Student Run Central Saint Martins Fashion Blog

Month: April, 2012

Preview: Weirdos

Photographer: Kirill Kuletski

Make-up and hair: Marina Keri

Model: Lexi from Select

Stylist/producer: Olya Kuryshchuk

Clothes: 8=10

Don’t miss out!

Tomorrow is a private sale of Raffael Ascione’s, Myrza de Muynck’s and Leutton Postle’s beautiful collections. We were posting about these recent Central Saint Martins graduates (check the photoshoot we did for Myrza and images from Raffael’s show). Don’t miss out on beautiful clothes, go!

Fashion Student! Sorry for the mammoth post, but this is something you should read.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design is nothing without itʼs tutors. If the student body is the hot blood, then tutors are the heart that pumps the blood. Two combined make up the heart beat of CSM.

We are extremely proud to post this one mammoth of a post, interview, to be exact, of our two incredible pattern cutting tutors…fashion fairies for real – Esme Young and Patrick Lee Yow, both of whom have studied at Saint Martins School of Art (now Central Saint Martins) and who have been teaching more than several generations of graduates and being the guiding light to students in the most cry provoking art of pattern cutting.

 1Granary would like to thank Esme and Patrick for their time, wisdom and experience shared everyday with the army of students. Thank you for tirelessly repeating to us that the sleeve, actually has to fit the arm whole and not the neck opening, that pattern paper must be cut with paper scissors instead of fabric ones, that the collar stand should be fused and fabric steamed before being cut, that there is such thing – a seam allowance and that patterns must be drawn with a pencil and not with a black thick marker. Thank you for everything!Esme Young studied at Saint Martins School of Art and was a co-founder of the iconic fashion label, Swanky Modes. She now works in theatre and film and also teaches on the BA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins.

 Patrick Lee Yow is a product of the Central Saint Martins ethos. He initially studied Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion and then Fashion Print at Saint Martins School of Art (now Central Saint Martins). Later, he returned to Central Saint Martins to study on the prestigious MA Fashion Course.

 Presently he continues to work as an Associate Lecturer on the BA Fashion Course and is Course Leader of the Innovative Pattern Cutting for Graduates & Professionals course at Central Saint Martins.How and why did you start teaching at CSM?

 Patrick.: Personally for me, I teach because I learn. I learn everyday from the students. For example, Iʼm doing an Artscom course at the moment and what I love about it, is my teaching practice. I experiment with the way I teach those students, so I learn. Then I take it back to the BAʼs. It is a learning curve for me. Also, because it is not so prescriptive, we can experiment the way we ask students to do things and the way we teach or approach them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But because we have that freedom, we can change rapidly and find another approach. So, it is the freedom and learning.

 Esme: Actually, We are lucky as teachers, because generally students are very motivated. Most students are very motivated and passionate about their work and ideas.

Do you ever want to quit?

P & E: Everyday!

 P.: Everyday I think Ive had enough, but you carry on because it is a challenge. When you work with students, each and every one of them is different, so you have to approach every student differently. So, I suppose thats what keeps us here. And also, we are allowed to teach or direct students in any way we want, as long as the learning outcomes is what the students want and are good. There isnʼt a prescriptive way of teaching, so thatʼs the excitement.

What has changed since you were students at CSM? And how different is the way we are taught now from how you were taught then?

P.: Then, we could do whatever we like. In the 1970ʻs or whatever, if I wanted to go and spend three months in a sculpture department, I could. If I decided, and which I did, I went to do fashion and happened to see the print room and liked it, I just moved into the print room for the rest of my time. Nobody battered an eyelid. The fact that you are doing work and the fact that you are producing something and doing it with passion, so that was fine. Now, it is problematic because we obviously have more pathways, and it is not easy to move.

“I never had a written project. I was told the project is ʻʻcocooningʼʼ and the tutor would leave the room. It was up to us to decide what cocooning was.”

  This is a nice one… when students ask me for feedback, they ask “ Can we have a feedback after the project?ʼʼ And I say, “How many conversations have I had with you over this three week project?ʼʼ And they might say, “Well, every day or several times a day, Patrickʼʼ then, to which I reply, “That was feedback. But no, they want the feedback written down, it does not occur to the student that maybe they should write down on what is being said to them and take notes. So thatʼs the difference from now and then. Then we had no feedback. I never had a written project. I was told the project is ʻʻcocooningʼʼ and the tutor would leave the room. It was up to us to decide what cocooning was. There were no notes to back it up. I decided what ʻʻcocooning” was and went back to have a discussion with my tutor. You went away and did your work, came back and had a discussion … so it went, backwards and forwards. Then You had a dialog with a student, and then the student went away and did something, came back and showed it to tutor. After that, you had another dialog. So thatʼs how it worked.

