CSM fashion communication students have their eyes on challenging the status quo
You might not know their names now, but these graduates from the Central Saint Martins’ Fashion Communication course will change the fashion industry landscape.
This article was originally published by i-D UK
With an ever-changing and increasingly competitive landscape, the need for innovative fashion publishing has never been greater. Ahead of their degree show this month, i-D spoke with six students from Central Saint Martins' Fashion Communication degrees to see what the future holds, and how this generation of graduates are challenging the current state of affairs.
"I've always been drawn to people because you can tell a lot about someone from what they wear and how they wear it. My graduation project, Strange to Meet You, is a diary of my friends and my life, an accumulation of photos I've taken over the last two years. It's a book, but I also staged an exhibition in my house. I wanted to make it very personal and real, not something that happened in virtual reality. I wanted to show that youth culture is still around, but more eclectic and less divided. Our generation is so obsessed with seeing everything 24-hours of the day. This whole Kylie and Kendall shit, people actually want to be like that and live their lifestyle and alter their appearance in order to feel a part of something."
"My project, Toothache, is kind of like a style picture book, I suppose. It's a bit indulgent on the sweet tooth but has a rather dark side. It celebrates styled editorial through an electric mix of collaborations between myself and other artists. It's a harsh world out there at the moment, I wish the government would stop raising fees. If anyone reading this knows of any jobs, then holla!"
"I put on an exhibition with my best mate James, called Green Grapes. It was a celebration of springtime and all the good things it brings -- life, renewal, beauty, health, community and debauchery. It was a mix of my photos, James' sculptures and films, some short stories I compiled written by my cousin and a massive sound system.
The arts are a lifeline for some. We should never underestimate the power of the creative communities formed by arts education and the positive impact they have on young people's lives. If I was to offer any advice, I'd say enjoy the moment and do something you're proud of!"
"My project, YANKER, is a fashion magazine in the format of a graphic novel that satirises the process of making a fashion magazine. It's a bit about putting fantasy back into fashion, and it's a bit like South Park for fashion nerds. It was a spontaneous decision to come to CSM. I'd just retired from being a professional ballet dancer, was totally lost and had to choose between neurosurgery at Columbia in NYC and Fashion Journalism at CSM in London.
After graduating I realised it doesn't matter if you are in the best university, are in the top of your class, if you get a first, or whether you have the best recommendations or the best portfolio, it won't guarantee you a job, because you can't stay here if you're poor and not born in the EU."
Georgia Yi Wan
"I made a documentary called China Heart. I wanted to weave the impact of Brexit and the wider immigration issues, with portraits of young Chinese fashion students and recent graduates who've had their bubble burst by the reality of not being able to find jobs in the industry post-graduation. They're being forced to leave the UK due to the tightening of the government's policies. Although the film focuses on Chinese students' perspectives, I hope wider audiences and many more international students in the creative industries can relate to it. This is a situation me and many of my friends will have to go through this year, and many more next year, so I dedicate the film to them."
"Softlad is an anti-lads mag, for a generation of boys not interested in just boobs, booze and banter. It's about modern day masculinity, the construct of male identity, and what it means to 'be a man'. We live in a pretty turbulent time politically and students and young people seem to be getting the worst of a bad deal. I'm not going to lie and say these four years at Saint Martins have been easy, particularly financially with the cuts to maintenance grants and the rising costs of living in London. But where there's a will, there's a way."
Text Greg French