Rumour had it that a certain Rihanna was expected to attend tonight’s MA show from the Central Saint Martins graduates, accompanied by none other than Donatella Versace, but alas, it was not to be. Fret not - RiRi will be supporting London Fashion Week tomorrow, when she presents her first collection for River Island.
Back to design talent however, it was there and it was aplenty. How could it not be when Professor Louise Wilson OBE is at the helm? For a roll call of CSM alumni that are now showing under their own labels just browse the week’s schedule, pick one in random and chances are, they are one. It was refreshing to watch a show whose main aim was to suggest ideas, new ones - hopefully. Eilish Macintosh, recipient of a L’Oréal bursary and Chloé award winner, opened the show and in a way - *SPOILER ALERT* - closed it too as she was awarded this season’s L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award by Christopher Kane. Remember her name. Even though the rope work over plain long black dresses that kick-started the evening’s proceedings, at times tangling by the models’ feet or asphyxiating one’s face like an S&M mask, probably had a point to make about female sexuality and bondage (if you thought the nipple cut-outs were something you missed out on the back view of a rounded cut-out placed…well, use your imagination) it was her use of rope as the stitching holding together the patent leather jackets and baggy trousers that followed that showed real talent. In glossy black and latte hues, I can think of at least one editor (I’m looking at you, Mr Fury) that would have gladly walked out wearing one of them.
Marie Rydland’s thawbs – long tunics made of panels of a mixture of material that from where I was sitting looked like linen, fur and wool felt, showed a deft hand when it comes to textiles. Jaimee McKenna’s choice of bright blue certainly caught the audience’s attention, knitted and pleated like concertinas and folded like origami in layers upon layers. Nicomede Talavera’s menswear showed interesting proportions of black and white tops and gilets over tunics over cropped trousers but it was Elena Crehans’ knitted collages of jumpers that truly stood out. Mainly black and white with flashed of yellow, there was fur and feathers and lace and possible crochet and who knows what else – they were brilliant. So were Sadie William’s silver and blue and red lamé foil long gowns, some embossed with pattern others mixed with leather panels - they were asking to be worn by a sci-fi princess on a planet far far away or maybe, a pop princess on a red carpet closer to home. RiRi, are you there?