Central Saint Martins BA 2012 Degree Show

by All Things Dark And Beautiful

Oliver Ward BA (Hons) Fashion Womenswear

Last night I was lucky enough to be sat front row at the first Central Saint Martins BA (Hons) Graduate show at the new CSM King’s Cross building. Also in attendance was the ‘Fashionable Auntie’ Suzy Menkes, Vogue’s effortlessly beautiful Francesca Burns and alumni Gareth Pugh and Stephen Jones.

Aisling Farrell BA (Hons) Fashion Womenswear, Isabella Newell BA (Hons) Fashion Womenswear


The quality and standard of the designs was incredible. The way in which different fabrics, prints and elements were put together was astounding. From knitwear designers through to design and marketing students, the attention to detail was stunning.

Witty, tongue-in-cheek collections kept the hour and a half show light-hearted with collections inspired by jolly gardeners’ workwear, elaborate human sized ornate Chinese vases, and even an entire collection obviously inspired by Arsenal FC.

Although the garments were the main focus, the way they were styled and presented were also very integral to the whole presentation. Shoes were customised with crystals and foam, and even the tradition fashion faux pas of socks and sandals made an appearance.

Hair and make up was simple and elegant for all shows with some Collections applying their own styling, my favourite including a contemporary take on the 18th Century powdered inward hair roll.

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My favourite looks from the whole presentation

  • Aisling Farrell– I loved this collection. With feathers and polythene balls trapped in plastic it created silhouettes which both had structure and movement at the same time. The balls would congregate in the corners where the plastic had been stitched together therefore creating different densities all over the garments.
  • Alan Lee– Forever a big fan of beautiful draping and contouring in minimalistic ways that flatter and celebrate the shape of the body, this collection was perfect and very commercial. Could have sold in stores immediately.
  • Anita Hirlekar– A very talented print designer who was able to emphasise the shadows of the mixed fabrics that the pattern was synthesised with.
  • Caroline Minar– A simple idea used very successfully. Geometric laser cut patterns were created and used on areas of  garments that flattered the waist.
  • Isabella Newell– Obviously a Gooner; the collection illustrated a new take on sportswear shapes, even highlighted with a pearly mesh Arsenal logo.
  • Lucas Leclere– The edgy Marie Antoinette; a collection I definitely have on my wishlist. Tailored jackets with traditional silhouettes and 21st Century prints, an ideal juxtaposition.
  • Luke Stevens– Spot on styling; the sheepskin coat with black paint.
  • Oliver Ward– LVMH sponsored student who produced absolutely breathtaking dresses. The whole room was in awe; the craftsmanship was obvious, the techniques inspirational; a truly truly remarkable collection.
  • Sarah SimkinsWorkwear I would like to own. pin-stripe and crisp white fabrics over stiff chest pieces created interesting silhouettes with unique shapes. Styling also bang on.

 These students are the designers of the future. and with brands such as Jenny Peckham, Swarovski and LVMH sponsoring five students between them, it is refreshing to see top end luxury brands recognising this and nurturing these young talents with their debut shows within the industry.

Read about the  L’Oreal Professional Young Design Talent Award winners here