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The exhibition was decidedly curated in collaboration with Alistair O’Neill, a name you may recognise for recently bringing Guy Bourdin’s oeuvre to the heart of Somerset House this winter. Being the first exhibition of its kind to showcase recent Central Saint Martins MA Fashion graduate work, for free and to the public, it’s a new era of direction for the course, which since last year has been lead by Fabio Piras; who also oversaw the ‘Nude’ exhibit through from its early beginnings. “It’s an opportunity to look at the garments closely and understand the process which you don’t get from the catwalk show nor from a flattened image” emphasises Piras.

 O’Neill, the Fashion History and Theory course leader at Central Saint martins, muses “The title and the concept came out of a particular colour that Fabio and I had been drawn to throughout the collections… The term “Nude” has a much more meaning in terms of art history, but when talked about in fashion, it’s just a colour…”

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 The space isn’t as risqué as it sounds, though baring the hashtag #CSMNude “…the exhibition explores the idea of ‘nude’ as an ambiguous term” Alistair concludes. As a potentially complex theme, it was handled successfully, with each designer’s work being displayed in a way reflective of the spirit for each of their collections, while aided by a series of fabrications used for the garments on display. Simple but not simplistic is the approach that secures the fresh perspective of the MA collections here. A doing away with the pretence of a sterile catwalk and regimented seating and happily swapping it for a candid, stripped and exposed portrayal of one of the most respected fashion rituals of the London Fashion Week calendar.

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A satisfied Piras adds of this year’s MA output and exhibition “What was really important to us, was to actually have a looser approach to fashion, not seeing it as branding, but going back to craft and exposing the idea of the artistic hand”.

“Nude” is open free to the public at the The Lethaby Gallery, 1 Granary Square, N1C 4AA, 15-25th April 2015 – 11am to 7pm Mon-Fri, 12pm to 5pm, Sat and Closed Sunday.

Words by Louis Gabriel

Photography by Charles Jeffrey

 

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