With the impact of the loss of Louise Wilson last year, the resident icon of British fashion talent at Central Saint Martin’s, still being felt across the fashion world as a whole, it’s inevitable that the CSM graduate show would be scrutinised for evidence of what Wilson, the former head of the MA programme there, had achieved through her final protégés. Even the casual observer associates CSM with a daring approach to creativity, matched with a steely determination to succeed, qualities that Wilson herself was said to embody. The fact that the CSM graduate collections are discussed and reported on the same level as the runway shows of established designers, is perhaps the greatest evidence of CSM’s continuing status as a source of creative fashion talent, and of Wilson’s legacy. Despite (or perhaps even because of) this scrutiny, the current crop of graduates didn’t disappoint. Matty Bovan’s knit dresses, sculpted around the body like an explosive blend of Sibling and Zandra Rhodes matched with his own whimsy established his name as one to remember.
Matty Bovan – Central Saint Martins – MA
Another outstanding talent (and winner alongside Bovan of the L’Oreal Professionnel Creative Award), Beth Postle, showed capes and jumpsuits daubed with glossy, squiggly black lines and blocks of colour, as though the canvases of pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein or Patrick Caulfield had been reformed as clothing.
Beth Postle – Central Saint Martins – MA
In just one example of menswear talent, Erik Litzén showed flair in his use of an eclectic array of materials, from crushed velvet to glossy vinyl, with a colour palette of unexpected tones from hazard orange to earthy reds and pastels, and with a similarly extreme approach to form, encompassing both the voluminous and fitted to the body.
Erik Litzén Central Saint Martins – MA