Student Run Central Saint Martins Fashion Blog

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Summer break!

Days of “summer” have finally arrived in London… Thank god! So don’t waste your time in front of a screen or on top of a pot, but go out in your shortest mini shorts and get your white-eew skin tanned! We bet that’s what CSM students are NOT doing now because school is over and these fashion beasts do enjoy their summers inside studios around London, Paris and New York City to name just a few cities. Let’s face it, CSM fashion students won’t ever be tan. Maybe later in their careers…hence italian designers like Cavalli and Valentino, or is it an italian thing? Also, CSM summer school is open, so go when your tan is serious enough.

Class of 2012 has graduated last Thursday at Royal Festival Hall. Cheers guys! Cheers for youth and future jobs!                                                   BA Fashion Print (First Class Honours) Gemma Mairead Fanning

Anyways we just wanted to let you know that we shall be leaving you, our gentle readers, for the next three weeks to get some tan ourselves, prepare epic posts AND renovate 1Granary blog into a website! Yes, we are going BIGGER, not only in terms of a new website, but also *hint* it starts with “M”. You guess until we come back with the official news.

It’s summer holidays!!! Let’s enjoy the sun!

Meadham Kirchhoff: articles

 We have decided that it might be interesting to browse through different articles about CSM students and graduates and to find more information about them (especially before going for the internship interviews…). So from now we will be posting from time to time some compilations of their interviews from different magazines and websites. Enjoy!

Photo by i-D online

Photo by Interview Magazine

Insi-De eye: come as you are – i-D Online


” When something spectacular goes off sometimes it takes a while for the dust to settle. When Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff presented their SS13 menswear collection as part of the inaugural ‘London Collections: Men’ in June much oo’ing and ahh’ing ensued, not least from i-D online ” We have decided that it might be interesting to browse through different articles about CSM students and graduates and to find more information about them (especially before going for the internship interview…). So from now we will be posting from time to time some compilations of their interviews from different magazines and websites. Enjoy!

i-N conversation: iD online video interview Jul, 2011


Meadham Kirchhoff – Stamp Magazine


” It’s important to be honest to yourself and your intentions. I’m basically a crazy person. Things seem to affect me in ways that I do not observe in other people. I’m just trying to protect myself from as much craziness as possible. ”

A/W 2012/13 show report – British Vogue


” Almost aggressive in their pursuit of fun, the Meadham Kirchhoff boys sometimes seem to want to hide their talent within the spectacle – their shy bows and non-committal attitude when you meet them suggest a very different persona from the one they design for – but the charm is in the closer look. For every explosion of disco glitter, there’s a beautifully cut jacket or a perfectly conceived chiffon dress that raises the bar of true fashion design. Combined, the result is nothing if not impressive. ”

MK Interview – As You Are Magazine


” I got distracted by everything in Ed’s office, what with all the tinsel and boxed Barbies. He showed me his Hole hairclip that he won in a Radio competition 18 years ago and a quick tour of the studio. ”

A riot of colour: Meet the duo behind London’s coolest label, Meadham Kirchhoff – The Independent


”…And then there’s Meadham Kirchhoff, consisting of the designers Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff, whose clothes are as desirable as they are marginally deranged, whose hair and make-up is reminiscent of Leigh Bowery’s in his heyday and whose mise-en-scène has been known to transport the audience everywhere from a hyper-real flower garden (the colours were brighter, somehow, than nature ever intended) to a satanic St Trinian’s (think plaited white wigs, crimson lips and the soundtrack to Psycho). ”

 Meadham Kirchhoff on Big Brother – Interview Magazine


” “Boys are messy creatures,” said Benjamin Kirchhoff, and that they were—their street-cast models sprawled themselves aimlessly across mattresses and Disney bedsheets, deck chairs, and lounges for the “static” presentation.”

Looking to London: Meadham Kirchhoff strikes a balance – Interview Magazine


” “I got sick of the real world and wanted nothing to do with it ” ”

Nick Remsen

Nick Remsen is a second-year MA: Fashion student, attaining his degree in fashion journalism. Halfway through the programme, he founded and launched HOMECOMING MAG (www.homecomingmag.com) – an online journal covering digital culture as it relates to fashion and lifestyle across The Americas, Europe and The Middle East. Here, he talks to 1 Granary about his publishing endeavor, the course – which is the least publicized of the six MA: Fashion pathways, and his obsession with hi-fi writing versus lo-fi everything else.     Nick Remsen

 Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? Etc.

