All posts tagged 1 Granary
Imagine you were a designer for Celine. Accessories designer. Head of accessories – bags, shoes, sunglasses, jewelry and all.
Accessories designer Louise Davies and Johnny Coca.
He was also the guest tutor for the recent accessories project of 2nd Year Fashion Design and Marketing. The students were briefed by Johnny to develop an innovative concept for designing a bag where coolness, function and beauty were priority.
After a month of intense work, designing and sampling, the students were gathered for a talk with Johnny where he gave some invaluable insight about what it is to be the designer of the most coveted bags worldwide, he looked through sketchbooks, research and samples of students and gave his personal feedback.
Thanks to Heather Sprout, 1 Granary also managed to hear Johnny’s talk.
Almost as if a tale, Johnny started by telling us that he didn’t study to be a designer. His first step into the fashion world was designing and drawing windows for the Louis Vuitton boutiques just to earn some extra cash. Inevitably these windows had bags and drawing them Johnny thought “Oh it is really easy to design bags”. He drew some, showed them at LV and there he was with his first job.
Then there were Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and other dream employers.
After designing for Celine for 4 years and traveling between Paris and London, Johnny Coca knows how to design what people want before they even know they want it.
Which made him the perfect guest tutor. Johnny spoke with all 17 FDM students and explained the strengths and weaknesses of their work.
There were a few best designs chosen, those of Grace Gowers, Qiying Fang, Nathan Moy and Ella Ren but one was the lucky bastard to be pointed out as a winner – Amir Khorasany. His design is indeed very cool. He wanted a malleable feel for the structure of the bag so there were references to artists such as Robert Morris and Daniele Papuli.
You can see examples of his beautiful play with leather strips and the bag’s prototype.
Wait for the best part! As a winner of the project, Amir’s design is going to be brought to life in Celine’s very own French factory!
“When you figure out what you want to do, what category you want to develop as your future job, make sure you are the best.”
Here is Johnny’s advice to CSM’s students:
When I started designing bags, I said to myself, ‘Okay, I want to know everything now – how to design, how to make it, the leathers, the fastenings, all the market, all the competitors, everything.
Only creativity isn’t enough. I meet so many designers that are very creative but don’t know the market or what the people want or how to adapt their style to a brand and the other way around.
There should be no question you cannot answer in your field. After that you can move to another category. For example after accessories, I knew everything on sunglasses and optical, then everything on shoes. You have to be able to explain to the team, to a CEO, to a factory worker. Learn everything.
After that is it quite easy and you can select who to work for.
As Heather Sprout pointed out ‘Once you leave college, the real education begins’.
Having worked as an illustrator for fashion related clients such as Style.com Korea and Elle Girl Korea, Hyon describes himself as, “just one of those cartoon geeks during school”. It was his work at these prestigious magazines which drove Hyon towards fashion and which helped lead to his successful application for Womenswear at CSM! Now in his second year, Hyon talked to me about college life and his involvement with the glorious CSM program on everyone’s calendar – the Galliano Project.
“I’m still in progress.”
Upon my asking about his expectations of CSM, Hyon instantly replies that “it was way better than I expected.” He puts it down to his amazing classmates because of the fun they have on every project as well as the total variety of styles across the board. “So much jealousy and learning is going on in me at the same time because of these amazing people.” And how does he define CSM’s education style? “Free. Students can do whatever with their work but it has a really well-built structure. That is what I realised when I had a look at my first and second year works recently.” He highlights that his identity is becoming “more and more clear” but admits “I feel that it’s getting really ambiguous as well. I’m still in progress.”
What is most challenging about fashion?
Balancing myself between ideality and reality.
I was eager to ask about Hyon’s experiences on the Galliano project. This year the project sparked an absolute bonanza of frantic and frenzied tweeting when the man himself was spotted roaming around the Granary Building. His mysterious and magical appearance was due to the fact that he was taking part in a crit with the project’s highest scoring 19 students. Casual. Hyon’s initial reaction? “Wow. It was a great experience to see him in reality.” Hyon exclaims it still feeling “surreal that he even commented” on his work, not to mention he gave “nice comments and advice about my work in person. It didn’t matter whether he is my favorite designer. All my friends and I were beyond excited on the surprising morning.” To get good feedback from John Galliano… This bodes well for Hyon’s future, wouldn’t you agree?
