Student Run Central Saint Martins Fashion Blog

Category: Central Saint Martins graduates

“We PRAY This Ish Doesn’t Make It TO THE HOOD”

Ok, THIS is the last thing before holidays. Check what REAL  people think about CSM creations. Reading the comments is a must.

X 🙂


Hayley Grundmann

Hayley Grundmann is Central Saint Martins’ Knitwear kid, who has made crazy shaped, knitted and glittering with Swarovski crystals clothes for her grad collection, for which she got inspired by the checkered laundry bag. Hayley got accepted onto the MA before graduating from BA! We tip our hat to you, Hayley.

1Granary would like to congratulate Hayley with soon to start MAdness. Perhaps prescription of unlimited amounts of black coffee, injections of Red Bull and a pack of extra stamina should be included in the acceptance letter envelope. Also, we would like to thank Hayley Grundmann for fun and insightful interview.

1G.: How did you get in to Central Saint Martins?

HG: Well, first of all I did a BTEC, and then I applied straight away to go to Central Saint Martins, but I didn’t get in. So I took a year out and worked, applied for Foundation and got in; I loved it! On Foundation you get to experiment with different things, so it was so much fun! After Foundation I got in to Saint Martins, which was the best thing that happened to me.

What is your background, where are you from?

I grew up, probably like ten years of my life, in Buckinghamshire and then moved to the outskirts of London. Now I live in Fulham, with my boyfriend.

Tell us about your final year, how was it?

It’s been busy. It was a lot of work and very stressful at some points – especially the trial stage. It’s like working everything through, at the beginning I had so many ideas, I had to stop myself and really concentrate on a few key ideas. then work with that, instead of going a bit crazy all over the place. But yeah no, I really enjoyed the final year, you develop a lot as a person and as a designer because you go through lots of trials and tribulations on the way, so, to get to the end.

Tell us about your collection. What were you inspired by?

Well, first of all it started with the checkered laundry bag. I really liked the idea of trying to knit with it and got interested by the launderettes. They are dying out of use, and they all look dated as if from the 70’s. I really wanted to concentrate on the colours and use the shapes of the baskets and pegs. I tried to create this sort of necessity of going to wash your clothes in to something quite precious and something a bit more special.

What went wrong?

Well, my first line up was terrible! Basically, I went a bit crazy with this box and I was working a lot from home due to circumstances. I just went in to my own little bubble, doing these crazy shapes and when it got to my first trial line up, it was just like WOW! When I saw it together, even I thought, “What was I thinking?” It was really crazy, so I had to take everything away, apart from two looks, and start again. That was the hardest.

Which stage was this at?

This was just before we started making, it was our final line up. Yes, so I had less than a week to say, “Right, I’ve got to think of my collection. Four more outfits, how am I going to do it?” It’s always a work in progress though, I think everyone in my class would say the same. Knitting especially.

What would you put into the survival kit for the final years?

I would put money into a survival kit for final year! (Laughs) And maybe a few helpers and some chocolate, oh and coffee!!

Did you get any sponsorships, or did you afford everything yourself?

Yeah! Well, I got all my yarns by wholesale prices, so they were a really cheap price.  And I got a donation from Swarovski Crystals; they gave me all my crystals.

How did you apply?

I was put forward by my tutor as part of the scholarship, but I didn’t get it, but they offered me a donation instead because they liked what I was going to do. Also, I got a Sally Woodward Award, which is a little bit of money. It paid for my shoes, more fabrics and things. So yeah, I did really well, I didn’t spend that much on my whole collection, but gosh, I definitely needed that help.

Did you do any internships?

I was at Galliano for nearly four months. I really loved it there because everyone was just so lovely and being in Paris is a completely different experience than being in London. I had so much fun and learnt so much. Then, for nine months I was at Gareth Pugh, I did the knitwear for his S/S12 collection. I loved being at Gareth Pugh because I was knitting. I got to do my own thing. I would just come up with an idea, do my samples and then come back to him for his opinion. It was really good; it gave me a taster of being a freelance knitwear designer because I could work from home and come in to the studio to help them work out how to put it all together. That was probably rewarding as a Knitwear student. Then, I did one month of internship at Giles Deacon.

How did it feel during the final show?

I think I had butterflies for almost three days leading up to the show! It was a bit mental. During the first show at three o’clock, I was so nervous and was worried that one of the zips might break on the box shaped dress. But the show later – all those nerves were gone. I really enjoyed the last show because I knew everything could get on in time, so I could just relax and enjoy it.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be working from home! (Laughs) Not working at all!!

No, no, doing my own thing, definitely. Having my own label. getting my own, personality and creative ideas out there for everyone to see. That would be my dream, definitely.

And at the moment, I am looking forward to begin the MA course in CSM.

