the seven types of fashion student: where are they now?

A year on from graduation, we catch up with The Monk, The Party Boy and the rest of the cohort.

by Mahoro Seward
30 September 2019, 7:30am

Isn’t it strange how a year can pass in what feels like a day? Just think, it was only a year ago that we left our fresh-faced fashion students at the school gates (if you’ve not already, do familiarise yourself), heads filled with dreams, bellies filled with fire. In spite of the many trials and tribulations they encountered along the way, they all made it to the finish line intact -- well, just about. But where on earth are they now? As the school’s studio gears up for a fresh cast and a new season of drama and distress, we take a look at just what came to be of the class we got to know so well.

The Monk

When we last saw our greige-swathed chum, they weren’t in the best of ways. Hedi had just flicked the accent off ‘Céline’ and Rick had started using using colour again. For our decidedly monochrome Monk, the world was becoming a lighter, brighter place. How nauseating. The year that’s passed since has brought no real improvement with it -- grieving a loss is, after all, a life-long process, and what a loss this was. Their parents, tired of seeing their dreary offspring emptying their bank account for clothes only useful for Damir Doma show re-enactments, demanded that The Monk pay their deficit and get a goddamn job. But with the houses they once aspired to be a part of now dead to them, where on this gaudy earth could they find something that would allow them to bear even a glimpse of themselves in their obsidian mirror? A Scandinavian high-end high-street chain expressed an interest in shipping them off to Stockholm to endlessly reproduce their graduate collection of respectably draped asymmetric column dresses -- but work without access to angora? No thank you! With little hope to be found in design, The Monk’s pathway to a dust-hued nirvana has so far taken them to the ground floor of Dover Street Market, where they stoically serve as an in-house incense specialist.

The Pseudo-Theorist

“What do you mean you don’t know whether God is dead or not? The answer’s obvious, it’s basically the central theme of the debut collection of my new brand FRANKFURTER_SCHULE. We’re showing during Art Belgrade, you should check out-” Take my advice: walk away now. You’re no longer at uni, no longer obliged to endure their garbled monologues for the sake of salvaging a quote or two for your one essay of the term. Until they learn that no one wants to hear about Nietzsche at parties -- or ever, frankly -- they don’t deserve your time. And despite what the bookish peacockery seems to suggest, your life is actually far more interesting than theirs. Hell, even The Monk’s is zestier. That doesn’t stop them from trying to tart things up with an aptly plucked quote. “‘Ennui,’ as Roland Barthes wrote, ‘is not far from bliss’,” they sigh. “‘It is bliss seen from the shores of pleasure.’” Sure thing, sis.

The Party Boy

‘Omg, is that…’ Yes, it is -- but you’re not going over to say hi, not after last time. Surely, you’ve learned your lesson? Anyway, it looks like they’ve slid down the ranks a bit… Their skin now noticeably greyed, the only light sources they’ve seen since graduation being the strobes in the club, it’s only taken a year for them to pass their once-poised prime. If there’s anyone that should be wishing that school never ended, it’s them. That said, as much as they may look-like Pete Doherty’s Madame Tussauds waxwork, they’re still able to stir up the same feelings of social inadequacy they did in school with just a fleeting glance. And, despite their unending weekend warriorship, they’re still doing better than you, sweetie. The effort they spent cultivating that who’s-who entourage -- admittedly at the expense of their final collection -- wasn’t just for fun: as soon as graduation came, they stumbled straight from the after-afters into a junior designer role. If you’re gonna play a game, know how to play it right!

The Trust Fund Baby

Let’s be frank, if anyone was going to be doing just fine a year down the line, it was always going to be The Trust Fund Baby. Was their graduate collection anything worth a second glance? No. Have they acquired the cutting skills required to actually make a garment? Of course not, though they did recently expand their arsenal of ‘research tools’ to include Sèvres 24 and SSENSE. Do they have a 150sqm penthouse-cum-studio in Notting Hill, their father’s black Amex, and the same sleep-deprived entourage of hired help we saw back in the workroom? Bingo! Now prepping for the simultaneous launch of their ‘sustainable’ leather brand and its Kings Road boutique, things have carried on in much the same manner as they did at school. “WHAT do you think you are doing?” they screech at their former classmate, the latest to be caught in their web of exploitative employment. “Of course you can’t ‘rest your eyes’ against a chamois chaise-longue -- what do you think it’s for, sleeping?” Then again, working under fashion’s very own Caroline Calloway has its perks. As one of the few young designers able to pay a living wage, making rent’s not an issue -- one thing to take off your mind for the nights you’re allowed to sleep at home.

The ‘Accidental’ Margiela Plagiarist

The last time we heard from this one, they were adamantly refusing all of our interview requests, insisting that “the work should speak on its own terms -- I am but a servant to fabric.” Since the show, and the debut of the pioneering ‘Cleft Toe Shoe’ it brought, few seem to have seen or even heard of what they could be up to. After making such an, uhm, distinct impact on the entire class, they’ve all evaporated without the faintest trace. Some say they’ve been spotted skulking around various Antwerp gallery openings, while others report the arrival of a mysterious newcomer at Vetements in Demna’s wake…

The Scientist

Did you know that ‘protective couture’ was a fashion niche? Well, neither did The Scientist until they were approached by MI5 days after the show. Impressed by their knack for material synthesis and engineer’s precision in the cutting room, they were swiftly enlisted as the official outfitter of the secret service’s special agents. Though it may seem like a bit of a scam, it turns out that, when you’re trying to infiltrate a shady oligarch’s summer do, a scalloped Alaïa-esque evening dress knitted from VantaBlack Kevlar is far less conspicuous than a full vest. They seemed content when we last spoke, though it’s been tricky getting hold of them since publishing. We’re sure they’re fine, it’s not like they said this was strictly off the record or anything...

The Eco-Vegan

After the tempered kelp trouser incident (spoiler alert: they didn’t hold together on the runway), you’d have thought that The Eco-Vegan would’ve retreated from fashion entirely. But no! They’re still going strong! In what can only be described as a gymnastic PR volte-face, what risked being written off as a poorly-executed catastrophe received rapturous applause for its literal representation of disintegrating organic materiality. “We are literally watching the world crumble before our eyes! How can we have time for fashion when our very mother is dying?” they shouted, as the poor model scampered down the runway with his trousers falling apart, trying not to flash Tim Blanks. The year since has seen them climb from peak to peak as the fresh young face of plant-based fashion advocacy, though the quality of their stitching still lingers somewhere around base camp. All power to them, though: while people like The Scientist are able to forge a career from their strengths, it shows real grit and resourcefulness to be able to do so from your weaknesses.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

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