 E.: Also, there are many more students than when we were here.

 “Health and safety is a ruination of all creative courses”

 P.: Health and safety has taken over. Literally, health and safety is a ruination of all creative courses as far as I am concerned. What happens now is that we can not move seamlessly from one department to another; you have to get a barrage of certificates, approvals, inductions… whatever.

 At Charring Cross Rd. building, although for many people it was a slum, if a student came and said, “I want to drill a hole through all nine floors of the building and suspend a piece of wire. That is my artʼʼ, we would all agree. Nobody would say ʻʼnoʼʼ. All the departments whose floor it was going through would agree because we knew that it was the studentʼs work, and that there was some concept behind it. We would let the student do it. I would like to see if somebody asks to drill a hole through the floor here at Kings Cross building, It certainly is not going to happen.

 If you want the clothes badly made, I mean purposely badly made, it is fine. It is part of your concept, but it has got to be intelligent”

 But now, I must say that we still have a lot of autonomy in the way we teach and in the way we deal with the individual students. And we have to see them as individuals because that is the whole point of the creativity and something new. So, if somebody comes in and says to us, “ Well, actually I am not going to use the block patterns and will draw my own patterns blind foldedʼʼ, we donʼt laugh, we say, ʻʼRight. Fine. Go try it out. Go ahead and seeʼʼ because they might have found a new way forward and that, in my opinion, is the difference between this college and other establishments. Also, the pattern cutting and sewing is not prescriptive either. Iʼve been in situations in other colleges when somebody wanted to have a zip exposed, and the pattern cutting tutors were horrified when here it is a part of your design. If you want the clothes badly made, I mean purposely badly made, it is fine. It is part of your concept, but it has got to be intelligent …there must be a purpose behind it. It is all about seeing things in a different way.

 “What we are trying to do is to get their individuality and creativity out, so it is not prescriptive.”

 Do you think that what makes Central Saint Martins special?

Read the rest of this entry »

College wall

3 more weeks





Seun Ade-Onojobi

What does fashion personally mean to you?

I think fashion ultimately comes back to people and society and the way in which they choose to adorn, protect, cover and express themselves or more abstract concepts. I see fashion as intrinsically linked to most other forms of art and design. As a designer the process for me is not especially dissimilar. The outcome and the implication of an end user adds another level development, but a good concept will lend itself to most outcomes and transcend most perceived barriers creativity, visual or otherwise.

Please tell us about your collection.

I had been looking at lots at sci-fi exhibition and the British Library and it had renewed an interest I always had in technology and its depictions in the media. Arthur C.Clarke’s quote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” inspired the antithetical idea of magic and mysticism which I thought could add an interesting contrast. I looked into different negative interpretations of technology from the waste in Pieter Hugo’s ‘Permanent Error’ to the grotesque images of comic characters such as MODOK and Mojo I had developed my use of reflective ink and laser cut fabrics in the first year, which almost served as the tangible aesthetic of science. This was balanced with muslin, hand painting and large tabard shapes, inspired by paper cuttings and traditional costume of tribal shamans.

 How did you end up at CSM’s MA course?

After a foundation course at CSM, I undertook the BA Fashion Illustration course at LCF. I took some time out to develop my printing and then applied to MA course.

Did you always wanted to do fashion design?

I was always interested in fashion but found it might be too limiting. I decided to study illustration because I thought I could still pursue elements of fashion, notably in developing prints, while still having the freedom to do things a little less unrelated like sculpture, painting and animation. I ended up in fashion print for the same reason.

Tell us about your time on MA. What was the most fun and what was the most difficult?

I enjoyed the first year. I was probably a little naïve and there was less pressure, and it reflected in my way of working. I enjoy working in the print room and the opportunity to meet lots of different kinds of students. Most difficulties were related to a new level of pressure, and personal disillusionment.

In your opinion, what skills you need to be fit for MA: technical, pattern cutting, organizational, thick skin or easy attitude?

I think it helps if you are not afraid to take risks, not afraid to completely disregard sentimental pieces of work that you may have spent time on, and not afraid of shouting. Also have good taste…whatever that is.

