Tuesday evening in London and FIJI was lucky enough to be front row at the Central Saint Martins graduate degree show.
The CSM catwalk is the place to spot the next Gareth Pugh, Pheobe Philo or Stella Mc Cartney (just a few of their famous and famously successful alumni). Visited by 700 members of the press, buyers, talent scouts from the major fashion houses and the odd celeb, the CSM graduate degree show is a major fashion event in its own right.
In addition, the show was CSM’s first at their stunning new headquarters in the Kings Cross canal redevelopment. Needless to say, our expectations were high for quite a show – and we weren’t disappointed. Forty designers from the college’s fashion menswear, womenswear, print and knitwear courses put their sharpest foot forward during the show, showcasing the results of four years hard graft.
Highlights included collections from Serena Gili (knitwear) who sent models gliding down the catwalk in intricate, embellished vests. In beautiful contrast were bell shaped, structured PVC skirts in metallic hues. Little surprise that Gili walked away with 2nd runner up in the Wella Young Designer of the Year Awards. Winner of young designer of the year, Erin Hawkes presented a cohesive collection that was both original and totally wearable.
Menswear was bright, beautiful tailored and frequently made us smile: Chen Weng’s outdoorsy boys throwing foliage all over the catwalk or Natalia Mencej’s hip-hop inspired outfits with matchingly dressed pugs!
Womenswear ranged between sexy, classic and theatrical, but was always beautifully made. We’d happily wear the entire collection from Scarlett Tull – retro, bright and flowing fabrics came to life under the bright lights.
Most dramatic turn came from Fei Feng with models shuffling on, stage right, in velveteen bird-cage dresses that reminded us of both Victorian queens and geisha girls.
Accessory-wise (apart from the dogs), the current trends for jelly shoes and Wellington boots popped up, mixed in with skyscraper ankle boots, strappy wedge-contraptions and giant heart-shaped puffa bags.
The textures of matte leather, fringing and glitter were interwoven throughout the collections. Aisling Farrell made her trench coats and shirts into ‘snow-shakers’; the layers of transparent fabric filled with teeny white baubles were mesmorising and soothing.
Sponsors L’Oreal ensured that the hair followed the fashion – we’ll be copying sleek chignons and long loose waves this summer. The FIJI Water was much in-demand with the gathered fashion set – London continues to enjoy its heat-wave.
FIJI congratulates the Central Saint Martins team for a fantastic show and wishes all the young designers the best of luck for the future. We are sure we’ll be seeing them again (on the fashion pages) soon.