The world-renowned Central Saint Martins MA course has produced an astounding number of top designers, from the late Alexander McQueen and Ashish, to Mary Katrantzhou and Simone Rocha. Several CSM grads also work daily behind the scenes as genius design directors for mega-brands like Prada, Balenciaga, Chanel, Céline, Dior, Versace… you get the idea. Hence for the talented young designers selected to exhibit their work on this prestigious platform, this is nothing short of a dream come true, placing them instantly among the industry’s best.
Below we’ve highlighted a few our favorites from this year’s crop of immensely gifted CSM grads.
The CSM show debuted with a mind-blowing, frenetic sculptural collection by Matty Bovan. I happen to know Matty personally and can personally testify that this collection is just so Matty. Fun, sparkly, feminine and friendly, it demonstrates his brilliant knack for combining the most unexpected of pop elements in a way that ironically feels totally unfettered by mainstream pop culture. This is because Matty’s creative mind is genuinely uninhibited and free-thinking. It’s almost as if he has found a way to hold onto that overactive imagination we all had as children, while somehow managing to refine and express it with meticulous sophistication and highly technical construction. Bravo, Matty! You’ve done us proud.
Just as an FYI, as of AW ’15, knitting with wool alone is for basic bitches. Hayley Grundmann proves that when properly executed, the “Derelict” look à la Zoolander can actually work. Among the tremendously diverse and unusual materials Grundmann chose to incorporate into her collection of highly original knitwear were foam, felt, and (as you might have guessed) garbage bags. Literally.
Despite her challenging “textiles,” Grundmann nonetheless also nails her proportions. Creating an array of attractive oversized shapes with an elegant, deteriorating/decaying aesthetic that recalls the work of Rei Kawakubo and COMME des GARÇONS.
If you’re detecting vague comic book and/or Roy Lichtenstein vibes, you’re not too far off. For this collection of hand cut PVC pieces, Postle cites the thick black squiggles and freeform color blocking technique of 20th century French painter, Jean Dubuffet, as her inspiration. Better known as the father of the “Art Brut” movement, Dubuffet rejected the idea that art should be constrained by any intellectual concerns whatsoever.
Here, Postle embraces Dubuffet’s principles not only in terms of pattern and color, but also in her fearless exploration of form and shape. Silhouettes varied widely from classic cult leader style smocks to experimental tops so wide they’d make even the boxiest of Céline tops look relatively normal. Postle moves us beyond mere androgynous territory, taking fashion places there aren’t even names for yet.