What is the most valuable lesson you learnt from Louise Wilson?

To not be to attached to my work, and to take every small detail into consideration.

What would you recommend to BA students who wants to apply for MA course?

Work hard, try and think of what makes your work unique and develop it.

Did you do any internships or work in the industry before? If you have, tell us more about your experiences.

I had worked with design studio Camilla Staerk, essentially as a graphic designer – designing everything from invites and prints to hangers. I have freelanced with several jewellery companies and worked on my own jewellery line since my BA.

Would you like to start up your own label or would you prefer to work for another company.

I am happy to pursue either endeavor.

What’s for the future?

Doing some more new work!

Yulia Kondranina

  Please tell us about your collection.
I always have been interested in structure and textile as an important and distinct part of design. So, I looked into crafts, art of fabrics, textile sculptures, particularly, at Anton Pevsner, Jurgen Mayer and American fiber artist Claire Zeisler’s works. I like the idea of transforming the flat two-dimensional into three-dimensional shape and silhouette. I’ve had used a fine viscose fringing, which I stringed and weaved around a body construction to transform the natural body shape into something ideal, but, at the same time weird, wrong and odd silhouette.  I based it on sportswear inspired dresses made from a sport-elastic jersey, also, sport inspired neck lines, sleeves and tank tops. I wanted to give the collection a more sculptural, static sense. At the same time, when all the strings move, the dress becomes almost alive. I like the sense of intricacy, when you look at something and don’t understand how or from what it is made.
The look is romantic, elegant, refined, very controlled and feminine with touch of sportswear and mixture of Gothic and dark romance sense. And I’m sure there is some Russian art influence because of my background.

  I have chosen very classic combination of crispy-white and various shadows of black, which helped me to highlight strings and playful structure on the contrast of the mat and shiny tones.

  I didn’t aim to make it commercial. I simply wanted to express my ideas, to show the unique, intricate technique and make it conceptual, couture, signature pieces.  Finally, -beautiful- is mainly what I was keeping in mind all the time. There is a lot of handwork, almost all pieces are hand stitched and it took enormous amount of hours to produce.  However, I know how to transform these conceptual ideas and design in a commercial way.

  How did you end up at CSM’s MA course?
I just tried doing what I really can and like to do.  It has helped me to end the course successfully.

  Did you always wanted to do fashion design?
Honestly, I always liked dressing up.  I remember how I was putting my mum’s clothes and spending lots of time looking at myself in a mirror for hours.  I also drew designs and models from a very early age, and there was this game where you had to dress up a paper doll by drawing clothes for her. I started making clothes for myself since I was 10. But, I would say that it was a result of financial difficulties as we didn’t have opportunity to buy beautiful clothing. Then, I went to an art school to study life drawing, painting and fabric print/ batik design. After art school I was seriously considering between being an artist or architect, and somehow, I ended up at the Moscow Textile University on a fashion pathway.

Tell us about your time on MA. What was the most fun and what was the most difficult?

 It was tough. You are under constant pressure and the need to meet deadlines. I’d say that most of the people on the course hated and felt competitive towards each other. You don’t really have a chance to work together as a team. It’s all about independent work and ability to survive, however, it prepares you for a better future in real life in the industry.

In your opinion, what skills you need to be fit for MA: technical,pattern cutting, organizational, thick skin or easy attitude?
All mentioned above and much more! In my opinion, the biggest misconception about MA is that  it is a logical continuation of BA course, but its not. There is a big gap between the MA level and BA. I’d say that MA should be for people who already have had some experience in the industry and would like to improve their skills and professionalism. You really need to understand what the course is about and what they want from you.

 What is the most valuable lesson you learnt from Louise Wilson?
 Always try your best  in whatever you do, and if you do great,  you will get a reward. Look at things differently.

 What would you recommend to BA students who wants to apply for MA course?
Do it only if you are seriously committed to fashion.

Did you do any internship or work in the industry before? If you have, tell us more about your experiences?
 I didn’t do any internships. I started working in the high street fashion brand in Moscow as a  womenswear designer straight after I had graduated from my BA. It was a very good experience, I learnt a lot and understood how such big companies operate.

 Would you like to start up your own label or would you prefer towork for another company?
 It’s very hard question! Surely, I’d like to continue working in the fashion field. I have several thoughts to set up my own line or consider any interesting offers if possible.

What’s for the future? 

Do not stop.

“Sassy stitching in womenswear”: Lucas




%d bloggers like this: