CONVERSATIONS WITH A CRITIC: CHARLIE PORTER

Charlie Porter is British fashion’s wizard of words; his incisive critiques for the Financial Times and his personal website dissects everything from why businessmen...

Reading List: Lucy Moore of Claire de Rouen Books

The woody and musty scent, the grainy texture of almost weightless material between your fingers, the nostalgia of fading photographs – these are some...

Jan Bigg-Wither: sculpting artisanal mannequins

Jan Bigg-Wither has been the guardian angel of many Fashion Design students at Central Saint Martins for the past decade, most notably thanks to...

Learning From The Boss(es): Simon Costin and Gary Card

Simon Costin’s set designs might be associated with McQueen's shows for most people who have an interest in fashion. However, his career didn’t at all start out with rain pouting down runways. Rather with Bloomsbury squats, Tilda Swinton, and jewellery containing mythical sperm. Not long ago, he was in conversation with Gary Card, coinciding with his 'Impossible Catwalk Shows' exhibition at LCF. The talk stayed with us, and even though months have passed, we wanted to share some of the best parts that show an insight into the work of these two brilliant minds.

“Is cool really relevant?” An intimate meeting with Alber Elbaz

While going through education, we learn a deceptively simple lesson: trust. Not just in the opinion of a tutor which is supported by their...

Mimma Viglezio: “You can do it; you can change the system.”

The industry’s big fashion houses have seen many changes in creative directorship over the past few months – and the world of publishing hasn’t...

Learning from the Boss: Maurice Mullen

Maurice Mullen has pretty much seen it all in the publishing industry. As the Head of Fashion and Luxury at The London Evening Standard and ES Magazine, and an eminent member of the British Fashion Council, Mullen has a lot on his plate. Admittedly, he is not the kind who can work with a slow-paced monthly and therefore enjoys the speed of a newspaper. However, not all success stories start with interning at a fashion company aged 19, or studying at CSM: formerly a barrister in Northern Ireland, Mullen moved to London in 1985 to pursue a career in luxury. Last week, we had the privilege of attending a talk he gave at Central Saint Martins, and we wanted to share a few takeaway lessons in luxury from the man who's an authority on the subject.

Viviane Sassen’s Shadow

In celebration of Sassen’s nomination, the gallery asked three people from completely different disciplines – an astronomer, a psychoanalyst and the curator of photography at Tate Modern – to speak about Sassen’s shadows in relation to shadows in their fields of expertise. Shadows are an inherent part of both Sassen's personal work and of her fashion work. In a short introduction to the three talks, Sassen explains how shadows have impacted her life from very early on: “From a very young age I’ve been confronted with death. When I was very young I lived in Kenya, and I vividly remember things like a dog dying on the side of the street, or the goat carcasses hanging in the marketplace, covered with flies. My father worked at the local village hospital so there was always talk of people who were ill and people who had died.” Reflecting on Sassen’s Umbra, David Morgan, a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, spoke about our obsession with an idealised self image, whereas Marek Kukula, astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, highlighted the importance of light in the presence of darkness in the discovery of new galaxies, and Simon Baker, the Curator of Photography at Tate Modern, spoke about capturing everyday things in a very unusual way.

Putting Together the Antwerp Six: Geert Bruloot

Geert Bruloot does not sit calmly when he speaks. His hands make great gestures when he talks about the Belgian economy, slavery, or the essence of having a philosophy when deciding to make a career out of fashion design. He switches off his phone when it rings with the same enthusiastic energy as with which he chats. It’s present even when he, every once in a while, pours himself a glass of water, sitting in the top-floor offices of the ModeMuseum in Antwerp, which also houses the Flanders Fashion Institute and the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Art. Bruloot, who founded the Antwerp-based shoe store Coccodrillo in 1984, has curated the upcoming shoe exhibition Foot Print, The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion which will open at the MoMu on Thursday 3rd of September. Many real-life Pinterest mood boards with printed images attached to each category stand just outside of the room where our conversation takes place. Asked about which categories dominate the exhibition, Geert explains: “As seven months is really a very short for preparing this kind of exhibition, we’ve tried to work with what we could get a hold of. Technically we needed a longer period for chasing loans from the big museums, and conceptually we had to work hard to convince the fashion houses that their past is equally important as the commercial values they are aiming for today. With more time for profound research, we would have gone through the great historical collections of the world, and would have been able to select older historical and indegenousfootwear that has inspired contemporary shoe design.” With impossible-to-walk-on heels scattered throughout, his moodboards don’t necessarily limit themselves to ‘wearability’. Not that that was the focus, anyhow. “Wearability has never been our first reference. From when we started our shoe store 32 years ago, creativity has always been our goal. When emotion, invention, creation, craft and fantasy can go together with technical development, construction and anatomical research, great fashion creations are born! Shoes can have many connotations: religion, fetish, war, survival, seduction, gender, status, dance, rebellion…”

Influential Fashion Educators: Burak Cakmak, Parsons’ new Dean

Even though Burak Cakmak and I initially aimed to meet for coffee in the mythical ‘absinthe’ Green Bar of Hotel Cafe Royal, it’s unfortunately...

Halloween’s hottest CSM set designers

After assisting Gary Card for over a year, I have gained a new respect for the powerful but modest role of set design. It...

Laura Holmes and the Art of Fashion Production

I find Laura Holmes deeply engaged in a phone call as I make my way through an enormous photo shoot in Three Mill Studios, a Hollywood-like warehouse complex in East London. They are shooting a new campaign for a major luxury house hold name, and we stroll past extraordinary set designs and tables with the lavish new shoe range before finding a quiet spot in the catering area, to speak about the company that is Laura Holmes Production.