 Did you have any crazy stories from your years in college? C’mon tell us!

Oh my god, no…I don’t think so, but I remember in first year there was always one person crying at every crit and there was always one that fell asleep. And I was always doing all nighters! There was one time I fell asleep because that was our first project and I think everyone just gave it their all. But not real drama I would say.

We don’t believe you, at Central Saint Martins there is always drama!

(Laughs) I think us knitters were in our own little bubble! Even our tutor said that we weren’t a dramatic year. There was no breakdowns. Sorry to disappoint you on that front!

What music do you listen to? (Hayley’s soundtrack for the show)

I love The Black Keys, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s and Janelle Monae! I could listen to all 3 all the time!

If you had 1,000,000 pounds, what would you do? 

I would firstly help my family out, I would then buy a flat in London- one with space for a studio, pay off loans and overdrafts, set up my label and then with the left over go on holiday with my boyfriend Jack!!

Do you think students make CSM special or CSM makes the students?

I think its a bit of both, Students have made CSM what it is but the talent, energy and creative atmosphere of CSM really can inspire a student and it really is a special place!



Interviewed by Altynai Osmoeva

Art & Fashion: Hussein Chalayan at V&A as part of Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion

                                            Photograph by Irving Penn. Publihsed in Vogue, December 2003.

V&A is one of the greatest museums in the world and its installations and exhibitions often feature works of artists, musicians, architects and designers who studied at Central Saint Martins…we do not even mention the Fashion Galleries. Go and see Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, open from Sat 19 May 2012 –Sun 6 January 2013.

Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion (6th July – 29th July 2012) is a free display of works created in collaboration by leading fashion designers, most of whom are CSM alumni: Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou and milliner Stephen Jones, and notable artists from Britain. They have come together to celebrate and promote the creative relationship between fashion and art.


Yesterday 1Granary attended an evening talk at V&A where CSM’s notable alumni Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk, leading UK artist and RCA drop out, discussed their collaboration for Collusion display, with curator Susanna Greeves.

Hussein Chalayan + Gavin Turk:  ‘Four Minute Mile’ 2012

Unique copper master (used for the pressing of limited edition vinyl of the audio work ‘Four Minute Mile’). 61cm x 61cm. © Steven WhitePhotograph taken from http://www.britaincreates.com/presentation.aspx?pid=2Photograph: Stephen White

The talk was mainly about Hussein’s and Gavin’s collaboration on a beautiful vinyl disc and an audio track called Four Minute Mile, but they also spoke of their time back in university, their work and personal approach to art and design.


Here is some part of an interview with Hussen Chalayan:

 SG: You studied in one of the most prestigious art school in the world – Central Saint Martins; could you please speak about your time in university?

HC: Central Saint Martins was great, the campus was much smaller when I studied there and everyone used to hang out with each other because we were in the same building as Fine Art students. I didn’t think that I was being cool by hanging out with artists, it was so natural. Maybe since then Central Saint Martins got much more institutionalized; it is still an amazing institution, but it felt different on Charring Cross road.

Looking at your career, it seems that you could have chosen any other discipline than fashion; you could have been an architect or a designer equally. Did it feel like that to you at that point?

I was certainly of an idea’s person and I was very excited by clothes, so I thought I want to combine the two together. I loved design and was very much excited by the things that would evolve around the body in various ways. I didn’t really like labels, but was definitely very excited by clothes, so I guess my work has evolved in a certain way.

I remember when I was on Foundation course before Central Saint Martins, my tutors would actually say, “You know, you can also apply to an art course as well at Saint Martins.” But I thought that my work would be more interesting if I did fashion with my approach…somehow.

 Your work has been often on themes of displacement and duality, why so?

Well, I come from a war stricken place. It affects you. And it affected me, but in a good way because I can see from another person’s perspective. Muslim background, although I am not religious at all, makes me see the opinion of another… in a positive way. So, I feel lucky.

Did it establish certain types of rules and limitations on yourself by doing fashion in that prescribed mode of expression?

  Yes. The fact that you have to deliver collections all the time and the time of it is quite mechanical; I find it very difficult. I am not saying that artists don’t suffer from having to produce work quickly, but I definitely think that we are more in an industrial situation and there are financial restraints like there are for the artists as well. I also find that the product has to be perfect or near enough perfect, and you really strive for it to be perfect, but yes, it definitely affects the creative process.

I personally think that fashion is really tough.

You know, I’ve been in fashion for 18 years now and I never stop questioning myself. At times I feel like a hamster in a wheel… it never stops. I often think, do people really need more clothes? At times it is ridiculous to think about! I doubt if I need to go on, but then I also think that it is amazing…so, questioning never stops.

Interviewed by Collusion curator Susanna Greeves.


1Granary had an opportunity to ask one question:

Please share one particular memory when you were a student at Central Saint Martins.

