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Harry Evans BA collectionCourtesy of 1Granary

How do fashion students want the industry to change?

Ahead of the Central Saint Martins MA show tonight, we ask ten students to weigh in on the state of contemporary fashion

Counting the late Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Craig Green, Simone Rocha and Thomas Tait as alumni, it’s with good reason that the fashion industry pays close attention to the students that stem from Central Saint Martins. Tonight, at London Fashion Week, the art school’s MA Menswear and Womenswear students will present their graduate collections. Ahead of the show, we asked a selection of these students to weigh in on the state of contemporary fashion.

The past year has seen fashion succumb to many changes: the industry’s pace has been put under scrutiny; several of its key designers have stepped down from their positions; its models are subject to new policies (Paris’ new ‘skinny model’ law) and its very system is being disrupted by brands opting to ditch the Fashion Week schedule. But how do CSM’s MA Fashion students want the industry to change? We partnered with 1Granary magazine to find out.

EMMA BERGAMIN DAVYS, MA FASHION WOMENSWEAR

“There is a strong feeling within the industry of a need for change, I would like to see young designers embrace this and rethink how we create, present and produce fashion. I hope that in doing this we find a way to successfully create and sell fashion without having to conform to the traditional template which so often seems unsustainable for small or emerging designers.”

“There is a strong feeling within the industry of a need for change, I would like to see young designers embrace this and rethink how we create, present and produce fashion” – Emma Bergamin Davys

HARRY EVANS, MA FASHION KNITWEAR

“I want to see more original and exciting menswear that doesn’t revolve around tailoring or tired tropes like hip-hop or grunge.”

RICHARD QUINN, MA FASHION TEXTILES

“(You should be allowed to) create a world for yourself where you can interact and allow your work to evolve. Have a vision, have a voice, have a fucking opinion.”

AUSTIN ST MAUR SNYDER, MA FASHION WOMENSWEAR

“I want to see an end to human and animal suffering. There’s no reason to do things the way we do.”

AJMAL KHAM, MA FASHION MENSWEAR

“The one change I would like to see, more than anything, is the culture of fast fashion to slow down and for people to buy more timeless pieces that have something to say about the individual, rather than clothes that are seasonal.”

“The one change I would like to see, more than anything, is the culture of fast fashion to slow down” – Ajmal Kham

LYNNE SEARL, MA FASHION TEXTILES 

“I want to see an end to the excessive use of purely decorative textile techniques, and a move towards a more fluid conversation between the textile industry and the fashion industry; making the design, construction and innovation of the textiles a more integral part of the design process of the end fashion product.”

KIKO KOSTADINOV, MA FASHION MENSWEAR

“Consumers should be much more critical and not distracted by social media “campaigns”; they should be able to make their own mind up and choose clothes with real beauty or substance. The press should have a more critical, honest voice that acts as a megaphone, making sure that fashion is judged by the designer’s skill, not their social media presence.

MICHAEL HALPERN, MA FASHION WOMENSWEAR

“If I was to change something in fashion, it would be to bring more glamour and fun back into everything. You can still have spectacular clothing and shows, without them being utterly serious.”

“If I was to change something in fashion, it would be to bring more glamour and fun back into everything” – Michael Halpern

JOANNA WAWRZYNCZAK, MA FASHION TEXTILES

“I would like to see more emphasis on the female body; stripping back all the layers to reveal everything beautiful about the woman beneath. Would also be amazing to see more bold prints and loads of colours.”

JOHN SKELTON, MA FASHION MENSWEAR

“I would like to be able to see evidence of the hand in fashion again, and for fashion to become more aware of its implications as the world’s second most polluting industry.