This year, like last year, the Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Press show was not the whole picture: it consisted of less than half the collections made by the graduating class. On West Handyside street (opposite the Waitrose), the majority of CSM BA Fashion students were supposed to present their ‘Encore’ show, displaying the work of over 40 students that was not being shown on the runway. Just before the event opened, we caught up with the final year Culture, Criticism and Curation student Nadia Cuvelier, who spearheaded @Encore.csm. The presentation did not go entirely according to plan, however, as discontented students ‘broke free’ from the designated space. We also spoke with a few of the designers, in the video below, to hear their thoughts on the night.
Tell us about what you hoped to achieve with Encore?
Nadia: For me, the most important aspect of all of this, is to create a platform that can be recreated and developed in the years to come. As a CCC student, we spend most of our time working in an academic context, so to be able to work on this project has been really rewarding. Everyone’s work is of a really high standard. CSM students are always busying away, held up in their studios, and it’s really great to see all their work out in the open, and to experience this side of Saint Martins.
This place cultivates some amazingly talented people, the show is so perfectly CSM — it is its own spectacle. It is a proper show. I wish that I had more time, but everyone wishes for more time. There is only so much curation you can do with what you have, but I’m excited to see the finished result.
How do you feel about the selection process for the Fashion Show?
From their [the CSM staff] eyes, they’re showing the press a snapshot of the graduating class. It is never going to be easy for them either; they have seen these students grow over multiple years now. But to make a successful show, sometimes there have to be sacrifices.
How will the show work this evening?
I saw what they did last year and I wanted to take it a step further. But no one realised the true scale until a week ago. Our show is a presentation, rather than a runway: I want the press and the public to go up close and witness it. Runway is always a snapshot, it’s always in motion. But with our show you have the power to really see it. We have two stages and each stage rotates every 5 minutes or so, so there is still an aspect of movement.
By being in a public space, there are some different rules and regulations we have to adhere to, and this has been a challenge, but I think everyone will be happy with the result.
I’m indented to the hard work of CCC students Nicolette Sim, Andrea Ayuso, Camille Bureau and Thomas Ba. Everyone has taken time out of their hectic schedules to make this come alive. And, of course, the show wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for the fashion designers graduating year, including Grace Lant, Holly Davies and Liam Johnson. This is a collective effort and it really shows. I would like to finally thank Willie Walters, who’s been incredibly supportive of our endeavours.
Words by Roman Sheppard Dawson
Film by Andrew Jonathan Smith, interviews by Alexandre Saden