Oh! You Pretty Things (Central Saint Martins MA, 2016)

I was totally planning on using my brief non-work time with my laptop to write up the London Academy of Fashion MA show (one of the two runway shows I’ve actually watched this season), but I got distracted by the always stimulating Central Saint Martins’ MA grad show. And so.

To my eyes, this year’s grad student showcase seemed to have a theme of focusing on styling rather than the individual pieces themselves, as layering or how a piece was being worn seemed to take precedence over making a particular piece visible, at least for the majority of collections. This is most evident in the collection seen above (from Harry Pontefract), which features a lot of layers of nylon stockings and other underthings, in one form or another. I’m a big fan of a couple looks from this collection that have (semi-)animated dress forms as tops, such as seen on the above right.

The next four collections seen below (two from each collection, from Amelie Beluze, John Alexander Skelton, Abzal Issa Bekov, and Ajmal Khan, respectively) feature some solid pieces, but, again, it seems to be more about how they’re being styled, making the runway show into some sort of runway/lookbook hybrid. Not to say I wouldn’t want to wear all of them. Except the latex gloves.

The styling of one entire collection (from Lynne Searl) in particular caught my eye, making it very effective advertising. The base pieces themselves may not have jumped out at me without the lace shawls placed over in various manners, and the lace shawls wouldn’t have appealed to me on their own. But together? Perfection. I would happily wear all of these looks, everywhere and all the time.

In contrast to the theme seen throughout the above collections, the below collection (from Richard Quinn) really showcased the show-stopping power of these pieces over their styling. And quite literally, as I think this was the closing collection of the show. This is what I would’ve liked to see in the McQueen show this season, not whatever those unicorn things were all about…

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In summary, did anyone else noticed that my favorite collections and pieces are all within the same colour palette? I swear there were a LOT more colours than these. Really.

(Photos via SHOWstudio.com)

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