In the 1st year BA Fashion Print ‘Apron project’, the students had a couple of weeks to focus solely on learning printmaking. A number of tutorials were given, and the designers were expected to translate what they had learnt into this not-commonly-worn garment. Give an apron to a CSM student and you’ll be sure not to get a bland version that’s worn by your dad to BBQ in. Besides the need to somewhat resemble the structure of the garment, there were no concrete restrictions. The students were, however, required to include three of the techniques that they had learnt, for example: acid printing, flocking, vinyl, devore and making their own dyes depending on fabrication. On crit day, student Phoenix Li Wu pulled out a polaroid camera to capture their last project before Easter, and we spoke with the designers to learn what’s behind their work. From circus lions to Queen Elizabeth II going to Tesco, saving the cosmos or having animals go to a caviar party, discover the work of 11 students below.
Nicole Zisman, 20, American Italian
Concept: Indifference and lack of interest. Certain stimuli have no effect on us, because we’re constantly barraged with information and images. Everything we see and hear starts to blur into one.
Main reference: The works of Benedict Drew and Emma Hart, as well as the general behaviour of the public.
Biggest obstacle: To find strong enough visual research to properly communicate a concept, however ephemeral.
Biggest success: Finishing on time!
Main thing learnt: The value of writing alongside drawings for print, and that time management and planning is vital.
Soundtrack: Daniel Avery – Drone Logic
Berenike Corcuera, 21, German Peruvian
Concept: Graffiti artist spraying for cosmic and environmental awareness.
Main references: Cartoons, illustration, street art, workwear, streetwear.
Biggest obstacle: The pain of freedom of print choice and selection, confusion.
Biggest success: Being done with the project.
Main thing learnt: Indefinite.
Soundtrack: Artifacts – Wrong Side Of Da Tracks
Duygu Yorgancioglu, 25, Turkish
Concept: My main idea was to use the concept of negative/positive very much, like linocuts, and make minimal but striking prints!
Main references: Matisse’s cut outs.
Biggest obstacle: Transforming prints into a piece of garment.
Biggest success: I’ve learnt how to make really intricate stencils.
Main thing learnt: Screen printing is a really dirty process.
Soundtrack: The Internet – Ego Death Album
Manya Kullmann, 21, Russian, Swiss, French
Concept: Fabulous animals going to a caviar party.
Main references: Soviet children’s books and gross 70s party food.
Biggest obstacle: Getting the print done on time.
Biggest success: Getting it done.
Main thing learnt: Organising!
Soundtrack: Bootsy Collins – I’d rather be with you
Laino Bilbao Ugarte, 24, Spanish
Concept: I got inspired by Niki de Saint Phalle’s letters. I did illustrations writing letters to my mum, sisters, friends and to my diary. I then used those illustrations as print ideas.
Main references: Niki de Saint Phalle and aprons from the 50’s.
Biggest obstacle: Not making mistakes in my final prints.
Biggest success: Turning those mistakes into advantages instead.
Main thing learnt: The importance of being clean and organized in the print room.
Soundtrack: HAIM – Falling
Eva Maria Neuburger, 26, Austrian
Concept: Explore mankind’s fascination with Alchemy.
Main references: Goethe´s Faust, Goldsmiths, Enlightenment Gallery, King’s Library in the British Museum and its vast collection of tokens, charms and ritual objects, Henri Rousseau´s mystical world, Aztec mosaic death masks.
Biggest obstacle: As always, time management.
Biggest success: Not to get in trouble with the print ladies.
Main thing learnt: How incredibly hard it is to bring together silhouette, colour and prints.
Soundtrack: Lauryn Hill, Raphael Saadiq, No Doubt
Kun Qian, 26, Chinese
Concept: The idea is based on British hero leisure time. My muse of this apron project is Queen Elizabeth II. I tried to put the Queen in a lower class of society, for example she would go to Tesco, Wasabi or eat fish and chips.
Main reference: The Queen’s lifestyle and outfit, and Grayson Perry’s drawings.
Biggest obstacle: Time.
Biggest success: Using black fabric with a large Portrait print, to make a strong visual effect.
Main thing learnt: A bigger print pattern really works with screen print skill, whereas details don’t really work.
Mikyoung Ko, 18, South Korean
Main references: Alexander Calder.
Biggest obstacle: Getting the right colours.
Biggest success: Final fabric with dyeing.
Main thing learnt: Screen print with stencils.
Soundtrack: The Kitty Cat Dance
Dohye Yun Age, 23, Korean
Concept: Greek plaster cast, mythology, Hades and Persephone.
Main references: Plaster faces.
Biggest obstacle: The making, because I chose silk, and time management for screen print.
Biggest success: Print.
Main thing learnt: How to place my print on outcomes.
Lisa Danbi Park, 24, Korean American
Concept: Prison tattoos meets Rococo meets Cheesy Tumblr Quotes.
Main references: Collaging prison images alongside ornate and heavenly paintings from the 18th century. The Internet, tattoo lettering, Los Angeles.
Biggest obstacle: Finding a way to incorporate all the printing methods and visualize it as a cohesive print.
Biggest success: Having a final product!
Main thing learnt: Printing really teaches you to organize and plan things out; things take time (to dry, to dye). You can’t just bust it out in an hour.
Soundtrack: Tracks from the East Side Story records.
Hayley Goff, 20, English
Concept: I wanted to create an apron which had a main purpose of decoration, but was also functional. One that can be worn in several ways, so each strip and pocket is detachable and reversible.
Main references: Scandinavian traditional folk dress and embroidery. My prints were inspired by cross stitching in types of Scandinavian embroidery. I looked at traditional embroidered pockets and bags, as well as various aprons which represent different regions and groups in Sweden.
Biggest obstacle: Stencils! My prints had a lot of colour and each one was around 4 layers. Stencilling lots of prints, where the layers lined up correctly throughout the project, was a big task.
Biggest success: Foiling. I love foiling over prints, maybe I got a bit carried away because my whole piece ended up shiny…
Main thing learnt: You can never use too much foil. Next time I don’t think I will stop myself.
Soundtrack: Kings of Leon – Wasted Time
Design in featured image by Grace Jean-Louis Constantine
Photography by Phoenix Li Wu