Central Saint Martins BA Fashion held their 2021 graduate show, under the Victorian steel and glass West Handyside Canopy, behind the college’s landmark Granary Building in London’s King’s Cross. 100 designers each modelled one of their own defining looks, presented on a sinuous catwalk created from a patchwork of fabric waste accumulated in the creation of their final collections.
Guests including Anders Christian Madsen, Bimini, Celeste, Camilla Lowther, Charles Jeffrey, Charlie Porter, Gareth Pugh, Grayson Perry, Harris Elliott, Jeanie-Annan Lewin, Justine Simons, Karen Binns, Matty Bovan, Michael Costiff, Olivia Singer, Osman Ahmed, Princess Julia, Sarah Mower, Susie Lau, and Suzy Menkes, made up an audience of just thirty socially-distanced guests, adhering to the latest COVID-19government guidelines, with the show also live streamed.
The winner of the L’Oréal Professionnel Young Talent Award 2021, was announced as Seli Arku-Korsi, BA Fashion Womenswear, who was presented with his trophy by L’Oréal Professionnel’s Catherine McMahon. Joint First Runners Up were Karina Bondareva, BA Fashion Print, and Dylan Etienne-Ramsay, BA Fashion Design with Marketing, while Joint Second Runners Up Ellen Poppy Hill, BA Fashion Design with Marketing, and Jamie Howes, BA Fashion Knitwear, all chosen by an elite panel that included Camilla Lowther, Harris Elliott, Jeanie Annan-Lewin, Matty Bovan, and Sarah Gresty.
Commenting on the importance of the live show experience, Sarah Gresty, Course Director, BA Fashion, says of the graduating class: ‘We came together to experience this as a community. They all started the course together, and it was really important they all graduated together. Some have only just come back to college in the last few days. Seeing them celebrating their work with each other, modelling for the first time, and us all cheering them on, realising how wonderful they are, was euphoric. They arrive on the course and we teach them techniques, but compromises due to the pandemic actually heightened how resourceful they could be in creating fabric and yarns, as well as discovering their own unique artistry. It was a joyous, uplifting, memorable experience. I was incredibly proud of everyone.’
A soundtrack loaded with subliminal messaging included Germ Free Adolescent by X-Ray Spex, Bucky Dun Gun by M.I.A – ‘London, quieten down I need to make a sound!,’ The Time is Now by Moloko, and in tribute to late tutor Sue Foulston, It Must Be Love by Madness. Artist and design tutor Marirose Pritchard was commissioned to create large-scale sculptures of a pin cushion, iron, scissors and sewing machine, which added to the catwalk spectacle.