I wanted to get under the skin of “Photosynthesis Woman”. I had looked back on a feature about Hyon’s take on sustainability in the past project “I’m so sorry”. Relating his current work to photosynthesis, I wanted to ask if this project was also concerned with themes of sustainability. He laughs and remarks, “I never thought that two project could look related. My Galliano Project, ‘Photosynthesis Woman’, was inspired by the American painter, Edward Hopper.” A prominent American realist painter in the twentieth century, Hopper’s paintings are loaded with a sense of intrigue, contemplation and sparsity; the commonplace is transformed into something hauntingly poetic. In particular, Hyon focused on Hopper’s painting ‘Morning sun’. When he saw the painting for the first time, Hyon had a very clear image of a woman: “There is a woman sitting on her bed on a lazy Sunday morning. The time is around 11am; she enjoys staring out of window in peaceful sunshine. She thinks back of what she has done in week days and thinks of what things will happen in a new week…” He endearingly comments that “probably I have gone too far” but reaffirms the idea that “somehow we all have this kind of recharging time in our lives. So the project was actually about the recharging time to get energy for new days.”
Does fashion need to be more sustainable?
Some designers think about it but the others don’t. This is also my contradiction as long as I do fashion.
In terms of project development, Hyon tells me it was a bit unusual in terms of not having that much preparatory time! “I just simply played with Galliano’s legendary works and got some basic shapes of collection. All the collage was for explaining my idea to people to understand my theme more easiely. I love making collages as well.” (Who doesn’t?) “It is like recreating new images with existing images.” Busy beavering away with his part time work and projects at college, Hyon tells me he is excited by graphic print designs beyond the realms of fashion. These he researches on the internet in the rest of his time.
Any hopes, dreams, plans or expectations for the bright future?
Having a great final year of work firstly. I still haven’t figured out things after graduation. I am open to all possibilities.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Congratulations for the birth of 1 Granary’s Magazine !!!!
For more of Hyon’s work featured on 1 Granary: http://1granary.com/central-saint-martins-fashion/projects/hyon-park-i-am-so-sorry-2nd-year-womenswear-sustiainablty-project/
For more on Galliano’s visit to CSM also featured on 1 Granary: http://1granary.com/central-saint-martins-fashion/graduates/how-awesome-it-is-when-john-galliano-casually-comes-to-csm-to-see-students-work/
As a start of this editors’ letter let me say that most of us knew shit about making a magazine. This proves to be quite fun when you don’t even know that you are making a magazine, because this baby started just as a timid CSM blog.
Last year that is.
It was a good idea, you have to give us that. Almost an obvious one – too many people are curious about CSM, not to give them some insight. Too many people do amazing stuff in CSM not to give them a platform. One Italian journalist the other day compared CSM to Hogwarts for its talent and mysticism. 1 Granary is a platform for this magic.
Of course no one thought it is going to get that far, especially us. But if CSM teaches you something, it is to work your ass off, so we did and here is our first paper. 1 Granary has launched its print companion.
A magazine to be published biannually, it is a mix of Central Saint Martins‘ past and present.
We show you the baby steps of 1st years, including the starting projects of BA fashion students. We have the personal stories of world-famous alumni such as super-stylist Kate Phelan, The Face magazine former creative director Robin Derrick, Sex Pistols bass Glen Matlock and some big start ups like Love Magazine’s Katie Grand’s first college photo shoot. You would also get to meet the tutors, the unsung heroes of CSM. 1 Granary is a journey inside one of the most talked-about art schools around.
Thanks to everyone who contributed.
Hope you like it and buy it, but either way, its our pleasure.
Love, the 1 Granary team.
PS to the CSM people. This is your magazine, so feel free to use it as one – like us and join us or dislike us and help us change.
After graduating from MA Fashion in 2011, Korean-born designer Rejina Pyo has kept the momentum going ever since. She collaborated with the fashion-forward retail store Weekday (owned by the H&M Group), worked with Roksanda Ilincic, won the Han Nefkens Fashion award and started up her own eponymous label. So without a doubt, we have a lot of catching up to do with Rejina.