One of my cherished memories would be the first day at Central Saint Martins. Back then, CSM was different, it was smaller and very hard to get into. Everything was much smaller than now, and then, everyone knew the faces much better. I remember how on the first day we were all crammed into one room at Charring Cross road and remember just how everyone was, everyone thought that they were special. It was also very competitive and people didn’t often speak to each other. (Laughs) I always got along much better with girls than boys. And I remember feeling like a sort of a catalyst. Later, I was introduced to some people, but they still weren’t speaking. Of course there were more interesting people than others, but fashion people often are not interested in different stuff, I would say. If you asked them some questions, they would say something like – “ I’m too intense.” (Laughs) Why be interested in only what other designers do or the 90’s fashion? I mean, I am interested in that too, but I do think that there are a lot of fashion people who are on their own planet. It can get boring.

But yes, the first day at Central Saint Martins, I would say, was quite special. It was like out of a film.

But of course, there are so many more memories of Central Saint Martins.

Caroline Kernick: Fine Jewellery Artist and Designer


Design inspired by the ballets of Diaghilev, the necklace comprises graduated diamond units with finely rendered emerald, deep amethyst coloured cabochons and onyx units suspended by a multitude of freshwater paper-pearl strands draping towards detailed collarbone units. All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 17 ½ ins.


An ode to the architecture of the Paris Bataclan, the necklace is decorated with finely rendered white diamond, coral and onyx coloured cabochon units suspended by a multitude of freshwater paper-pearl fringes. All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 15 ½ ins.


Designed as a sweeping necklace echoing ‘Les Libellules’ of the Paris Bataclan, decorated with rarely matched Padparacha sapphire coloured pear-shapes in a sweep of smaller canary-yellow sapphire marquise  stones and finely individually rendered white diamonds. All gouache pigments applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card,precisely 2012, 14 ins.


Designed as a necklace mimicking the scale and arrangements of the Ziegfeld Follies centralising three Melo paper-pearls and a Conch paper-pearl all surrounded by graduating impressions of coral beads, pink sapphires, zesty orange sapphires and South Sea paper-pearls.  Finely rendered white diamonds suspend the central motif and lead to a multitude of paper-pearl strands.  All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 13 ½ ins.


Designed as a tumbling festoon necklace inspired by the costumes of Léon Bakst, decorated with finely rendered white diamonds from which are suspended a multitude of cabochon fringes comprised of forest emerald, olivine peridot, Paraïba tourmaline and aquamarine gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 16 ½ ins.

Caroline moved to Cambridgeshire from the Champagne region of France at the age of 10 where she went on to follow a British education.

Constant activity and the instruction to ‘never be bored’ were starting blocks to her childhood.  By following and learning alongside family members in their disciplines of landscape watercolor painting, woodworking, bookbinding and cross stitching she learnt observation, scrupulous attention to detail, patience and gained an inexhaustible enthusiasm and willingness to create.

Strings of internships in London, Spain and India during school holidays led Caroline to question her direction.  This ultimately culminated in the discovery of the world of collectable fine jewellery and its many different facets.  In conjunction with research of the jewellery field, Caroline eagerly sketches and notes in London museums and art galleries to later realise that constant awareness and curiosity creates links in her thinking to build ideas.

Drawing from life is the basis of Caroline’s work, as she truly believes that knowing the dimensions and details of objects and space are the key to later constructing them from the imagination.  Her diverse research stimuli includes the finesse and complexity of Aubrey Beardsley’s monochrome narratives, Charles Avery’s hyper-real ‘The Islanders’ project and the ambience of photographic artists from Daido Moriyama to Francesca Woodman and Deborah Turbeville.

Recent awards have included: winning the Goldsmiths Hall Scholarship for diamond grading having entered fine jewellery designs, being a finalist in the Cartier Design prize for her portfolio, being chosen by Cool Diamonds to manufacture and retail her diamond ring design and The Boodles Prize, awarded by Shaun Leane for the Jewellery Design graduating year of 2012.  Additionally a shortlist for the Central Saint Martins NOVA prize was a great achievement, results of which will be revealed at the end of 2012!.

Your previous education?

A boarding school in the Northamptonshire countryside allowed me to specialise myself very quickly after GCSEs into Art, Design&Technology and languages.  Which meant I could very quickly spend all my time on creative and individually led projects, both artistic and technical.

Why CSM? 

International recognition and reputation in the design industry, a need to be in London, independent and out of the traditional ‘Uni’ scene.

What was your journey to get in?

Applications with portfolio to Foundation, getting answers for interview on ski slopes and panicking at the inefficiency of it all! Once on foundation, specialised into jewellery at first opportunity, it was easier to go with the flow of CSM admin system once inside!

Why jewellery design? 

