The question on everyone’s lips this evening at the Central Saint Martins’ BA show was: how did Fredrik Tjaerandsen do it? The fashion womenswear student wowed with a collection of huge balloons that mesmerised as they walked with models somehow inside them before being manually deflated, the latex-a-like fabric doing a brief dance mid-air, a shimmy, and then descending down into a dress upon the wearer who was now revealed. It was magic.
Fredrik Tjaerandsen's collection at the Central Saint Martins BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of PR.
It was of course also the winner of the L’Oreal Professionnel award, how could it not be? Everyone bewildered, silent, and then bursting into applause once the final model came out. This was a moment indeed, original and slick in a way we haven’t seen for some time from a student show, any designer frankly. This was some seriously innovative stuff.
It was, in fact, a strong year all round for CSM: George Allen, Hee Joung Lee, Grace Jean-Louis Constantine, Liza Keane, Pauline de Blonay (who won second prize and designed the illustrated face invitations), Keith Tovey, Daiki Fujita, and Fabrice Desvaux De Marigny among the names of note for collections that spanned tech-wear, illustration adornment, and X-ray melted looks.
Fabrice Desvaux de Marigny's collection at the Central Saint Martins BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of PR.
And there was an overwhelming amount of trends to be spotted: antlers were the accessory, as was a water bottle carrier; there was still an apocalyptic prevalence as there has been for a while now; a huge move towards industrial designs – be it a Matrix aesthetic or the fabrications used; a monastic element and one of Wickerman weirdness – craft and textiles taken to occult extremes.
Other winners included Fumika Oshima and Fidan Novruzova, who scooped joint third place. But in Tjaerandsen, CSM truly had saved the best until last. Costume innovation will surely be an option open to him should he not want to continue so fashion a route. And where other students tried to join the dots between fashion and tech with iPad screens et al, here the tech came through the sheer genius of the how behind the who and the what.
Fumika Oshima's collection at the Central Saint Martins BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of PR.
With Graduate Fashion Week just days away, this was a great way to start graduate season and had it not before, CSM certainly reclaimed its stake in that.