For many, answers have been found in togetherness. We find comfort in the time we spend with our family, a walk with a friend, the joy of making something with a classmate. What we used to refer to as “the little things in life” now seem pretty big. “The hardest part was sewing everything. The best part was the people I did it with,” shared graduate Ru Kwok.
You gain 237 new followers and Sarah Mower reposts one of your looks. Do these things still matter?
What does this mean for a graduate event at one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world? The Central Saint Martins MA Fashion show is a traditionally highly-anticipated Fashion Week moment. Stars are discovered, careers are made. You open the show. You gain 237 new followers and Sarah Mower reposts one of your looks. Do these things still matter?
The 33 graduates who presented their collection today had little access to the accolades that usually accompany the completion of this prestigious degree: no live encounters with experienced professionals in their studio, no spectacular runway show to tie it all together. Yet, when asked about what they missed most after a year of creation in isolation, it’s the daily social interactions that are mentioned first.
Culturally, our sector celebrates individuals as the sole masterminds of their creations. Structurally, we expect those creations to be produced following a tight, seasonal calendar.
“It’s the unplanned reactions,” said graduate Jimmy Howe. “You can’t plan what other people will do or say. Someone walking past what you’re working on and saying, ‘oh, that reminds me of this or that,’ and you’re like ‘shit, yes it does,’ and off you go on an idea which you just couldn’t have planned. Or people asking to try stuff on. I suppose what I missed most was the interactivity behind creating clothes.” Students miss exchanging with others, being together, and the rich creative ideas that can magically appear when you aren’t paying attention.
Lucille Guilmard agrees, adding the importance of spontaneous interactions with tutors, something that is almost impossible to recreate through a screen: “This could be regarding technical advice or even anecdotes. They are seemingly harmless on the spot, but with distance I realized how precious they were.”
The observations highlight two key factors for creativity that are strangely undervalued by our industry: teamwork and spontaneity. Culturally, our sector celebrates individuals as the sole masterminds of their creations. Structurally, we expect those creations to be produced following a tight, seasonal calendar. Tough social restrictions appear to have paradoxically opened up a reflection about these stubborn values.