Increasingly I was designing and drawing homing in on details and intricacities.  Additionally I also have a thorough respect and admiration for the longevity of the objects, sculptures produced at the height of the industry. I like to think that a piece of fine jewellery is similar in ambition to the biggest architectural and technical projects challenging human craftsmanship.  

Tell us about your course? How it is structured?

3 years, first quite technical, second very design led, and third completely independent, with valuable feedback from tutors regularly, but not too often!  The entirety sprinkled with ‘Live’ industry projects.

Tell us about your final jewellery collection?

The intention for the collection is to recreate the inaccessible opulence of high jewellery. Many collectable, valuable pieces of jewellery now travel around the world as art objects, always seen and judged from behind glass by most. They have become devoid of the original function for which they were designed: to be felt, handled and to adorn the body. This collection is designed for display and immediate visual impact. 

 The aspiration is for each piece to be made from simple sheets card to produce noble and precious artworks, which at face value resemble extraordinary and surprising pieces of fine jewellery.  The pieces intrigue the viewer after an immediate expectation and judgement within the context of a jewellery exhibition to subsequently lead to the surprising realisation of the material.  The weightlessness of the pieces is confusing as it is made evident in the presentation; it provokes further enquiry and upon closer inspection, the material might be revealed.  The viewer can then linger upon the debatable nature of the objects as paintings, illustrations, sculptures or suggestions for jewellery.

Through meticulous research into stones and fine jewellery construction, the painted details glow realistically to emphasise unique light sources, depths and three-dimensions.  Highly specialised techniques of paper-craft to construct and manipulate the material produce confusing and deceptive results. 

What in your opinion are the main differences between fashion (apparel) design and jewellery design?

The need for jewellery started fashion, it preceded fashion and clothing as a luxury status symbol of importance and design, it has been coveted and respected since its birth.  It does not disintegrate in the same way as fabrics but rather beautifully only changes appearance through constant wear through a lifetime.  This cannot be said for clothing, which might now change with every season. 

 What are your plans now? 

To keep learning and growing within the magical fine jewellery industry…



0770 959 66 22

Clare Corrigan – Styliste Senior Bijoux Fantaisie at Louis Vuitton

 Clare Corrigan is a successful British designer and Central Saint Martins fashion alumni, who began her career in the early 1990s in Paris at the French fashion house of Mugler. She interned at Chloe and later worked alongside the German maestro Mr. Karl at Lagerfeld. For the past 10 years Clare’s career has been “a perfect scenario” as she now works with one of the most successful fashion designers – Marc Jacobs, the visionary at Louis Vuitton. Clare had collaborated with Marc Jacobs on his own label’s runway jewelry and hats and his home collections before joining the creative team at Vuitton as Costume Jewelry Designer. See Clare’s personal blog at http://www.nuscheluard.blogspot.co.uk/

 This year Central Saint Martins’ 2nd year Fashion Design and Marketing students had a great opportunity to be tutored by Clare during their last term Tailoring Project, for which students had to produce a full tailored outfit with an impressive research and present it in front of a judging panel of tutors: Felipe Rojas Lianos, CSM MA 2010 grad and successful menswear designer, pattern cutting tutor Jan Bigg-Wither, Heather Sproat – head of FDM course and Clare Corrigan.

 1Granary would like to thank Clare Corrigan for an insightful interview where she shares with memories of her own CSM student life, speaks of personal experiences and gives priceless advices to students on how to be ready for the fashion industry in the real world.

 Please tell us about your student years at Central Saint Martins. And what was different back then at CSM on Charring Cross when you were a student?

I studied here at Central Saint Martins from 1986 to 1991. I did the Foundation Course at the Charing Cross road building, and then, the four year course. I was here at the time when there were only two courses; there was 3 years or 4 years course. You either decided to do knitwear or print or womenswear; it was much more reduced offering. I think that Foundation Course is still structured in a very similar way based on the Bauhaus philosophy: you learn about sculpture, fine art, weave, metal work, color wheel, construction, making, craft and that was something that always really appealed to me. It was really about research and making.

For me, coming in here these last few weeks, the main difference has been the architecture; at the old CSM building on Charing Cross road there was the age, the dirt, the grubbiness and the filth of it all. Everyone was in there together; it was on the Charing Cross road, off Soho, but not Soho as it is now; it was very much like the Red Light district area. The pubs at Soho were still important and it was still very much like the artistic hub; now it is more like a commercial district, which leads to the Oxford street in Central London. So, I think for me, the main difference now is that it is more modernized, high tech, 21st century version of what that was then.

Do you think that the major changes in the 21st century fashion industry has an impact on the way we are being taught at Central Saint Martins?

