Honing together the efforts of the upcoming design elite is always going to create an explosion of a show, and CSM AW14 proved no different. The MA showcase combined the talent of eleven finalists who competed for the L'oreal Professionnel Creative Award with Central Saint Martins MA Fashion Course. With alumni of the institution including the likes of Stella McCartney, Jonathan Saunders and Alexander McQueen, it's little surprise that the collections were forward-thinking and raw. Of the students, the two who snapped up the L'oreal prize were Michael Power and Ondrej Adamek; a decision that was ultimately decided on by none other than CSM alumni Christopher Kane. The decision cannot have been an easy one, to say the least - just feast your eyes on the collections we were graced with:
Outlining the collection with a steady theme of bodycon nylon, especially mildly bizarre head socks, the Japanese designer conveyed a penchant for striking monochrome with red accenting throughout. With a swathing of floating fabrics, the pieces held a strict oxymoron between ethereal and futurism.
Chloé Award winner, Drew Henry, is no stranger to success. A luxurious take on the utility trend, Henry juxtaposes satiny box-shaped jackets with fur accents. And by accents, we mean: heels, dresses, gloves, panels - the lot.
Using a selection of tightly woven panels, this monochrome-meets-metallics collection definitely brought the term 'fierce' to mind - using thick neckpieces and silver accents which in turn, brought about visions of armour and even chain-mail.
As the proud recipient of the Stella McCartney scholarship, Jessica Mort's fringe-heavy collection was bound to be an eye-catcher. Using an amalgamation of rich reds, blues and greens with consistent white 'shredder' fringing, the pieces hit postmodern proportions - whilst retaining the traditional collar.
With accolades including the receipt of the Isabella Blow Foundation MA Fashion Fund, and winning J.Crew's Cashmere Project, Hirlekar had a bar to surpass with this collection - and she succeeded. The heavily embroidered collection revealed endless hours of crafting, with a colour palette as rich as the detailing.
Asymmetrical geometric shapes tied together the basis of Yamamoto's collection: white block cut-outs strewn upon oversized floral foil gowns. Layering played its part, matching or colour-blocking trousers set against the predominantly silver foil-look bodies.
Another recipient of the Isabella Blow Foundation MA Fashion Fund, Blakeman's work this season focused primarily around a beige colour scheme with mesh cut-outs, to such an extent that it conjured images of uh, giraffes. The often revealing cut-outs brought a risqué feel to what otherwise could've been a quiet collection.
A clean-cut, angular take on monk-esque robes was presented by L'oreal Professionnel Scholarship winner Parnell-Mooney. With a focus on AW14 'IT' colour, blue - the pieces incorporated layering and floating panels throughout.
Holder of both a Sarabande MA Scholarship and winner of J.Crew's Cashmere Project, Gili's collection did not disappoint. With a truly intricate collection, featuring a heavy array of different details, beaded net sweaters and reflective lampshade skirts - there was plenty to feast the eyes upon.
One of the joint winners of the competition, this collection by Adamek was a storm. Using bold geometric but almost even floral shapes - to such an extent they practically obscured models' vision - the pieces were bold in the AW14 hues of cobalt blue and pink. Vertical stripes adorned slim-fit dresses and promise dripped from every inch of fabric.
The other proud winner of the L'oreal Professionnel Creative Award, Power's collection lived up to his namesake - bold, almost tribal detailing over floating monochrome dresses. Teamed with quirky block shoes and robust jewellery, we're going to see a lot more from this designer in the future.
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Words: Ebony Lauren Nash | Fashion Week Press | @Ebzo
Images: Rosemary Pitts |Fashion Week Photographer|@rosemarypitts_