fabric from Madeleine Vionnet and Madame Grès’ sculptural fashions) with the traditions of ancient Chinese mathematics. “There’s been a lot of brain work this season!” exclaims Zhang, who’s given us an exclusive sneak peek at his forthcoming collection. “Haute couture and Chinese arithmetic are both very precise, sharing a type of perfection.” Specifically, Zhang will feature smocking grids and trigonometric shapes that mold to the female form. He was also inspired by Man Ray’s double-exposure technique and penchant for surrealism.
The signature struts of today’s catwalkers, such as Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss, can be traced back to the early twentieth century, when the shift toward movement and modernity produced a desire to see clothes in motion. Staged in the U.S. and France, these first fashion shows were—as Caroline Evans posits in her new book, The Mechanical Smile—”a nodal point” for the convergence of everything from visual art and cinema to international trade and women’s liberation. “This shift occurs in the same period as cinema, so you have lots of moving devices, and people were particularly fascinated by the technology,” Evans, a professor of fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, told Style.com from London. “Collectively, it contributed to a sense of modernity and a sense of speed and acceleration.”
Though not the first designer to use live models, Charles Frederick Worth was, in the nineteenth century, among the earliest dressmakers to account for movement in his creations. And later, Lady Duff-Gordon and the House of Lucile, as well as Paul Poiret, among others, helped foster the early twentieth-century rise of the fashion show. In time, models replaced the practice of using dolls to sell clothes. “The most pioneering designers were all excellent sales promoters,” Evans said. “Fashion is an industry. It’s a creative industry, but there’s no reason why you can’t sell creativity.”
In gritty 1980s London, John Galliano was wrapping up his studies at Central Saint Martins, Leigh Bowery was hosting pansexual club nights, and Nick Logan launched The Face. It was a time of unencumbered experimentation—sartorial and otherwise. And it was during this era that stylist Ray Petri—the man responsible for the anti-glam Buffalo movement—emerged on the scene. Petri (formerly Petrie) laid the bricks for the eclectic British fashion scene of today. His editorials, which set the tone in magazines such as Arena, i-D, and the above-mentioned The Face, pictured rough London teens in unexpected combinations of high fashion, tough workwear, athletic clothes, underwear, vintage, and beyond. He created not only a look but an ideology that was universally recognizable. And now, the iconoclast—who died of AIDS in 1989—is getting a magazine named after him.
Founded by Zadrian Smith—a London-based writer, stylist, and producer who’s worked with such publications as Tank, Love, GQ Style and British Vogue—PETRI(E) Inventory 65 (the stylist would have turned 65 this year—published annually, the numbers will bump up accordingly) seeks to breathe new life into Petri’s legacy. Aiming to channel the man’s uncompromising, unfiltered vision, PETRI(E)’s editorial array extends far beyond fashion. The debut issue offers an ode to Petri by British Vogue’s Francesca Burns, a photo essay by Saiful Huq Omi that lenses the hope and strife within Bangladesh megalopolis, Dhaka (above), and an essay by Valerie Steele on her upcoming exhibition, Queer History. “I think there’s a vulnerability and honesty to each piece that I hope readers will appreciate,” Smith told Style.com. Also included is an editorial titled “Melody of Caged Birds,” (above, right) which, featuring Meadham Kirchhoff’s designs, serves as a visual antidote to the suppression of raw creative impulse. “Don’t get me wrong,” said Smith, “I know fashion is a business, but there needs to be a greater balance of business and creativity. At this rate, fashion will bleed itself of organic artistry.”
PETRI(E) Inventory 65 launches on May 20, and is available for preorder here.
Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Riccardo Tisci, Christopher Kane—Central Saint Martins College has no shortage of iconic alumni. And it’s not hurting for fresh talent, either. Students in the undergraduate and masters programs have once again broken new ground with the release of 1 Granary, a student fashion magazine, named for the address of the school’s new King’s Cross campus at 1 Granary Square. “We were just having fun, doing what we loved,” explained the student editor and founder, Olya Kuryshchuk (she also styled the below shoot, “Going Sublime,” which was lensed by photographer Nikolay Biryukov), of the magazine’s origins. “Gradually, we realized that we had created a great opportunity—that we could meet the people who truly inspire us and show our own work in the process.”
The issue features interviews with CSM alums such as Kate Phelan, as well as some very rare archival images—the first official image of Alexander McQueen, which was shot by his friend and current CSM tutor Gary Wallis, Katie Grand’s first-ever photo shoot from when she was a second-year knitting student at the school (lensed by Wallis, the spread debuts here, above). “For the shoot, Katie and Gary Wallis drove all evening, shot all night in an old marked-off factory, and were back in time for class the next morning,” explained Kuryshchuk. And of course, 1 Granary highlights work by current students and recent graduates, with editorials showcasing brightly-printed sustainable tunics crafted by students during a group project, and some almost cartoonishly clever architectural pieces from 2011 graduate Jaeyeon Lee. Continue Reading “CSM Does It Again” »