Foundation students at Central Saint Martins open up about their backgrounds and sources of inspiration. They explain to us what they think is important to develop within a Fashion Portfolio and what pathways they are likely to pursue next year. Right before the holidays, we asked Money Wang, Zoe Horgan, Inzali Moe, Victoria Kozorezova, Leanne Kim and Jamie Sutherland to share some of their work, history and thoughts about this first term.
“Coming to Central Saint Martins has always been on the top of my list…”
Do you come from an artistic environment?
Money Wang: I come from a family of lawyers in Malaysia. My family always knew that I was artistic, I was always drawing or doodling in class. I am blessed that my family lets me do what I want to do.
Zoe Horgan: I was educated in Switzerland and I lived in a very rural area of England. I recognise now that both my sister and I had the most unusual upbringing. I wouldn’t say I received tremendous amount of support when I was younger, but now, support is all I receive.
Moe Inzali: I come from the second biggest city in Burma, and I used to freelance as a make up artist in Japan.
Victoria Kozorezova: I was born in a small provincial city in Russia. I spent all my teenage years in the streets with skateboarders, musicians and artists. I had no idea that one day I would be in London doing work that I really love.
Leanne Kim: Even though no one is in the arts field, both sides of my family are fairly artistic — my mother being more interested in sewing, whilst my Korean cousins are all very good painters and photographers.
Jamie Sutherland: I come from a family of intellectual creatives: photographers, professors, dancers, artists and writers. Ever since I could dress myself I was wearing pink, sparkly velvet dresses and skirts. I grew my hair long and experimented with makeup. Living in a small city meant I was (and still am) stared at every day, but I got used to it. Studying at CSM has allowed me to experiment with my style freely once again, and now I no longer wonder who will gawk at me as I leave the house.
Victoria Kozorezova’s portfolio
Looking back at life and work before the Foundation year, which people have inspired you to get to where you are now?
Money Wang: I believe that if my friends and family didn’t support me and agree that I should study fashion, I would still be miserable with what I was doing.
Zoe Horgan: My sister. She’s a photographer and filmmaker, and has always inspired and pushed me. As Eugène Ionesco writes on “Notes on My Theatre”, I am “surrounded by the halo of creation.” My classmates inspire me daily, we bounce off one another’s ideas and always consult on each other’s projects.
Moe Inzali: Nick Knight from SHOWstudio. I was really inspired by the way he communicates stories visually without words and talking. Tracey Emin has always been a big inspiration for her self-expression. She is very direct, yet intimate and sensitive.
Victoria Kozorezova: Phoebe English and Anne Sofie Madsen as fashion designers. As a cinema-holic I would say that Jean-Luc Godard had the greatest influence on the development of my tastes and preferences.
Leanne Kim: My mum has always been a great source of inspiration and a prime figure in my life. On a daily basis, it is very much my classmates and the collections of Iris Van Herpen.The constant flow of new explorations, such as 3D printed dresses and laser cutting, demonstrates a continuous push of boundaries.
Jamie Sutherland: There are too many to count! Designers who challenge our concept of gender ‘tradition’ constantly inspire me, such as: Juun J and Siki Im. But I grew up appreciating artists and photographers such as Louise Bourgeois, Henri Matisse, Nan Goldin and Ren Hang. I cannot fathom where I would be creatively without my family whom provide a constant stream of artistic stimuli.
Money Wang’s portfolio
Is it more important to look at the past as a source of inspiration or only to the future?
Money Wang: I think you should not be influenced, but move on or add your own creative twist to it.
Moe Inzali: We need to look at every moment: past, future and of course what is happening in the present time, around us and in the world. Be inspired by past designers and come up with your own ideas.
Zoe Horgan: It’s difficult not to look at the past for inspiration. I think reworking aspects of the past and making it current, or a future trend, is the key to design.
Victoria Kozorezova: I’m still into the 80s. I think the future is boring. We know nothing about it, and I prefer to work with history and true facts.
Leanne Kim: I feel it’s incredibly important to gain inspiration and knowledge of what has been previously explored and produced by designers. But it’s also important to have your own strong aesthetic, which leads you to stand out from the rest.
Jamie Sutherland: I think limiting yourself to just one source is restrictive; I’m constantly looking at the past, present and future. We are often advised to ignore our contemporary environment, yet I believe this can be such a vital source of inspiration. Sometimes noticing other people’s current mistakes or breakthroughs can be a hugely progressive influence.
Leanne Kim’s portfolio
Which pathway are you most likely to pursue next year, and what excites you most about it?
Money Wang: Textiles Design. Discovering new techniques and working with new materials I have never known or used.
Moe Inzali: I would like to pursue Fashion Knitwear. Textures, colours and shapes are what I do. I love to work on the body.
Zoe Horgan: I am looking to apply for Fashion Design with Marketing, as I never want to restrict myself to one area of the fashion industry: as a designer it’s dangerous to limit yourself. The fact it’s not constricted by the title of ‘menswear’ or ‘womenswear’ excites me the most.
Victoria Kozorezova: Fashion Womenswear. The female body is the best kind of canvas to work with. It’s a masterpiece.
Leanne Kim: I’m still at a stage of exploration. I love textiles and print but I am considering Fashion Womenswear, as I am excited to learn more about the technical construction of garments.
Jamie Sutherland: Fashion design for sure, I am still deciding between menswear and womenswear, because my designs are so androgynous. I love the ability to create an art form on the body, and I want to confront the convention of what we know as clothing.
Inzali Moe’s portfolio
How have you changed during these few months?
Money Wang: I’ve learned to play even more and let loose. The past me would be so stoked if he would see me now. I never thought I could create things like what I’m making now.
Moe Inzali: I have become very independent in my design thinking and process. My visions for arts and design have widened into various perspectives.
Zoe Horgan: Everything is visually palatable now: I find it hard not to be inspired by everything I look at. Now everything seems to reflect who I am as a designer.
Victoria Kozorezova: I’ve started to wear black, all the time.
Leanne Kim: Even though I knew before that fashion design is ultimately the pathway for me, I feel that this process of discovery has been very valuable, as I am also able to see the improvements in my concepts, sketchbooks and samples.
Jamie Sutherland: Before foundation I spent a lot of time explaining every decision made in my sketchbook. My work is very abstract and conceptual and I’m learning how to communicate my ideas visually whilst avoiding using text to explain. I’m also learning to break from my comfort zones in terms of colour, texture and silhouette. Studying at CSM was always my dream, it still feels surreal to walk through the gates every day.
Jamie Sutherland’s portfolio
Words by Teresa Fogolari and Jamie Sutherland