I’m Nick (Remsen). I’m 24. A virgo. Relatively content. Incredibly restless. I’m from a small town outside of New York City called Locust Valley, where my parents still live. I’ve also called Florida, Manhattan and Connecticut home. I went to the University of Miami for my BA/undergraduate degree in advertising. While there I was lucky enough to work for and with Tomas Maier at his eponymous label – he’s also the creative director of Bottega Veneta – the experience of which cemented my interest in fashion. In retrospect, it feels a little like fate – Bottega was the first big brand I ever really took notice of (I even asked for a woven-leather wallet for my high school graduation gift). So the fact that I ended up working with Mr. Maier, in South Florida of all places, seems eerily lucky. It was there I learned to appreciate and value all the angles and intricacies of the fashion industry – it was pretty much amazing.

Why CSM? Why fashion journalism? How did you get in to CSM?

‘Why CSM’ should be obvious – Saint Martins has no competition in my opinion. Granted, I don’t think the New York schools even offer fashion journalism as a pathway at a Master’s level, but if I were a designer I’d still have my sights set solely on CSM. I’m not a huge fan of anything conventional or cliche – and Saint Martins MA fashion grads consistently show designs which are unconventional and anti-cliche. Thus the school holds for me, if anything, a natural sensible and aesthetic magnetism. As for why fashion journalism, the answer is pretty boring: I love writing.       I think I got in to CSM through luck, the fact that my tutor ‘laughed’ when he read an old blog I’d had going with a friend back in the States, and the fact that they probably needed a boy on the pathway.

Tell us about social life at CSM… Any crazy stories?

            Of course! But those cannot be published.

We did have a nice time with most everyone from the MA at the after-party for the graduate show over London Fashion Week. Lots of Azealia Banks was played. I think the vodka we used was called “Seriously?,” which ended up being of a pretty decent standard despite its ridiculous name. Otherwise there have been some late nights at Joiner’s in Shoreditch or Efes in Dalston, but for the most part if you are on the MA, your number one priority is the MA.

Tell us about the fashion journalism course – what is its structure, how long does it last, what did you study?

            The fashion journalism pathway is under the MA: Fashion umbrella, but we’re a much smaller group and our tutors don’t really overlap – except for Louise Wilson, with whom we meet every so often. We basically have one primary tutor who mentors and teaches us throughout the duration of the two years (or, +/- 18 months), and then various tutors who lecture on everything from the history of fashion to styling. We’ve also got a ton of guest speakers (some arranged by Louise for all or most of the MA, some arranged specifically for the journalists by Roger [our main tutor], and some arranged for by others). The guest speakers, at least so far, have been great. I kept notes on all of them in one dossier which I will never, ever get rid of – too much insight!

What is your overall impression of the course?

            A++. I could maybe see some people frustrated by the amount of autonomy the journalists have, but for me it has been a blessing – I can still get my work done, but I can also, for example, go to New York Fashion Week. We’re encouraged to pursue freelance opportunities outside of school, for whatever publications will use us.

What are your plans for the future?

            Relocation. I love London, but I’m pretty sure I need to live somewhere hyper-foreign compared to the standards and conventions that I’m used too. I also love the idea of living somewhere off the traditional fashion circuit for a while (no Paris, no London, no New York, no Milan). I’m looking at possibly the Emirates, Doha (Qatar) or Mumbai (India). We’ll see. In time I’ll probably end up back in New York, ideally with enough in my bank account to support also having a flat in London. But fashion journalism does not the hedge fund salary equal.

Tell us about HOMECOMING MAG. Who made it and why? What ideas stand behind it?

            HOMECOMING MAG is a fully independent and self-generated online journal (exactly half way between a blog and a magazine), covering fashion (predominantly menswear), digital culture, music, cities and lifestyle(s) – all with a youthful edge – across The Americas, Europe and The Middle East. Sounds a little heady, but once you familiarize yourself with the site it becomes more sensical. I guess ultimately it’s a reflection of what I love and how I live – which sounds a little narcissistic, but I think personality is important in keeping it familiar and digitally on-point.

                                                                    Screenshot of HOMECOMING MAG Landing Page

We’ve got everything from full designer profiles, to news – most recently about the Royal Family of Qatar’s supposed acquisition of Valentino, to reviews, to op-eds, to self-shot and styled photo-shoots, to stories about subtle taboo breakages in post-Rev Egypt. There’s a lot, and I try to post daily. Right now I probably write 85% of the content, though I’m hoping to build up a roster of regular contributors (there’s an amazing writer from Cairo at the moment, plus a blogger in New York, plus a few fellow CSM’ers).

