Student graduate shows can be hit or miss but the 19 MA students from Central Saint Martins presented an exciting mix that ran the sartorial gamut from extreme silhouettes and innovative textiles to sleek tailoring in more traditional fabrications.
Among the highlights: Liam Johnson, whose sculptural silhouettes opened the show; Elise Perrotta’s all cream collection featuring wardrobe staples in textural knits, and women’s wear designer Edwin Mohney, who closed the show with a provocative collection that included conceptual pieces made using inflatables wrapped in packing tape.
As in past seasons, craftsmanship in the men’s wear stood out. Particularly noteworthy was Olaf Tavares Vieira, whose draped men’s wear collection was awarded the L’Oreal Professional Creative Award. Inspired by utilitarianism and the stomach as the center of the body, his lineup included fluid ankle-grazing coats, along with sweaters with cutouts in the back and slouchy trousers enveloping the torso that had a monkish appeal.
“I like clothes that are close on the neck and belly and on the ankle,” Vieira explained. “It gives me a kind of strength, even if the clothes are soft.”
He shared the prize with women’s wear designer Rebecca Jeffs, whose tactile collection was a clever play on famous sayings such as “she sells sea shells” and “she has her knickers in a twist.” Several of the pieces had a fishnet overlay made with a knotting technique similar to macramé while others featured seashells connected like a chain with silver jump-rings.