Definitely. I think that now there is a real access to the industry. Also, there is an awareness that you are trained to leave college for real jobs. Particularly now, the FDM course already has a marketing part within the course, so you already learn about the potential of your designs, and your ability to earn a living, and function in a design team in the outside world. That, for me, is the biggest difference now to what I see in Central Saint Martins to what I saw then. Also, I think that there are obvious links to the industry: there are Louis Vuitton sponsored courses, and there is a lot of interaction with internal and external tutors.

Do you keep in touch with your classmates?

I always say about CSM: “All of the people that I met in the first week of school are still my best friends.” I met them when I was 17, and we all shared the same corridor at the hall of residence, and eventually, flats, squats and bedsits together. The relationships that you form at that age are incredibly influential. At Charing Cross building you were next door to the Fine Art department, everyone knew everyone.

 Who would you say has influenced you the most during your studies at CSM?

I would say that it was my tutor Shookoh Akhami. She was Persian and was an incredibly generous spirited and knowledgeable woman. She came to London from a sophisticated world of Tehran before the revolution in Iran. She understood the world of couture and, I think, she also understood that we had the energy to create. She was very clever in how she managed us in our time with her. She would say, “If you want to go clubbing to Fridge in Brixton, or Daisychain, or Ascension, or whatever club that we were partying at the time, I want you to make your outfit in my lesson, but I want you to make it to a couture standard.” So, she would bring her world into our world and that was, I think, an incredibly clever thing to do. Shookoh was just an amazing person, truly inspirational woman!

What were your first years like after graduating from CSM? Please tell us about your personal journey inside the industry and how you started to work with Marc at the house of Louis Vuitton.

When I was at CSM, I used to go clubbing a lot in the outfits that I used to make in lessons with Shookoh. There was a club called “Fridge” in Brixton and on Tuesday nights I used to go clubbing at “The Daisychain”, and there, at the bar, I met a director of Thierry Mugler, who said, “Here is my number, call me when you graduate. I want you to come and work with me in Paris.”  After the first summer, I moved back home and was working in a restaurant to pay off all my bills. I decided to move to Paris, called him and that’s how it all happened.

After a year at Mugler, I went on to work with Karl Lagerfeld and then I went to work for Louis Vuitton with Marc. I have known him a little bit before, just briefly through Peter Copping, who was his first design director at Vuitton, so I saw Marc at the shows and used to go and see him in the studio with Robert Duffy, his Business partner; they both interviewed me… I always felt that Marc had created something very similar in feeling to Central Saint Martins. Marc is very accepting: of people, of their eccentricities, of their habits or how they work. I met Marc 15 years ago and went to work with him 10 years ago; the people that he and Robert have brought into the company make up a really fantastic team. Marc pushes and pushes us so hard every season as well; that is incredibly inspiring! It’s kind of an ideal scenario really. It’s a great team, great shows, great access to facilities, incredible resources for development, Marc’s creativity and curiosity; it is all extremely enriching.

What personal qualities must one have in order to work in a fashion industry now?

Stamina. A real curiosity… keep your eyes open! Flexibility and versatility. If you want to work in the industry, you can not think that after leaving CSM you will be working as a textile designer for the next 20 years because, for example, you may be asked to do scarves, or you might be asked to work in the studio directly with Marc, developing fabrics. You must have that kind of open mindedness and must be adaptable…

In your opinion, is it more difficult for a woman to work in the fashion industry than for a man?

 I would say that it is very important to keep a balanced equilibrium between your work life, personal life and emotional needs. It is a really tough industry and if you do want a family and have a relationship, you will definitely need a really tolerant partner. (Laughs)

 How important is it to know different languages? Italian? French?

It is very important. You know, the majority of you will be working overseas after graduating; all the people that I know from school are now working either in Paris or Italy. You must be able to speak Italian and French or at least understand it because when you’ll go to the factories in Italy or ateliers in France, you must be able to communicate with people.

 What do you look fore in a perfect intern?

In an intern I look for stamina. Someone who is really pleasant, on time and who is very detail orientated. A perfectionist. You know, especially now, when there is such a massive culture of interns, the intern world has created it’s own competition in a way. When I was interning 20 years ago, it wasn’t like that, but now, it seems that you graduate and do an internship after internships and so on.

 What would you not want to see in a portfolio?

I dislike overdone portfolios. I would love to see an amazing messy scrapbook or sketchbook. Things that I want to know: what you are looking at, what exhibitions you are seeing. I just want to see that thought process and I don’t want to see a really polished portfolio. What I really dislike is work being presented on laptops.

 What is your fondest memory of CSM?

Oh my god, there are so many… All of my friends! All the funny nights out, meeting people and just the craziness of it all! (Laughs) I remember that it was always amazing feeling of turning left into the Charing Cross road building and into that front door, knowing that you are a Central Saint Martins student.  (Laughs) There are so many incredible memories!

