Acclaimed fashion college Central Saint Martins nurtures talents that feed creative studios around the world. And if this year’s M.A. student fashion show is any indication of the future, we will soon be living in a world of hand-hewn embellishments.
Being directional has always been the force of Louise Wilson’s education, and this season collections converged on Seventies craft techniques propelled into the 21st century. Cue the patchworks and bonded fabrics; beading and embroideries; weaving and fringing – all those embellishments looking inventive, if random at times.
The co-contenders for the L’Oreal prize this year are Ondrej Adamek, with his naive, cloud-like volumes sprouting from the hips or shoulders of stiff satin columns; and Michael Power, who filled channels on black tulle smock dresses with tiny colored beads, creating 3D effects in vaguely tribal configurations.
Other crafty highlights came from knitwear designer Serena Gili with her grids of tubular beads patchworked with mohair or dangling raw linen on tops or dresses; Fiona Blakeman, who applied perforated chamois leather to form-fitting long jersey dresses, opening sexy windows onto the skin; and Jessica Mort with her woven and knitted panels of faded rugby stripes on men’s polo shirts that disintegrated into avalanches of fringe.