Central Saint Martins is the foresight ticket. This season, 21 students presented their blood, sweat and tears, the results of which ranged from Phoebe English’s intricately crafted hair and rubber Black Swan creations, reminiscent of Margiela’s hair coats, to Viktor Smedinge’s clean tailored lines and Kathleen Kye’s black and white ghostbuster menswear. From the pedestrian to the sublime, each collection had identity, craft and concept. 21 students. 21 potential design stars. Place your bets.
i-D Online caught up with L’Oréal prizewinners Viktor Smedinge and Phoebe English (see film) post-show and Professor Louise Wilson (see text below) the day after to find out more.
Of the 21 students who showed last night, how many do you predict with be the next Christopher Kane, the next Jonathan Saunders?
Louise Wilson: I don’t, it’s not my job. I’m in education. That’s the people after me; the Sarah Mower’s, Fashion East, all the layers that come after me. If I started thinking it was up to me to predict that, I should retire. Their success is a happy accident of them doing work that’s relevant.
How do you guide someone without influencing their aesthetic too much? You’re always working with their ideas. You’re always guiding their idea, you’re not generating an idea.
Have attitudes to British fashion changed in the span of your career? Are we more accepting now? The wonderful thing about Britain is that one minute it’s up and one minute it’s down and one minute it’s up and one minute it’s rubbish. It’s bloody marvellous, we’re all kept on our toes. There’s not many countries who have produced a McQueen or a Hussein, in the time scale of the 90s. Then we’ve got a huge vanguard of young designers and there’s no other country that has produced that.