Molly Goddard

via http://mollygoddard.com/

Molly Goddard is Central Saint Martins 2012 graduate in Knitwear, who got accepted onto the MA course by Louise Wilson. Moly, congratulations! Inspired by her baby clothes, she has presented a bright, girly, big and exciting graduate collection of oversized crinoline dresses from neon tulle and delicate crochet, her fabric manipulations were fantastic. We wish her good luck with her MA course and would like to thank her for a great interview.

  Was it hard for you to get into CSM? What was your background and journey to BA?
It was hard because so many people apply, you have to think ahead, I was determined to get into the fashion pathway on foundation so that I would stand a better chance of getting onto the BA. I knew nothing of knitwear though, until Willie Walters suggested I gear my portfolio towards the course rather than Womenswear. It was good advice, although I am still not the biggest fan of knitting I love the freedom that comes with making your own fabric

 Describe your final year? What was the hardest?
Constant stress and hard work. But the course is structured well so time was not too much of an issue, the hardest thing was organising myself and the people helping me and attempting to shut off to go to sleep or have some free time; which I think is really important.

 If you could do the final year again, what would you do differently?

Plan all the things that I needed to do once I had finished, like having a good website, being ready to send things off for shoots etc. I was expecting a break after I finished but have been almost as busy the whole time. Also I think sticking to your initial ideas and working in uni around people and tutors really helps because I started to go very blind to what I was doing.

Tell us about your final collection (inspiration, techniques  you have used, difficulties and struggles…)
My research was a mess at the beginning, nobody could understand what I was interested in or trying to achieve. So I started to work out what the main part of my sketch/research books was, and realised a lot of what I liked was based on things I had loved since I was a child and related to my childhood. I did not want to be nostalgic but quite simply looked at how my old baby clothes were made and worked from there. Looking at smocking and embroidery and odd shaped tops and pants; made to fit over nappies.

How did you choose your soundtrack and why?

Choosing a song was hard, I wanted it to clash with the clothes because the collection turned out so girlie in the end and any kind of soft music with it would have made the whole thing rubbish. I just wanted it to be fun and something that would wake me up, and I have always loved Soca so I chose a good soca song that the models would be able to walk to.

What is your most precious memory from the time in CSM?

Having a gossip with the tutors and technicians and salad boxes in the canteen. And my MA interview.

Everyone tells how competitive CSM students are. Do you agree with it and how was it to study in your class?

No, I never found it too competitive, I didnt want people to see my work but more because I wanted everything to be a surprise at the end for everyone. Also everyone in my class worked very differently and a lot of people worked from home, I think knit is different to the other path ways in that sense.

 What was the best advice you got in CSM from the tutors?


Did you do any internships? If yes, than please describe your experience. What were the most valuable lessons you got? What do you think is crucial for a fashion student to know when he is applying for a dream placement?

In my placement year I worked at John Galliano in Paris, it was hard work but exciting, living and working in a new country means you get fully involved in the work. I worked with quite a few other students as well which made it fun. We were thrown straight into it, which meant I learnt loads, especially from the incredible atelier, who were very patient and caring. The research trips the designers did were always fascinating and dressing a couture show was a highlight.
I also worked for Meadham Kirchhoff, whose designs I have always loved. Working for designers whose style and taste you admire adds another level to the placement, the studio was an small, intense environment to work in which was a good contrast to Galliano where there are so many designers and different elements to the company, that it was easy to lose track of which collection you were working on.

 Can you give one advice to first, second and final years.
1st – Build a good relationship with tutors and technicians and go out a lot.

2nd – Do a placement year and try and go to Paris.

3rd – Start working hard in September and never stop researching.

What is next? 
I am working on various projects this summer and then starting the MA.http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/new-kids-on-the-fashion-block-7857146.html

Research images via Molly’s blog http://mollygoddard.blogspot.co.uk/

Nafsika Skourti

Photographer: Kirill Kuletski http://kuletski.com/

Tell us about your background and how did you get into Central Saint Martins?

My father is Greek, and my mother is Jordanian. I was born in Greece but raised in Jordan. I speak English and Arabic, but no Greek, shamefully, since I never properly lived there. I have always been creatively inclined, drawing and painting ever since I can remember. For a few years my sister and I were sent to a French school, and we didn’t speak French. I remember feeling very shy in all the lessons and only feeling confident in an art class. This theme continued when we were transferred to an Arabic school, where, again, our Arabic was very weak. For years my report card had all D’s except for art and English! My mother used to paint, so we were always doing creative stuff. And then when I was 16, I came to London to do one of those 2 week short courses, and I knew Central Saint Martins was for me. I always hated being told what to do, and the laisser faire attitude of CSM really suited me. I came to the Foundation, wanting to do sculpture, but then, I realised I was too shallow for Fine Art, so it had to be fashion!

