1 Granary Magazine - Issue 3

Dazzling in an Age of Austerity

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How avoiding trends and confronting antiquity became the driving force behind this CSM grad collection

Meet Ming. Ming wakes up at 8am to a coffee and a sandwich. Ming listens to electronic music to keep him working until 2am each morning. Ming loves Alejandro G. Inarritu movies, and has watched Babel too many times. Meet Ming, but good luck meeting him at all. The CSM MA designer is as elusive as his reference points, which span era, continent and medium to deliver a harmonious jumble of colours, prints and textures, unapologetic in their sartorial appropriations. Outside of the volume of his latest collection however, Ming is quiet, though not shy. He swoops over the details of his designs, not wanting to give too much away in terms of technique or inspiration, and mid conversation (and mid audio recording), he asks for his voice not to be taped – he’d like the clothes to speak for themselves. In 2014 Ming stepped away from the studio, and

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Is there a place for poetry in the fashion system? We discussed that and much more with Phoebe English

During the course of 10 seasons, Phoebe English’s eponymous label has come to stand for a romantic vision of craft and deconstruction, a detached and ethereal vision of fashion. As she presented her new collection for Autumn Winter 2016, we reflected with her on the future and the past. There is this pervasive trope in fashion commentary that sees all aesthetic aspects of a show as a starting point to reflect on the realities of the fashion world itself, as if every presentation was a symptom of the state of the industry. This tendency was ubiquitous this season, as signs announcing the coming end of an irrelevant contemporary fashion system have been read in the work of a broad variety of designers, both young and more established. But as tired this trope might be, it is hard to avoid identifying it in Phoebe English’s Fall 2016 presentation, which seems to reflect

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Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Knitwear student Kate Zelentsova on crying over Dubieds, career advice from Miuccia Prada, and the weirdest things she has made.

It’s one thing to successfully create garments during your second year at CSM, it’s another thing to make the outside world aware of their existence. Second year Fashion Design with Knitwear student Kate Zelentsova has a knack for both. As a preparation for placement year — where ideally she’d want to work in the knit departments of Marc Jacobs, Bless or Lutz Huelle — she got a bunch of friends together to shoot a lookbook of her most recent work. Inspired by Peter Greenaway’s visually opulent film Prospero’s Books, and a 70s Soviet TV broadcast adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Kate aimed to keep the aesthetics close to her designs, communicating a dreamlike and glam atmosphere that feels a bit ‘taped together’ — similar to the cheap materials, costumes and sets used in the films. On a scale of one to 100, how excited are you about life right now?

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Central Saint Martins MA Fashion graduate Joanna Wawrzyńczak on freakiness, criticism in the MA studios, and African folklore straight out of Poland.

It’s the Central Saint Martins MA graduate show at Brewer Street Car Park in London. Strobe lights blaring, tunes on loop, a house-full of industry insiders and stalwarts, when models clad in Joanna Wawrzyńczak’s collection march onto the runway in a stream of patterns. What a tumultuous journey it has been for the designer – from having to do a retrieval project to keep her place on the course to showing at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016-17. The Polish textile designer is level-headed, calm and maintains an even-tone when speaking, giving away only carefully measured smiles and exclamations. Dressed in an all-black uniform, she explains that the clothes she makes are not an obvious extension of her personal style. She prefers the non-descript way of life, choosing comfort and blending-in over spotlight and attention. After all, fashion is about creating a dream, an idea. “It comes down to the fact

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Central Saint Martins MA Fashion graduate Austin St. Maur Snyder talks about his collection of reimagined eveningwear with a subdued sensibility

Backpacks merged with gowns. Gowns inspired by backpacks. However the sentence is phrased, you are certain of one thing: it’s an unlikely pairing. In a world so obsessed with binaries, the grey area becomes increasingly alluring. And that’s what we have here: the meeting point between formal and casual in a collection of reimagined evening dresses. The story of this unexpected merging stems from the neo-nomadic life of Austin St. Maur Snyder, who has spent the past six years moving between his home of California and then Rhode Island, New York and London for education and work. As a diehard Californian residing in Finsbury Park, Snyder’s own personal binary is near and far. Constantly looking back to the places he has come from; constantly looking forward to the places he’s going – it’s a relentless process. Through all of it Snyder has had a black canvas backpack on his shoulders;

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Sarah Mower may be best known as one of American Vogue’s sharpest wordsmiths, but it is her considerable hand the careers of countless British designers and fashion students that she will always be loved for.

This article originally appeared in 1 Granary Issue 3 Whether she likes it or not, Sarah Mower is someone that has become intertwined in the history of British fashion. As a critic, mentor, fundraiser and advocate of arts and design education, it’s unclear why she hasn’t moved into Downing Street yet. If Sarah believes in something, it soars; when she speaks, people listen; and if she sees a problem, chances are it’s already on its way to being fixed. Long before fashion blogs and e-commerce became the raison d’etre of online fashion content, there were Sarah’s sagely penned reviews for Style.com, then the digital home of American Vogue. Prior to a plethora of international fashion prizes, there was NewGen and London SHOWrooms, her brainchild that set the bar for other fashion economies to do the same. When London Fashion Week became a sparkling cocktail of international brands, emerging designers and

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At the heart of creative thinking is problem solving. We asked 4 Graphic Design students at Central Saint Martins 8 questions that are central to their degree show.

Getting through art school is no small feat. Day in day out one questions their identity, concepts, modes of thinking and reflecting, in an attempt to push boundaries in the pursuit of originality. The obstacles that are faced in the three year degree are bigger than just being able to get through crits and convince tutors that your work is valid and has a place in this world. It’s a journey towards being able to answer critical questions that come from all sides, and creatively solve problems. From fitting your work coherently into a space for an exhibition in year 1, to dealing with challenging pattern cutting in year 2, or figuring out what the hell to do for the final year project: problems are plenty at CSM. While the Graphic Design kids work toward their graduation, final year student Natalie Schroeter tells us that each piece that’ll be shown at the degree show

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One of the world’s leading fashion critics, Robin Givhan from the Washington Post, shares tricks of the trade in an essential long-read interview

American critic Robin Givhan is a seasoned fashion insider, but not one who caters to fashion devotees. Nor does she shy away from providing tough love or outright criticism when the fashion industry lacks perspective. Landing her first newspaper job with the Detroit Free Press after her studies at Princeton and University of Michigan, she started as a general assignment reporter before shifting to the fashion beat when a vacancy presented itself. Givhan relocated to The Washington Post in 1995, where she has since been a staple of the newspaper (barring a six-month stint as an editor at Vogue in 2000). She won a Pulitzer in 2006 for Criticism—the first fashion-focused writer to do so—which, she felt, was not only a win for her, but an industry-wide validation of a sector that is still today often dismissed as frivolous. Givhan confronts industry issues, examining fashion’s impact on society at large, whether it’s problematic depictions of

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