The idea started over September 2011, in BASE – a gay-friendly lifestyle boutique on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road. BASE has a wall of amazing media and indie mags and hard-to-find EP’s and so on and so forth. I wanted my magazine to be on that wall. But, print turned out to be extraordinarily too expensive – and more importantly, it seemed irrelevant for what I was looking to publish and to convey. So from then until May 1st, I laid out how I envisioned the site (mocked up on Photoshop), posted an add on Craigslist for a web-builder, and started working on content. I found this guy in Putney who did an amazing job, and the site has now been up and running for just over 2 months.

            HOMECOMING MAG’S design and subsequent visual content is meant to be a psuedo-return to super-low-fi graphic and web design – it’s not even meant to be necessarily fluid or easy to navigate. Backgrounds and feature images are intended to be blurry, or screen-shots, or YouTube video grabs. The inspiration here comes from Takashi Murakami’s take on culture – the “2D-ification” of life as we know it. Everything is flat. Thus, I wanted to make an already 2D medium look even more stripped and basic. Of course there are little flourishes – like the use of Didot font (Harper’s Bazaar’s typeface), and some hi-res imagery, but for the most part I keep it simple.

Model Jack Marcy, photographed in King’s Cross, wearing Craig Green (Central Saint Martins ’12) for a story called “Past Time”

            Model Luke Worrall, photographed in Piccadilly Circus, for a story called “Laidback Luke”

                                                                                   From a story called “Palm Beach Prada.”

I’d like to think the writing on the site is relatively unique. Traditional, “See-Spot-Run” journalism is banned. Opinions have to be expressed, humor allocated, artistry implemented as needed. The writing is where the real creativity is meant to come out, the three dimensionality, as opposed to the sites visual impact. And it’s entirely open – if someone comes to me and says, I want to do a riff on Blumarine because it’s so fucking amazingly tacky, there’s no way I’d ever, ever say no.

Case in point: HOMECOMING is new, or, new for now, and we’ve had a really amazing response thus far. Thanks, internet.

Are there any projects or new elements re: HOMECOMING up and coming?

            Possibly the introduction of a product or product line – think a “HOMECOMING MAG x ____” type of deal. I have a friend who runs an amazing accessories studio out of Guayaquil, Ecuador – we might try to make some exclusive bags or hats. Also – once we reach the amount of hits needed to sell advertising, I want to develop a model for ad sales on the site. But as most everyone knows, utilizing advertising effectively yet “in a cool way” is pretty difficult online. There are, however, are a lot of ideas and solutions under consideration…


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/

Jim Hu

Jim Hu is a 1st year Womenswear student and for his Turning Point Project he has created a stunning sculptural piece out of a thin red thread. He promised us a full garment soon, but for now, here is his beautiful work and Jim’s inspiration in his own words and illustrations.

“Our world is composed by fundamental particles, regard them as balls on a pool table, then the motion in between would be understandable and predictable, because it always follows the rule: ”the incident angle equals the reflect angle”.

However, in our real world there’s too many of them, the whole mechanism is too big to observe. So, we rarely notice that there is always a mathematical explanation behind, even how random, uncertain, or wired it appears to be.

Randomness, uncertainty or wiredness never really exists; even our thoughts are composed by electrons; therefore, maybe freewill doesn’t really exist either.

I then found red thread as a suitable material to represent this idea, in my cultural background, people believe there’s an invisible red thread that connects you and your destined one. Visually, red is a colour of being energetic and vital, and thread could be the string of fate, a fundamental element of a garment, or motion in between particles… etc.

Anyway, 3D weaving is my current research outcome of this idea, hope I will be able to make garments with this technique soon.”

Chloe Kim

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

 I studied in Australia for 3 years before I got into Central Saint Martins Foundation course. I was really into fine art, so I was going to apply for the fine art courses. One day, when I was working at a cafe, I met this guy, who wanted me to model for his project. Then I heard about CSM fashion courses. After I researched about it, I thought that this is something I would like to do more than fine art.

Describe these past few years at CSM?

 Since Foundation, I didn’t have much knowledge about fashion. I didn’t know how to do the research, sketchbooks, moreover, I wasn’t even a good drawer, but what always made me try to push myself harder to study fashion was my motivations and inspirations that I got from my tutors and friends. I remember myself walking everywhere around London, trying to find new places and new people, and I really love it here in London, England. I feel this city is so free and all the historical things are just so amazing!

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

Be more creative and work like its my final collection. Basically, try everything! I realized that things get much easier if I know how to deal with them…if I tried more in the first two years, no matter if it was good or not, I could still reference it in my work in the future.

Did you do a sandwich year?

