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If you missed the Central St. Martins Fall ’11 Grad Show in February you can view some of the highlights here. I find these collections to include some of the most innovative and exciting fashion-forward designs, and oddly enough, completely unrelated to current trends and hype. Check it out! Above image: Phoebe English (top) and Yeori Bae (bottom)

When looking at these collections, these questions are begged to be asked: Are these clothes supposed to be wearable or hypothetical? Are they pieces someone would wear or simply meant to be looked at and appreciated? Is saleability a goal?

Rejina Pyo (top) and Helen Bullock (bottom)

Charlotte Smith (top) and Jamie Cockerill (bottom). I personally truly love Charlotte’s work here; the color choices and use of fibers are very interesting….

Maarten Van Der Horst (top) and Raffaele Ascione (bottom)

Ryan Strong (top) and Viktor Smedinge (bottom)


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    Nov 16, 2011, 10.53 AMby urbandon

    Love the pieces by Jamie Cockerill. Some nice looks overall.

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    Nov 11, 2011, 07.30 PMby FEDRA

    Ryan Strong! Raffaele Ascione! and Jamie Cockerill!,,my choice.

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    Nov 10, 2011, 03.45 PMby fashionfreek

    Interesting stuff.:-)

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    Nov 9, 2011, 10.47 PMby alexus1325

    Of all these looks, I’d only wear the second look from Phoebe English (the first set), and the second look from Viktor Smedinge (the last set). The rest is just too conceptual for anyone but the likes of Lady Gaga. Except the scrolled pants. Those are interesting yet simple enough that various celebrities might wear something like them.

    That being said, some very interesting structural work going on here. Some of these students are demonstrating transferable skills that could land them a job at a big label. Others… very much “student work.”

    For what it’s worth, I’m a hobby sewist with an interest in fashion, not a couturier or fashion blogger, or any other “prestigious” thingamabob.

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    Nov 9, 2011, 02.25 PMby Alison Bowman

    I think designers create pieces for the runway that are usually very elaborate takes on their upcoming RTW collections. The great thing about young designers, such as the recent CSM graduates, is that they are fresh out of design school and are full of new ideas. Young designers have not been exposed to the industry to such an extent that they have gotten jaded about it, and their designs have not been commercialized beyond recognition, so the designs are more original and closer to the designer’s artistic vision.

    I used to think designers had complete artistic freedom and could design whatever they wanted. I now know that in most instances, what they design is greatly influenced by current trends and by fashion forecasting. Some people actually do that for a living. It is a lucrative career; predicting what will be “in” four months, or four years from now. Designers must sell the clothes or they won’t work. They also have to impress the right industry people. Designing is all about sales and etiquette.

    1 Reply
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      Nov 12, 2011, 05.34 PMby mlssfshn

      And who you know is very important as well.

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    Nov 9, 2011, 10.00 AMby sewingfan1

    Some really beautiful ideas among these. I love the rolled up scroll looking bits, and the cut out lace panels on the grey outfits look great.

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    Nov 9, 2011, 06.15 AMby candacejean

    Nicole – none of these designers have a “name” as you stated, they are students showing their thesis (senior) work on the runway before graduation. They aren’t calling it “couture” either, as only 11 design houses in the world can lay claim to that word.

    This is art. Art made to be worn, like a sculpture, on the body and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is, in fact, beauty and freedom at it’s best because none of these young artists have to think about making money or designing for the masses, they are doing this from within themselves.

    I don’t understand your anger/bitterness toward someone bringing you something straight from the heart.

    2 Replies
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      Nov 9, 2011, 10.39 AMby Luiza Grooks

      well said. i could not agree more.

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      Nov 9, 2011, 05.57 PMby sewsweetviolets

      You are correct in you description of the designers, I agree, but any one who finely hand sews clothing for individual clients is couture, the 11 companies you are writing about are Haute Couture, there is a big difference. There are many small designer well known and not that create couture clothing.

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    Nov 9, 2011, 03.04 AMby Sara Moskovitz

    Breathless looking at these collections. Visually richer, more complex and interesting than anything I’ve seen on the runways and probably, since last year’s Central St. Martins senior show. Thank you so much for posting this!

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    Nov 9, 2011, 02.56 AMby ilovemytutu

    I think fashion shows are just that, it’s a show, an event. It’s a way for designers to show their skill and introduce new ideas for silhouettes and structures. The runway is meant to be dramatic and an overstated concept not held down by traditional thinking of how to wear a piece of clothing. I think to tear down these ideas because you can’t wear them off the runway is really small-minded. If you want that then only look at the ready-to-wear runway shows.

    1 Reply
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      Nov 16, 2011, 10.54 AMby urbandon

      Well said!

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    Nov 9, 2011, 12.03 AMby Lauriänn

    Actually it is not the beauty defined by the “commons” or wearable cloth, it is more the technical skills that is stressed out. During that show if a fashion designer wants to be noticed he will not increased his fashion skills but his design skills so that pple remember the “curls, the hair, the asymetry…”. In the end pple will nt want to buy the cloth from the catwalk but will go in a boutique saying if he could do this with that fabric or material then I will see what he is selling… I guess…lol

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