The Central Saint Martins BA graduate show took place on Wednesday night at 1 Granary Square, throwing light on tomorrow’s big names.

On the precipice of their careers, many of the students’ collections discussed political agendas relating to the landscape of Generation X: body shame, gender, Brexit, unemployment, or presented dystopia (some, apocalyptic). Some played with notions of business clothes, suits, beige stockings and secretarial silhouettes, with deliberate unfamiliarity.

Several motifs tied together the collections of the 41 students. We’ve selected the top five.

Sleep over:

Clockwise: Aya Takeshima (Knitwear), Dohan Jung (Fashion Design with Marketing), Kota Gushiken (Knitwear), Yuhan Wang (Womenswear)

Sleep-deprived design students, slip dresses and striped pyjamas, it’s not hard to connect the dots. While loungewear has been key for spring/summer 2016, it appeared in its most literal forms throughout the show. We liked Yuhan Wang’s collection, in which silky, striped textiles and ruffled, mesh slips were assembled into billowy, asymmetric outfits.

Into the gloss:

Clockwise: Adonis Kozakidis (Menswear), Benjamin Waters (Womenswear), Edwin Mohney (Womenswear), Max Luo (Print)

Glossy sheens appeared at several points during the show, in glints of latex, vinyl and even duct tape. The most high-impact shine emanated from Max Luo’s cyborg collection. Models wore a metallic second skin, cyclops-eyed, mirrored masks and glittering slip dresses.

We also loved the work of model-turned-designer Benjamin Water. The Hitchcockian collection featured taupe trenches, fur stoles, Tippi Hedren eyeliner, armfuls of flowers, all ziplocked in see-through plastic. The mood was “In a Station of the Metro”, sensual and romantic but modern.

Fisherman fashion:

Clockwise: Derek Cheng (Fashion Design with Marketing), Imogen Wright (Womenswear), Joe Boon (Womenswear), Kota Gushiken (Knitwear)

Call me Ishmael. A few designers opted for seafare-wear. In its most overt retelling, Joe Boon constructed coats, boots and dresses from crispy fish skin.

Derek Cheng’s menswear show was set to noisy punk rock and styled with Doc Martens. Plaid laundry bags were sewn into cargo pants and T-shirts, shopping bags and rope held up trousers.

Imogen Wright’s rope vests recalled the seaside. Orange peel and food scraps were hooked into the netting, styled over white shirts and grey suits, in her discussion of the expiry date of trend-fast clothes.

80s club scene:

Clockwise: Essie Buckman (Fashion Design with Marketing), Oto Kazumi Tanimoto (Print), Soyoung Park (Knitwear), Philip Ellis (Womenswear)

An aura of underground 1980s nightclubbing appeared in many collections. We were particularly intrigued by Philip Ellis, whose experience working at Meadham Kirchhoff and Vetements was clear in his design. He describes the collection's inspiration as “dystopian Britain”, and a punk, 80s reference was toyed with throughout.


Left: Edwin Mohney (Womenswear), Right: Liam Johnson (Print) 

Several students offered sartorial advice for when faced with apocalypse. Liam Johnson showed an angry collection of gloriously grotesque winkle-pickers, high shoulders, massive jackets that sat away from the body.

Edwin Mohney closed the show with a nightmarish series of duct-taped looks. It was a high concept production: a freakish assembly of characters skittishly crawled onto the catwalk from all angles. From the model in a leopard-print bra whose face was masked in cellophane, the histrionics culminated in a billboard-shaped look that a model was taped into. A creepy atmosphere to close the show, but Mohney’s design proposals, and those of the forty students before him, only left the audience with a feeling of excitement.

Images courtesy Catwalking