LONDON — The most highly anticipated graduate show in fashion, London's Central St. Martins College of Art served up 40 of its most promising talents to industry recruiters, buyers and press last night. With inflating Helmut Newton inspired pieces and a show-closing collection modeled on stilts, this was undoubtedly one for the books.
Alumni Gareth Pugh and Jean-Pierre Braganza sat shoulder to shoulder with art world heavies including the ever-colorful Grayson Perry and even Met Costume Institute director Harold Koda was caught wide-eyed and grinning.
Judges included designer Marios Schwab, Hilary Alexander from The Telegraph and fashion film maker Kathryn Ferguson. Winners were presented with cash awards up to ₤1,000 from Fashion Fringe, now in its seventh year supporting emerging designers. L'Oreal was also on deck celebrating its 10th year in collaboration with St. Martins.
Winner: Yi Fang Wan, who presented a sophisticated collection of voluminous neutral-hued cottons and linens gathered heavily and balanced with open backs. 1st Runner Up: Phillip Patterson was industry-ready with a well executed and completely wearable menswear collection of felted and fused fabrics, softly tailored trousers.
2nd Runner Up: Alex Mullins took full advantage of the freedom a BA course at CSM offers and went uber playful with oversized space dyed fringe and surrealist prints.
Honorable Mentions went to print wear student Eloise Jephson for her impossibly feminine printed silks bearing fantastical creatures, and for show-stopping knitwear designer Sorcha O'Raghallaigh whose entire collection strutted down the catwalk on professional stilt-walkers to resounding applause from an utterly bemused fashion set (no small feat).
- Surrealist pieces with multi-dimensional, occasionally Dada-ish creations.
- Galliano-inspired print collections where more is better than less.
- Armatures of all sorts, distorting and protruding from beneath silk jerseys.
Click through our gallery to see looks from nearly every collection. **All photos by Sabrina Morrison