Representing the creative future

The Fashion Graduate Diplomas: Linyou Zhang

With the second degree show well on its way — the private view is tomorrow evening — it is safe to conclude that all graduates can breathe. Well, nearly, because now is the time when recruiters, press, and also family will come to the Granary Square building to look at the work of this year’s new offering of talent in different disciplines.

We decided to explore the work of students from the Graduate Diploma in Fashion — the one-year course which is designed for those who wish to refine, or obtain more skills before going on to work for a fashion company; start their own label, or do a postgraduate degree. It can perhaps be seen as the Foundation Year for MA students. We start by catching up with Linyou Zhang, who we recently featured in our Work In Progress series; when her hugging and wadding process was slowly coming along.


Can you point out one good and one bad memory of this year spent at Central Saint Martins? 

I had an impressive experience while working on my final collection. When I worked on the process, I got lost when it came to the pattern cutting. I worked hard but things didn’t go according to the plan. I tried a lot of methods but I wasn’t happy with my design and I wasn’t ready to do a fitting. I also wasn’t ready to put my designs in my sketchbook, so I didn’t know what step to take. I had some good ideas in my head, but I couldn’t materialise them. I wasn’t sure that I would have made it in the end, but I did it. That made the whole experience worthwhile.

What was the main inspiration of your collection?

My inspiration came from my last garment. When I tried it with two people, I felt the emotional reaction between them. It’s the feeling of having something and losing it, which portrays a sense of security and insecurity. So my final project presents the feeling of a sense of security. That feeling of being comfortable and cozy—holding onto and hugging something precious, and hiding from any threats and dangers.

Did your vision and way of working change during the process?

I think that I’ve changed a lot after coming to Central Saint Martins. I’ve had a different type of education and CSM changed my vision of design. I’m now trying to use different fabric textures in my work.