The CSM Experience
Before starting the MA course at CSM, Rejiina modeled for Mark Fast in Paris, where she got the chance to hang out with not only Mark Fast himself, but also Mary Katrantzou and Louise Gray, who all graduated from CSM. “They were saying how much they missed it and what an incredible time they had on the course,” Rejina recalled, “now I know what they mean. That’s not to say it was easy though, we all hated it when we were there!”
On The Almighty Louise Wilson
Rejina’s husband, who is a chef (check out his cookbook The Guilt-free Gourmet), had met with Louise Wilson several times. “He described Louise as the wench from hell, but the most inspiring and brilliant one you were ever likely to meet,” she said, “and he was absolutely right! She is incredibly tough and painfully honest, but she gets it right every time and she always told us what we needed to hear.”
On Working with Roksanda Ilincic
Right after graduation, Rejina got picked up by Roksanda Ilincic to work as her first assistant designer. “Having worked in a big corporation in Korea, working in a design studio is very different. I worked very closely with Roksanda. I was responsible for assisting all the key areas of designing. I also designed the Net-a-Porter exclusive collection and the Debenhams collaboration collection. The job was so broad that I got the opportunity to experience almost everything, which was amazing.”
In her highly successful MA collection, we saw a beautiful blend of wooden sculptures with fluid fabrics. The collection showed her interest in exploring the boundary between art and fashion, which was then being featured in the ‘ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion‘ exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Her newly commissioned collection for the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen entitled Structural Mode seems to be a clear continuation of her exploration
“I think art and fashion share a lot of things. It’s something that you want to look at, there is often an element of surprise, it can be beautiful or ugly and ultimately, it is a matter of taste. The boundary between art and fashion is always somewhat blurred, so I wanted to experiment with a more direct approach. I did not want to create fashion garments that could be worn. Instead, I wanted to create sculptural artwork that is inspired by the forms of garments. So none of the pieces are wearable, although at first glance they look like dresses or garments. Then when you get up close, you can see that the pieces are actually made out of coloured aluminum plate, tinted acyclic, and horsehair bonded between silk and cotton.”
Fashion: Art vs. Business
After seeing Rejina’s MA collection and her commissioned collection, you might think that Rejina is a diehard supporter of fashion as art. However, after gaining more and more work experiences in the industry, she came to the conclusion: “What I learnt from the industry is that it’s all about business, it’s the same as any other industries, you have to make money. Being a student is such a privilege, you can do whatever you want without the pressure of having to sell the garment!”
“It’s totally different from being a student, you have to be creative but with your eye constantly on the market. I don’t think of it as pressure though, it’s another part of the joy of being a designer, to see people pay money for your products and wear your designs. You are still developing an idea and making something new and desirable, but it is essential that you know who your woman is, what she wants to wear, when and for what occasion, and the price point etc.”
This to me really echoes with what Imran Amed (founder of the blog The Business of Fashion and associate lecturer at CSM) said previously to 1 Granary: “It’s also never too early to start learning and thinking about how the business of fashion works – the truth is that fashion is not an art, it’s a business.”
The tricky part of being a successful fashion designer is to find the balance between art and business. Looking at Rejina Pyo’s ready-to-wear collections and her collaboration collection with Weekday, it seems that Rejina has definitely found her way to transform conceptual ideas into wearable products. “I was thrilled to be part of the Weekday project and it is also a great opportunity to communicate with a larger audience through my designs. I took the inspirations from my MA collection and developed it with a more wearable approach. The reversibility of the designs also allows the wearers to play around with the clothes.”
So after all, can Fashion be Art? This piece of advice Rejina gave to other fashion students and young designers might be the perfect answer to the question: “I believe that there is always a place for you if you do what you really want to do and do it well.”
Rejina Pyo’s Website: http://www.rejinapyo.com/
John looking like a magical, mad tramp is not news, however, John hanging out with Grace Coddington is. Apparently this was taken the day of the Met-Gala and while he was not attending (he would have certainly rocked that red carpet) he certainly embraces Punk more than Givenchy Couture ever could. Or Sarah Jessica Parker with a mohawk for that matter. We just want to see him being punk next to Anna Wintour again.