 Describe these past few years at CSM? And how was your final year?

It was just so cool. CSM is great, not so much because of what it teaches you, but because of the people it brings together. So, its paramount that one fully integrates into the CSM culture because thats where the real value is. Final year makes you realise that everything you do is cumulative, and eventually, everything comes together. Everything you learnt, everything you didn’t learn, everyone you spoke to, everywhere you went, even all the random images you have in your subconscious – it all comes out. Also, you are the most stressed you’ve ever been, but a good stress, the energising kind.

Please tell us about your final collection.

I was thinking about a bored man in an office, wishing he was someplace else. So, that was the contrast I was working with – using the fabrics as metaphors for the two moods: boring business life (suit fabrics) and better life (colours). Eventually it all developed, so that the embroidery connected the two together. The trouser suit anchored my shapes. It sounds fancy, but really, you kind of just keep doing the things you like.  At some point you get a really clear sense of what your’e trying to achieve, all your decisions, big and small, are catering and responding to that particular feeling. And throughout the year I was really feeling suits. I tried adding dresses, but it felt so wrong, maybe because I wore trousers everyday and was not feeling girly or feminine. I was working hard, so I was dressing more like a boy because it was practical. That could explain why I looked at menswear so much. Doing the embroidery was a test in colour matching – I had no time to do samples, so I just did it. So, I’d do one row of eggshell, then think ‘ok, it needs 2 more rows of that then, a white white. After white white, I’ll feel pink. Then red.’ If I added a colour I didn’t like, it meant 45 minutes of unpicking – and I did not have 45 minutes! In the end, the embroidery turned out to be exactly what I set out to achieve.

What were the doubts during the whole process?

Oh my god, yes. At some points you dont even know what’s good or bad. You cant tell if it’s new or old, pretty or ugly,  modern or shit. You really cant! But ya, obviously, I had doubts, but thats part of the challenge. Overcoming them and just carrying on is the most useful thing you learn! You really only move on by believing in your ideas.

What would you advice to future final years?

First year: get really good at research and sketchbook presentation. Be as brave as possible and try shit out. And don’t take it too seriously, make friends, go out. Oh, and maintain a good rep with the tutors – they’re watching you!

Second year: GET SKILLS! patterncutting, adobe, printing, sewing, drawing, whatever!

Third: absorb everything, ask questions, take initiative, be chic and professional and you’ll be fine.

Final: Believe in yourself, trust yourself, confidence and positive energy – there’s no faking it.

What did it feel like during the final show?

So good and so quick!

What is on your playlist?

My ipod was my best friend during final. A$AP, Grimes, Austra, Modeselektor, Phaleah, Odd Future, Olafur Arnalds and lots of 90’s nostalgia. Also, Cher, Celine D and Mariah are very good to listen to when staying up all night.

What is instore for the future?

I want to be productive and creative. I have some ideas, so we’ll see.

When you look back at yourself on the first year, what would you advice to yourself now?

‘Take more pictures you idiot; your’e gonna forget all of this!’

Did you do a sandwich year?

I did Marchesa in New York for like 8 months and that was incredible. I love embroidery, so it was perfect! After that, I felt like I really wanted to learn more skills, so I packed up and moved to Paris for 3 months to learn embroidery at Ecole Lesage. It was all couture hand embroidery, so it was intense. Paris was fun, but not very practical to live, there are no taxis! Anyway, and then I went back to Jordan where I worked at this place that does the bespoke embroidery gowns for the Queen. There, I learnt free-hand machine embroidery for another 3 months. Looking back, its funny how it all worked out, in the end my collection was all free hand machine embroidery that I did myself, so that was cool.

I think the sandwich year is key in a fashion degree because you learn how to hustle. You can’t get an internship, find an apartment, figure out your way in a foreign city, and survive if you’re not a hustler!

In three words, how would you describe your whole CSM experience?

Fun, Hectic, Free.

Sian Joohyoun Lee’s shoes: sweet!

Here is Sian’e email if anyone wants them for the photoshoot: sian.j.lee@gmail.com

Support Raffaele Ascione’s beautiful work!

Raffaele Ascione is Central Saint Martins MA graduate, who had successfully presented his beautiful first collection at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout this year. Now it is time to create even more beautiful collection for the next season and you have the opportunity to support him!  Follow the links below…

Check Raffaele’s A/W colection here: http://1granary.com/2012/02/20/raffaele-ascione-aw-12/

Visit this link to support Raffaele! http://www.sponsume.com/project/raffaele-ascione-part-two

Raffaele Ascione is a London-based fashion designer. He began his fashion career in Ireland back in 2003 where he completed a two-year course at LSC, Limerick. He went on to complete his BA at UCA, Rochester in 2008. Upon graduation, Raffaele was head-hunted by Max Mara and spent a year in Milan designing across various different lines for the fashion house. Raffaele has also worked with Gareth Pugh and completed recent commissions for Lady Gaga, Jessie J, POP Magazine and The Uniform Project

Raffaele has recently completed his MA at Central Saint Martins in Womenswear, showcasing his collection at London Fashion Week, A/W 2011. This collection has been shot by numerous leading industry periodicals, such as Vogue Turkey, Self Service, BStore Magazine and PIG.

