Central Saint Martins Preview AW 10

We speak to five CSM MA students who will be showing their collection at London Fashion Week.

Fashion Incoming
Caroline Smithson
Phoebe Philo, Christopher Kane, Giles Deacon and Marios Schwab are just a few names that emerged from the famed Central Saint Martins MA programme. Over the years, the course has gained a reputation of producing some of the most innovative designers around, and judging from a few sketchbooks we saw at school this week, 2010 seems to be no exception. Just a few days before the much-anticipated MA show, Dazed Digital once again got a preview of the inspirations of the new graduates.

Caroline Smithson
My MA collection is inspired by the second coming of feminism in the 1970s. It’s a play on militant equality demonstrations versus the overt femininity of designers of the time like Ossie Clark.

How old are you and where are you from?
29. Berwick upon Tweed / Newcastle / London

Why womenswear?
I wanted to design clothes that I wanted to wear, clothes that my friends could wear and clothes that women would feel unique and fashionable enough in - without feeling they looked like they were trying.

How would you describe your style?
Easy.

Who are your favourite designers and why?
Phoebe Philo… She just nails it every time and has the filthiest sense of humor of anyone I've ever worked with.

What are your plans after graduation?
Breathe in, breathe out… Then work it out…

Thomas Tait
My designs are usually a result of my study on form and proportion. I often develop fixations with certain parts of the body and visualize silhouettes from that. My Masters collection has a specific focus on an exaggerated bone structure but specifically from a profile view. The silhouettes are somewhat fragmented and create the illusion of protruding hips and shoulder blades.

How old are you and were are you from?
22. I was born in Montreal Quebec Canada. My mother is French Canadian and my father is Scottish. This gives me dual citizenship, which allows me to legally work and live in London as long as possible.

Why womenswear?
What I envision translates more adequately on the female form. The garments I create are very much about structure and fit so it is very important to me that the garments interact adequately with the body. Therefore I am very conscious of the type of body I am designing for and my garments are definitely built according to female measurements. That being said, I myself hardly ever go a day without wearing at least one womenswear garment, I am a man but often feel womeswear suits my shape better. It all comes down to what feels right in the end. If a man is attracted to my garments then so be it. It’s not about androgyny or blurring boundaries, to me it’s about leaving things up for interpretation and allowing others to find something within my work that they can bring into their own lives regardless of gender or sexual barriers. I’m not designing clothes to suit everyone, what I do is very specific and I am aware that what I create does not physically and aesthetically suite everyone.

How would you describe your style?
Structured, minimal, dramatic and hopefully very chic.

Who are your favourite designers and why?
It depends; there are designers such as Azzedine Alaia and Jil Sander that I appreciate from a designer’s perspective. The way they work/have worked and the attention that they personally place on the each garment is very impressive and an honorable attribute that I myself try to apply in my own work.
There are other designers such as Rick Owens that I appreciate from more of a consumer’s perspective, which is equally important. I think it is imperative for fashion students to physically interact with actual fashion and luxury products in order to develop a more refined idea of what feels right and how ideas can be adequately translated into quality products.

What are your plans after graduation?
I’m trying to keep my options quite open but ideally I would love to stay here in London and start my own label. I believe London is the best place for young designers and fresh talent to start their careers. Companies such as Fashion East are a huge opportunity for young designers to start off, The British Fashion council is also exceptionally generous and extremely supportive of young designers. I am currently looking into applying for New Generation sponsorship. Fingers crossed!

Martina Spetlova
My MA collection is like Lego - both in colour and in concept. My basic silhouette comes from the Tin Man. Another source of inspiration was a manipulated image of Yohji Yamamoto’s box dress and my own textiles dictating their use.

How old are you and where are you from?
I’m in my 30s, and I'm from the Czech Republic.

Why womenswear?
More possibilities in terms of shapes and colour. Women are usually more experimental in terms of dressing. When I design, I always think 'Would I wear this myself?'

How would you describe your style?
Colourful, playful, clashing. My final collection is a bit punky and on the edge of 'ugly'.

Who are your favourite designers and why?
I admire Nicolas Ghesquière for his great use of textiles, Rick Owens and Maison Martin Margiela for their simplicity and design intelligence and Henrik Vibskov for his playfulness.

What are your plans after graduation?
I’m going on a holiday and I’m going to sleep a lot!

Jackie Lee
My MA collection is inspired by Russian constructivism, which is a movement concentrated on tectonics, structure and construction. It manifests itself in 3D collars that pop up as well as embossed details on fabrics.

How old are you?
31

Where are you from?
Seoul, South Korea

Why womenswear?
At first, because I wanted to make clothes for myself. Now I’m doing it, because it’s the only thing I can really enjoy and dream about.

How would you describe your style?
Chic tailoring.

Who are your favourite designers and why?
YSL whilst Yves was in charge for his great sense of tailoring and his ability to read a woman’s mind. Also Celine and Jil Sander for being super minimal and modern.

What are your plans after graduation?
Clean up my room and go to Paris for a holiday.

Trine Guldager
My MA collection translates sloppy sport and office-goes-beige wardrobe combined with home knitting into menswear.

How old are you and where are you from?
31, Denmark.

Why menswear?
It just suits my aesthetic and I think it’s cool when women design men’s clothes. I think more women should do that!

Who are your favourite designers and why?
I used to work for Siv Stoldal and I still think she is one of the best. I also like Dries Van Noten. Both Siv and Dries have a strong aesthetic and ideas, but they never let the ideas overrule the fact that by the end of the day, it’s about making a nice sweater - or whatever it is that people want to wear. It’s quite hardcore. Oh and I love Ann Sofie Back too!

What are your plans after graduation?
I know for sure that I am going sailing in Sweden a week in July. Except for that, everything is pretty much up in the air right now. It’s a mixed feeling of angst and excitement.
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