The 2012 group will be forever synonymous with the move from CXR to KX. It has been a tough move. It has released a gamut of emotions painful, emotional, and otherwise. We have sweltered and gritted our teeth with frustration, exasperation! 44 womenswear students were created as a group in CXR, transplanted to KX and will be released from the new campus, graduates. It is not a great distance but it is a world away too. They have also made the best of both worlds.
It has taken them three or four years to get here, as that is the time it takes to achieve the results shown on final catwalk. They have made it through the move with determination and talent. I believe it is this passion and dedication that makes Saint Martins students so different, so outstanding.
From an outsiders perspective there is no real comprehension of how we get from the childish fantasies of what fashion can be to real wearable concepts. It is a kind of magic but it is not a trick, it is a process. The development is the interesting bit and it’s what makes them artisans, artists, designers, craftsman, and professionals. The fabrics are their medium and how they have woven, shaped and gilded them this year is, I think, the outstanding aspect that makes it different again from the past and what has brought them such success.
Sustainable peace silks, ethical silks, bamboo silk, fabrics from remnant cupboards in grandma’s house or from the silk merchants of Italy. Home grown crystals of aluminium sulphate, or the sparklers from Swarovski; zibeline; linen; cottons; sequins, synthetics and Lycra; painted, drawn- on, embroidered, printed and shredded fabrics, threaded and de-threaded, quilted and wadded. Fine feathers and lace under plastic. Wood. Nets woven around the body as if in a psychedelic dream and revealing nakedness. Couture and Ready to Wear. Sporty, Street, Glamour, Minimal and a million hand stitches in a sleeve, not kidding!
Angel’s wings, mums’, action and reaction, Modigliani, two art forgers on the run realised in a film and male and female berries from South America. Hip hop nuns, gardens, school uniforms. Just some of the themes that inspired and began the journey of each collection and ended with beautiful, clever, fun and intelligent garments. Real clothes! Good Heavens! How lovely it turned out.