Last night provided the opportunity to have a closer look at this year's Central Saint Martins MA Fashion graduate collections. Showcasing the work of 22 students, including the handful not selected for inclusion in the college's recent London Fashion Week show. For the past 18 months, each have been party to the rigorous training imparted by Professor Louise Wilson OBE, renowned for pushing students to their absolute limit, with successful results.
As well as being able to take a closer inspection at each of the garments -revealing those all-important fabric choices, quality of finishings and hidden design details- the exhibition offered up the chance to leaf through their accompanying portfolios. Wilson puts great emphasis on undertaking thorough, in-depth research and the bulging books reflected this, incorporating varied, intelligent and well-used points of reference. Ranging from 1970s Revlon adverts (Chary Westberg), diving equipment (Oden Wilson, recipient of the L’Oréal Professional Award) through to artist Eva Hesse (Charlotte La Roche), Erwin Wurm sculptures and Christian Marclay imagery (Laura Mackness).
The evening was also an invaluable time for press and buyers to meet each of the graduates in person. Well-known for nurturing homegrown talent, Sarah Mower spoke to a select few that had piqued her interest at the catwalk show last month. Numerous alumni were also in attendance, namely Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou who have both experienced critical and commercial acclaim since their graduations in 2006 and 2008 respectively - much-needed beacons of hope for designers graduating in such turbulent economic times.