The prestigious London university Central Saint Martins held its annual BA Fashion show and lasting over 45 minutes, it was nothing short of limitless talent, unconventional designs and a sprinkle of dramatic performances.
Even before the show started, the anticipation was sky high. Held in the university’s main hall, the seats were reserved for industry professionals, friends and family of the designers and CSM alumni including Chet Lo as well as Laura Lowena-Irons and Emma Chpova of Chopova Lowena. But the majority of those in attendance were sprawled across the overlooking glass rooms and staircases.
Print designer Joel Lines kickstarted the show with two supersized looks, including one with a sculptural face made out of old paper scraps and the other being a giant parada-worthy puppet with animated arms attached on wooden sticks the model was holding and moving. While these designs may have been the biggest in size, the rest of the show continued to carry the same level and scale of grandeur.
From menswear and womenswear to print and knit designers, not only was the technical offering varied, but so were the themes explored which ranged from personal cultural heritage to women’s place in modern society. We saw star-shaped balloons made out of a latex-type of material, bags made out of cable ropes and floats used as accessories. Objects turned into fashion became an ongoing theme, with one designer presenting a look with an old wooden piano held up at the model’s torso while another featured car licence plates on belts by Elijah Aike.
Every year since 2001, CSM teams up with L’Oréal Professional to award three students with its Young Talent Award. Ivan Delogu with their metal-worked headpieces and Alba Masmoros with their bulbous decorations took home third and second place respectively. The first place winner was also the designer to close the whole show, Eden Brader-Tan. With creations using fabric still wrapped in its rolls, some held by models and others by helpers, the long train of extra fabric unravelled as models walked out, mesmerising the crowd that wouldn’t stop clapping at the performance.
By far the most scandalous show of the night, Jade Alonso Baldó stopped the music for their portion of the show. Models clad in brown and earthy-toned ribbed knits walked out as the lead model, who carried a trash bag filled with cigarette butts and the odd vape, was yelling obscenities like “bend over, you f*ck”. Unexpectedly, the trash bag was slashed open, leaving the runway space covered in old butts and the room intoxicated with the nicotine-filled smell which was only accentuated by one of the models lighting a cigarette on her way out. Some were laughing, some were offended, but most importantly, it was the main topic of conversation in the smoking area post-show.
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