Saturday, 18 February 2012

London Fashion Week: Central Saint Martins FW12

I promised myself to try and blog everyday, well, clearly that didn't quite go to plan. Not only did I skip-out the end of New York Fashion Week but now I'm behind on London Fashion week which started yesterday. A big, fat, massive oops. Anyway, I kept a close eye on Twitter for the kick-off of LFW and as usual, the Central Saint Martins show was one of the most hotly anticipated. I half expected the whole show to revolve around the Olympics (yawn) but thankfully only one collection obviously drew reference from the upcoming event. Some collections were fantastic but unsurprisingly, some felt really amateur. There were some that were heavily influenced by the likes of Hussein Chalayan, Aitor Throup, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo whilst others looked more original. My favourites were not the ones that were outlandish or commercial, but the ones that I would personally like to wear.

Although menswear, Kenji Kawasumi tapped into the whole outsized, rounded aesthetic that appeared all over the New York Fashion Week catwalks. I have no idea what fabrics have been used but unlike the apocalyptic colours and shades seen during NYFW, Kenji's collection was playful and bright. Erna Einarsdottir's collection, although not particularly exciting, had some stunning knitwear and geometric detailing;   I don't know anyone that isn't partial to a cosy grey knit for winter!

If you've ever worked with a computer program where you can print the margins and all that other tech malarky, you'll have seen the colour marks and edges that are then trimmed off. I'm not sure whether this was a starting point for Charlotte Helyar, but her collection was slick, structured and genuinely interesting. Now, I'm not all that comfortable with Burka related design aspects but Petra Metzger's collection would still have been clever without the unusual choice of headwear. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick entirely, either way, there was something pretty remarkable about her collection; though I can't quite put my finger on it.

The best thing about London Fashion Week is that designers aren't afraid of being creative, of looking outside the commercial box. The Central Saint Martins show is renowned for it's weird and wonderful collections that constantly remind us of why the school is one of the best in the world. Amongst others, CSM helped launched the careers of Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Barbara Hulanicki, Sarah Burton, Hussein Chalayan, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney - these students are the ones to watch out for.

What do you all think of the Central Saint Martins show and do you think its status of being one of the most hotly anticipated of LFW is well-deserved? Who were your favourites?

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