Jul 20, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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Jun 02, 2016
By WGSN Insider
This year’s CSM BA Fashion show 2016 marked the end of a era; as the fashion programme director Willie Walters ended 18- years as course director of BA fashion.
During her time running the course, Walters taught the likes of Christopher Kane, Craig Green, Gareth Pugh, Hussein Chalayan, Phoebe Philo, Ricardo Tisci and Stella McCartney.
The last few years have been especially strong – graduates include rising stars such as Grace Wales Bonner, Charles Jeffrey, Richard Malone, Kiko Kostadinov and Mimi Wade.
Speaking about this year’s graduate show, Willie spoke to the Business of Fashion, explaining: “This year it’s very much to do with political events and what the students are feeling. There’s a lot of work that is influenced by feelings of globalisation and mixed cultures.”
This focus reflects the key overarching trend that we at WGSN forecast for S/S17: Encounter Culture -where we are seeing a new cultural perspective being established; the world is increasingly globalised, not westernised, with influences coming from every continent.
While sitting front row at the press show with my menswear colleague Nick Paget (and next to judge Jefferson Hack), we got to see first hand the more subtle key micro trends coming through from the 41 student-strong showcase, which did not fail to disappoint.
Here are the key threads running throughout:
One: 1980’s club vibes were infused, with an added tough attitude throughout, but this was particularly strong and noticeable with the work of student Philip Ellis (whose designs had his political views about Brexit on the sleeves, literally).
Two: Fine fabrics in particular, lace was used across several students working including Jaeeun Shin.
Three: Sensational high shine. High shine to the extreme was spotted across several collections including one of my favourites the penultimate collection with a sci-fi warrior feel by Max Lo.
Four: Dominating Sculptures. Going beyond the current trend for volume, the graduates sought to take drape and tension to another level, creating distorted and dramatic silhouettes that felt new and inspiring.
Five: Outerwear-Inspired. Elements of jacket design influenced lots of garment types across both men’s and women’s collections bringing elongated, oversized, belted or gathered shapes into focus. Trims such as drawcords and pullers, rib knit trims, storm flaps and protective details were key.
Six: Discussing Masculinity. A given – one might think – for menswear collections, but whether via floral prints mixed with futuristic prison uniforms; a playful look at knitting patterns in pastel shades from the 1970’s; or tough streetwear looks softened with sophisticated colour palettes, the designers producing menswear seemed even more interested than usual in male identity. Considering the conversations happening at Gucci and Vetements, it’s perhaps not surprising.
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