‘Tis the season for graduation, and in schools around the world, students are putting down their pencils and getting ready to enter the workforce.
While this may mean exams and dissertations for some, design students around the world are getting ready to show their final collections for a panel of tutors and judges in what, for some, is their first major showing.
Design students in the UK are lucky enough to have an entire sponsored fashion week in London that features schools across the country, but all eyes were on the "big three" this past week, as three of the most reputable and respected design schools in the world put their students’ wares on display for buyers, potential employers, the press, and adoring admirers.
Check out how the shows panned out, and which designers stole the spotlight.
Central St. Martins BA
The graduate shows kicked off with the always highly anticipated BA show from Central St. Martins, where 40 of the most promising students were chosen to show to a packed crowd that included top media and famous alumni like Gareth Pugh and Marios Schwab.
The stark and controlled atmosphere of CSM’s LFW scheduled MA shows was nowhere to be seen, as the young designers featured from the BA course showed multi-dimensional prints and structural elements that wowed the impressive crowd.
Winner of the L’Oreal sponsored Designer of the Year award was Yi Fang Wan, whose voluminous, open-backed, natural fabrics won the favor of the judges.
London College of Fashion BA
The textiles were the stars of the LCF BA show, where 26 design students from a handful of specialties showed their final collections in a show almost as high-profile as that of its sister school, CSM.
Nattaphon Sampataphakdee, winner of the Collection of the Year, showed sleek menswear, whereas some of his classmates generated massive buzz with their over-the-top accessories and embellishments. LCF took a step further than the other schools by being the first to live stream their BA show online.
They also set up a pop-up exhibition on Carnaby Street in central London to showcase the work of students in Communications, Photography, and Make-Up, giving all of the graduating students a chance to have their final work on display.
Royal College of Art MA
Unlike most of the other schools, RCA only offers courses to postgraduate students, and it showed. The show, which featured 33 designers, was on the whole a more sophisticated and refined palette – a refreshing change from the oversized and seemingly unwearable pieces we saw from others in the week. Noteworthy students included Marielle Van de Ven,with her exoskeletal use of leather and monochrome looks, and Poppy Carwright’s white-on-white use of appliqué, lacing, and texture. A static exhibit in the school’s foyer showcased five promising accessories design students.