In February 2012 he presented his first Solo Show at London fashion week, which received positive and successful results.

The new Project is about his completion of 2nd Solo Collection. He is focusing on bringing the new Collection to the next level. All funds will be spent on professional production, a new and more established branding of label and securing himself a spot at the Paris Showroom to gain stockists. Another investment plan is to expand his studio with more specified equipment to offer a wider aspect of products, and gain more diversity for his label.

Nayuko Yamamoto

Nayuko Yamamoto is the 2012 Central Saint Martins graduate. She is from Japan and has come a long way, not only in geographical terms, but in her studies of fashion; she had finished a fashion college previously and left a full time job in Japan to move to London and continue her studies on Fashion Print pathway at Central Saint Martins. Inspired by her love of books, Nayuko has presented a beautiful graduate collection; romantic looks with subtle prints of indigo and blue colours with exposed texts and delicate leafs of flowers on crisp white cottons and silks. It felt as if each garment was a delicate page from a book, telling it’s own story and dipped into or drawn upon with watercolours, then folded and draped. We love the laser cut flowers and leafs flowing down as if they were coming out of the page of a book, out of the story into the real world, onto the runway. Simply beautiful!

1Granary would like to thank Nayuko Yamamoto for an interview and wishes her good luck in the bright future ahead!

Tell us about your background and how did you get into Central Saint Martins?

I am from Japan. I grew up in a countryside, so that when I was kid, there was no fashion around me. Then, when I was 7 or 8 years old, my mother suddenly said, “I am so sorry to tell you this, but you are not good looking – not pretty at all.” She told me to care about what to wear and look good everyday. Haha. That’s the first fashion memory I have- since then, I gradually became interested in fashion by reading magazines and spending few hours in the city… shopping.

Going to a fashion college in Japan was a really natural thing for me. At the same time I was dreaming to study abroad, but never took it seriously because it sounded just so unrealistic. However, after working few years at a small fashion company, one day, I suddenly thought, why not?! So, I came to London to join Foundation course at London College of Fashion. After Foundation at LCF, I wanted to study more, and I applied to Fashion Print BA course at Central Saint Martins. Very simple.

Describe these past few years at CSM? And how was your final year?

It was an amazing experience. 1st year and 2nd year had gone so quickly: some projects went well and some projects didn’t. The final year: I’d put too much pressure on myself. At the beginning, I also felt so uncomfortable in this new Kings X building because everything was so unorganized and everyone had to make so much effort for everything…even to make just one photocopy. First few months I was a bit panicking, but after the dissertation submission, I enjoyed the process of work on my final collection a lot more. Dissertation was real pain though.

I met so many great people during these years in CSM. Tutors, technicians, classmates and friends. They made my student life at Central Saint Martins very special.

Please tell us about your final collection.

This collection is a story about one old flower book. It starts with a girl, who brings her favorite book to you. When you open the book cover, start reading page by page until you finish, an afterimage of a flowers stays in your mind as strong white image.
I love reading, and I love books, but I don’t like people reading with Kindles and i-Pads. This was my starting point. I used photogram for the main technique of the print – the process is enjoyable, but it was a bit difficult to fully control the results. That is the reason why I’ve got same skirts with few different shades of blue. Also, the printing needed to be done in sunlight or on a light box. When the big pieces had to be printed, I had to make a wish for a nice sunny day to get the work done – such a funny and poetic process! I loved it.

What were the doubts during the whole process?

It was hard to be fully confident and believe in what I was doing. Also, it was hard to find a harmony between shape and print. My friends helped me a lot in every single process – they knew what I like and knew my collection better than I did myself.

What would you advice to the soon to be final years?

Have fun! Enjoy everything. Spending a whole year for just making your own collection is so exciting. Smile!

What did it feel like during the final show?

Mmm… I felt so strange and sad because showing meant that it was going to be over soon. It was a very, very long day. I don’t remember the details.

What is on your playlist?

Elliott Smith and lots of random good music like LINKIN PARK to Japanese musician. Nayuko’s show soundtrack

What your parents think about your chosen career?

Well… I never asked, its too scary.

What is for the future?

I will know when the future comes.

When you look back at yourself on the first year, what would you advice to yourself now?

Be yourself and be confident. That was the hardest and still is hard.

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