I didn’t do my sandwich year. I am sure that it would have been really helpful if I did it before starting my final year. However, I also think that having a personal collection is really about myself. So, if I don’t have much experience or if I’m not good enough in skills compared to others, I believed that this very point could be my concept or even a style of my own collection. The graduate collection is really about you, so how good you are could mean who you are.

Please tell us about your final collection.

It is inspired by Charles dickens novel “Great Expectations” and it’s character Miss Havisham. However, my final collection is about this girl who lives with the trees. I always had her as my main inspiration for the last few projects. The girl who inspires me is just an imaginary character, she might not be human and she is pure and free. I imagined her living in a forest where trees and flowers grow on her body. I thought this idea would be interesting to make into garments, and I really loved drawing trees and lines, so it was really fun working during the whole process. In fact, I was using lots of shredded and distressed lace for textures that look really like the trees, like the living trees that are still growing on her body.

What were the doubts during the whole process?

 I don’t think I had much doubts. I was only worried if I could finish it on time or not. Also, I remember one day when I felt so stuck that I couldn’t really make any good judgement. That’s all, but most of the time I enjoyed it.

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

Be organized. Organize your helpers and your personal schedule because you will learn how to work with people and get things done on time. It is your collection, but also a part of your studies, so try for things that can improve yourself. The whole process will be really long and tough, so organize your time and use it well. It will affect your work in the end.

What did it feel like during the final show?

During preparations backstage, one of my garments was not worn properly and everything wasn’t fully stylized because the fitting time was too short. It was the most stressful moment looking at my garments not being fully ready and going out onto the runway. However, when models walked and everything finished, I totally loved the feeling of how it all, something that I put one year of my life in, was done in just 2 minutes. I felt like I saw the climax of everything during the show. It felt damn good! I still remember the excitement and how strongly I felt that I really wanted to do this again. Ha ha, yes!

What your parents think about your chosen career?

They don’t really worry too much about what I choose for myself. If I get a job, that will be my career, but if I can’t get a job, what can I do.. ? That is still my life! I just try to think free and my parents advise me. I guess if I can get a good career with good money, they will worry about me less. Ha ha.

What is for the future?

This is a difficult question!

I am not really sure. Each day I try to be stronger. My passion towards my studies of fashion means the most in my life. Sometimes, I worry because I will have to work someday and take on a lot of responsibilities at some point in the future. First you start something just for the interest, then it becomes your duty. I think it’s cool and I want to train myself to be tougher and work with more experienced people.

I am planning to work for few years. I am going to try for some companies in Europe, and hopefully, I’ll manage to extend my UK visa. I really want to know more about London and  other cities in Europe. I love the history and fashion here, so I want to stay here longer.

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

Respect, Company, Fashion or Tutors, Friends, Study : )

Words of Wisdom from Yingqi Wang


Quote of the day

CSM Walls

Dido Liu

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

Before going to CSM, I studied fashion design in Beijing for 2 years that improved my patterning and sewing skills. During that time, I also met some graduates of CSM who have encouraged me to study in CSM.

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

I feel like CSM provides the opportunities for me to do all kinds of designs. Apart from clothes, I also designed headwear, bag and other products. I even made a small architecture  model in the past project. As a student of FMD, we also had to be concerned about the marketing aspects and target consumers while designing.

Final year is a process that consists of self-denying and self-encouragement. It was the prefect time for me to evaluate my competencies and abilities.

Please tell us about your final collection.

The inspiration of my final collection comes from the portraits taken 200 years ago in China. The oversized shapes and unusual proportions of those costumes worn by people in the portraits has been reshaped down to create a contemporary feel and oriental aesthetics.

The 3D lenticular print depicts the dynamic movements of a swimming goldfish and a flower in bloom.

What were the doubts during the whole process?

Due to the lack of experience, sometimes I questioned myself whether I had made right decisions.

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

Time management skill is very important. Also, you may be tired of your own designs and lose the sense of judgment after seeing the same garments for 6 months. You may even want to change all the designs and start all over again. So, self-trust is crucial.

What did it feel like during the final show?

Nervous and exciting. Also I couldn’t wait to see the reactions of the audiences. I treated the first collection as my own child. Whether it is good or bad, I always wish it to be approved by others.

What is on your playlist?

Tom Waits , Pink Floyd

What your parents think about your chosen career?

They are very supportive.

What is for the future?

There are lots of possibilities in the future. With my enthusiasm, I know that I will keep doing what I like.

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

Passionate,   adventurous, enjoyable.

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

Be more brave. I mean, it’s not like you would burn down the school.

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