02August2015
How David Kappo, the renowned fashion tutor at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art makes students keep turning fashion on its head, over and over again.

David Kappo is perhaps the ultimate embodiment of the spirit of St. Martins. He has frequented the halls of the institution since before its merging with Central School of Art and Design, and remains one of the most prominent tutors in the institution as he directs CSM’s Graduate Diploma while lecturing at the Royal College of Art’s MA course. We invited Kappo, dressed extravagantly in floral tunic and bejewelled en masse, for breakfast at Dishoom, to hear how Louise Wilson once saved him from a tranny shop in SoHo and why it’s important to have the courage to wear what you design.

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31July2015
How executive fashion producer Laura Holmes rose to the top of her game, while keeping it personal and always on point.

I find Laura Holmes deeply engaged in a phone call as I make my way through an enormous photo shoot in Three Mill Studios, a Hollywood-like warehouse complex in East London. They are shooting a new campaign for a major luxury house hold name, and we stroll past extraordinary set designs and tables with the lavish new shoe range before finding a quiet spot in the catering area, to speak about the company that is Laura Holmes Production.

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31July2015
The Antwerp-based fashion designer has grafted a steady business for the past two decades without any support or interference from conglomerate groups. He tells the young generation why they should take a radical approach in creating a business, and why it’s okay to have a mega empire like Paul Smith and sell wearable clothes.

Stephan Schneider is not your ordinary ‘Belgian’ designer. As one of the first foreign generations to graduate from the Antwerp Fashion Department in the 90s, the German-born designer is “for sure not Boheme, radical, dark or gothic,” he says as he compares himself with the Antwerp Six, and past graduates from the institution that have established a distinct ‘made in Belgium’ signature. His clothes, in contrast, are very ‘wearable’: something that may be considered very mature or even ‘commercial’ compared to the extravagancy seen at the students’ final year show of the Academy, where he acted as a jury member this year.

In a much accelerated industry, Stephan keeps his head cool and doesn’t go through as much change as perhaps other brands would. In fact, the leopard print carpet in his shop is exactly the same as it was when he first opened it 20 years ago. The age doesn’t show in the interior, and neither does it show in Stephan’s energy when he talks about his steady career. “I enjoy this old dusty house,” he says. “I wanted to make fashion that was solid and that I could live from.”

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22July2015
Holly Mathewson studies fashion and memory culture, as she reworked fragments of her grandmother’s wardrobe into beautiful jewellery pieces for her graduate project.

Graduating Central Saint Martins BA jewellery designer Holly Mathewson draws on her family’s history as her prime source material – specifically, her graduating project was a reworking of her grandmother’s wardrobe, as seen and remembered through photographs and abstract memories.

Like many of her peers, Holly Mathewson had dreamt of attending Central Saint Martins since a very early age, enchanted by the “magical allure” of the famous institution. After completing courses in Art & Design and Fashion in her Sixth Form, she enrolled at the CSM Foundation Course. “And the rest is history,” she explains, tracing her educational path to her BA in Jewellery Design. The choice fell on jewellery because Holly is interested in the relationship with its wearer. “It’s something I always try to address in my work,” she says. “Whether that’s through the concept or the physical elements, it is key when I design my collections.”

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22July2015
Antwerp-based fashion designer Jan-Jan van Essche on slow growth, the freedom that his clothes give to men and women, and how the Japanese have peculiar ways of improving everything that falls into their hands.

Talking with Jan-Jan van Essche in a tiny courtyard at the back of his Solar Shop in Antwerp — in which one can buy collected objects of desire as well as his clothing — is like being pushed into a meditative state. On day two of a trip to the Belgian city, I meet the fashion designer who takes a very craft-based and non-seasonal approach to creating garments with soul and longevity, and it takes a mental effort to adapt to his stillness when living and working in a city as fast-paced as London. His long dreadlocks are draped on the table between us, on which a glass of water stands, and a phone. Halfway through the conversation, his friend Charlotte Koopman — a chef who creates food in Het Bos that tastes as soulful as Jan-Jan’s clothes (a testimony: we ate it) — pops in and out of a kitchen at the very back of the shop. The conversation we had on one of the hottest days of the year, while both wearing black, follows below.

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21July2015
Interview with CSM graduate Dominik Pollin, who created digital research-collages while completing his BA in Fashion Communication and Promotion

For Dominik Pollin, fashion is about images. Images in the sense that to him, fashion is consumed visually, and thus immaterially, rather than through physical products or commodities. As a native of the Internet, ‘fashion’ is to Dominik interlinked with a whole universe of digitally-mediated visual phenomena, seen through streams, scrolls and clicks through different screens. As such, his practice can perhaps best be described as examining the infinite amount of forms that constitute ’visual culture.’ Left from Visconti’s Death In Venice The casting of Tadzio, from the Rai Tre programme Alla Ricerca Di Tadzio Originally from Germany, Dominik had his first artistic training in Paris, where he did a foundation course in Fine Art. As a testament to his cross-disciplinarity, his art foundation subsequently led him to Antwerp in Belgium, where he began studying fashion design at the prestigious Royal Academy of the Arts. However, it was there that

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19July2015
Burak Cakmak is a catalyst, a game changer. The former Vice President of Swarovski embarks on a new journey, educating the new generation of Parsons talent how to design in the age of sustainability.

Even though Burak Cakmak and I initially aimed to meet for coffee in the mythical ‘absinthe’ Green Bar of Hotel Cafe Royal, it’s unfortunately closed until noon. Instead, we settle in the cafe, where pictures of supposedly famous people frame the walls. The tables are made from a warm marble; the flower in the glass on top of it is orange, and suits the hair of Parsons’ new Dean terribly well, who orders an americano with milk on the side. He leans into the conversation, sometimes lowering his voice as if talking in conspiracy or secrecy about fashion business, but always with an underlying smile. His energy could almost be described as a youthful, which is present when we make a small tour through the hotel when trying to find daylight to shoot a portrait. We end up going to the top floor in old elevators, opening doors hoping a

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14July2015
Not a lot of people can say they have their name on a plane. Led Zeppelin could. Dita von Teese could. Masha Ma could. The prophecy was right: fashion designers indeed are the rockstars of the 21st century.

It may be a bold thing to say that Masha Ma is at the forefront of a Chinese revolution in fashion, but armed with scissors as sharp as Louise Wilson’s wit, a headstrong 50-man work force and an ambition to open 100 stores, it’s fair to say she’s doing away with the west’s outdated view of ‘made in China’.

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