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@thats_so_csm

The Central Saint Martins style spy capturing the students’ wildest looks

From elf ears and face paint, to full-on Marie Antoinette ensembles, @thats_so_csm is the IG documenting the prestigious school’s avant-garde crowd

“I am still wondering if we are at Saint Martins because we are like this, or we are like this because we are at Saint Martins,” the anonymous style-spy behind the snooper account @thats_so_csm explains. By ‘like this’ they are talking about a certain eccentricity, a special something CSM students have, given  it’s a place where “it’s totally fine when you come to class with a pink face.”

Scrolling through the grid you’ll find what is commonly referred to as a mood, whether it’s fairy-inspired queers with elf ears or a girl dressed as Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette off to Wednesday morning lectures. “CSM is a special place,” the on-campus spy continues, “and I really want share that with the outside world, and de-mystify the institution. We are certainly the creative leaders of the future, but at the end of the day we are also just confused kids figuring out life.”

It’s a sweet sentiment. The school is one of the few safe spaces to cater for those experimenting with wild clothing, both on the pattern cutting table and on their bodies, and the account offers a glimpse at what the world could be like if people weren’t so afraid to go the extra mile, and transgress what might be seen as ‘appropriate clothing’. Normcore? Hell no: @thats_so_csm has no interest in that.

“There is no perfect look for me, but I like to keep my pictures simple and candid,” they explain of what makes a perfect subject. “Generally, I’m looking for something eccentric and extra that takes courage and attitude to wear. Also, I like to play around with the idea of us artsy kids. It is as cliché as it is true. My biggest muse will always be Harrie Bradshaw. He is sparkling, he has attitude and CSM was his runway. I am very devastated that he graduated this summer. Miss you, Harry!”

Although it might seem like the account is purely taking the piss, its owner says that it’s essentially a love letter to what the students of CSM offer the world. “It’s a celebration of the people. The school is breathing creativity and exhaling it. The people I feature, they remind me every day of the magic that happens in our school. However, the account is also a reflection on our school and its detachedness from the real world. CSM is prestigious and an amazing place for all those crazy creative minds. At the same time, it is a circus bubble – we are used to it, but when you go and show the account to the banker next door, she will be very very confused.”

And unlike many accounts it’s not necessarily for personal promotion: “I really try to be as discreet as possible in the sense that I’d rather zoom in 10 times than risk being caught. I feel like a spy sometimes. It’s exciting. And to be honest, I would not end up on my account. I love fashion but I am very lazy with my look: simple colours, simple shapes and always comfortable. As a spy it’s better to keep it discreet.”