Hayley Grundmann is Central Saint Martins’ Knitwear kid, who has made crazy shaped, knitted and glittering with Swarovski crystals clothes for her grad collection, for which she got inspired by the checkered laundry bag. Hayley got accepted onto the MA before graduating from BA! We tip our hat to you, Hayley.
1Granary would like to congratulate Hayley with soon to start MAdness. Perhaps prescription of unlimited amounts of black coffee, injections of Red Bull and a pack of extra stamina should be included in the acceptance letter envelope. Also, we would like to thank Hayley Grundmann for fun and insightful interview.
1G.: How did you get in to Central Saint Martins?
HG: Well, first of all I did a BTEC, and then I applied straight away to go to Central Saint Martins, but I didn’t get in. So I took a year out and worked, applied for Foundation and got in; I loved it! On Foundation you get to experiment with different things, so it was so much fun! After Foundation I got in to Saint Martins, which was the best thing that happened to me.
What is your background, where are you from?
I grew up, probably like ten years of my life, in Buckinghamshire and then moved to the outskirts of London. Now I live in Fulham, with my boyfriend.
Tell us about your final year, how was it?
It’s been busy. It was a lot of work and very stressful at some points – especially the trial stage. It’s like working everything through, at the beginning I had so many ideas, I had to stop myself and really concentrate on a few key ideas. then work with that, instead of going a bit crazy all over the place. But yeah no, I really enjoyed the final year, you develop a lot as a person and as a designer because you go through lots of trials and tribulations on the way, so, to get to the end.
Tell us about your collection. What were you inspired by?
Well, first of all it started with the checkered laundry bag. I really liked the idea of trying to knit with it and got interested by the launderettes. They are dying out of use, and they all look dated as if from the 70’s. I really wanted to concentrate on the colours and use the shapes of the baskets and pegs. I tried to create this sort of necessity of going to wash your clothes in to something quite precious and something a bit more special.
What went wrong?
Well, my first line up was terrible! Basically, I went a bit crazy with this box and I was working a lot from home due to circumstances. I just went in to my own little bubble, doing these crazy shapes and when it got to my first trial line up, it was just like WOW! When I saw it together, even I thought, “What was I thinking?” It was really crazy, so I had to take everything away, apart from two looks, and start again. That was the hardest.
Which stage was this at?
This was just before we started making, it was our final line up. Yes, so I had less than a week to say, “Right, I’ve got to think of my collection. Four more outfits, how am I going to do it?” It’s always a work in progress though, I think everyone in my class would say the same. Knitting especially.
What would you put into the survival kit for the final years?
I would put money into a survival kit for final year! (Laughs) And maybe a few helpers and some chocolate, oh and coffee!!
Did you get any sponsorships, or did you afford everything yourself?
Yeah! Well, I got all my yarns by wholesale prices, so they were a really cheap price. And I got a donation from Swarovski Crystals; they gave me all my crystals.
How did you apply?
I was put forward by my tutor as part of the scholarship, but I didn’t get it, but they offered me a donation instead because they liked what I was going to do. Also, I got a Sally Woodward Award, which is a little bit of money. It paid for my shoes, more fabrics and things. So yeah, I did really well, I didn’t spend that much on my whole collection, but gosh, I definitely needed that help.
Did you do any internships?
I was at Galliano for nearly four months. I really loved it there because everyone was just so lovely and being in Paris is a completely different experience than being in London. I had so much fun and learnt so much. Then, for nine months I was at Gareth Pugh, I did the knitwear for his S/S12 collection. I loved being at Gareth Pugh because I was knitting. I got to do my own thing. I would just come up with an idea, do my samples and then come back to him for his opinion. It was really good; it gave me a taster of being a freelance knitwear designer because I could work from home and come in to the studio to help them work out how to put it all together. That was probably rewarding as a Knitwear student. Then, I did one month of internship at Giles Deacon.
How did it feel during the final show?
I think I had butterflies for almost three days leading up to the show! It was a bit mental. During the first show at three o’clock, I was so nervous and was worried that one of the zips might break on the box shaped dress. But the show later – all those nerves were gone. I really enjoyed the last show because I knew everything could get on in time, so I could just relax and enjoy it.
What would be your dream job?
My dream job would be working from home! (Laughs) Not working at all!!
No, no, doing my own thing, definitely. Having my own label. getting my own, personality and creative ideas out there for everyone to see. That would be my dream, definitely.
And at the moment, I am looking forward to begin the MA course in CSM.
Did you have any crazy stories from your years in college? C’mon tell us!
Oh my god, no…I don’t think so, but I remember in first year there was always one person crying at every crit and there was always one that fell asleep. And I was always doing all nighters! There was one time I fell asleep because that was our first project and I think everyone just gave it their all. But not real drama I would say.
We don’t believe you, at Central Saint Martins there is always drama!
(Laughs) I think us knitters were in our own little bubble! Even our tutor said that we weren’t a dramatic year. There was no breakdowns. Sorry to disappoint you on that front!
What music do you listen to?[audio http://1granary.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/02-hang-me-up-to-dry.mp3] (Hayley’s soundtrack for the show)
I love The Black Keys, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s and Janelle Monae! I could listen to all 3 all the time!
If you had 1,000,000 pounds, what would you do?
I would firstly help my family out, I would then buy a flat in London- one with space for a studio, pay off loans and overdrafts, set up my label and then with the left over go on holiday with my boyfriend Jack!!
Do you think students make CSM special or CSM makes the students?
I think its a bit of both, Students have made CSM what it is but the talent, energy and creative atmosphere of CSM really can inspire a student and it really is a special place!
Interviewed by Altynai Osmoeva