The BA Central St Martins Show 2004
Amber Martin brought us sculptural dresses fashioned out of strips of wallpaper, Natalie Walsh an array of kitschy PVC, pleated and hoisted into bottom revealing silhouettes and Jee Hyun Ko layered up gingham to form bulbous shapes. It wasn’t all bold catwalk flamboyance, however, with commercial and well-executed collections from the likes of Lisa Larsson with draped, seductive jersey and fluid eveningwear from show opener Daphne Karras.
Miguel Freitas was presented with ‘the one to watch’ tag as he picked up the L’Oreal Total Look Award. Tailoring intermixed with knitted sections and bulky layers of wraps and pleats – combined with some very intricate details made for a very distinctive winning collection. Louisa Parris’ elegant, fluid silk dresses with some interesting pleats and gathers bagged the Womenswear Award, which was presented by Vanessa Mae. The Menswear Award went to Marcel Ostertag, who seriously sexed up menswear with peacock feathers and revealing wrap tops. In amongst the ‘look at me’ pieces were some very wearable hoodie tops and leather coats, Marcel rounded off his section by appearing on the catwalk himself, complete with patent stiletto heels and a model strut.
Other names that made an impact included – a John Galliano influenced Manuel Vadillo-Benitez, who combined traditional costume and bold colour on an epic scale. Slinky cutout dresses from Niall Sloan, and Corrie Nielson’s earthy, draped pieces that included elements of shoe design with subtle lace-up sections.
Also showing was Savannah Miller, sister to Sienna – currently one of cinema’s rising stars and girlfriend of Jude Law. Indeed, Sienna & Jude turned up offering some family support and happily chatted away to Hilary Alexander from the Daily Telegraph. Of course, who you know in this business can be tantamount to what you know, which is why Savannah Miller might have a little head start with her brand new eponymous label. Sienna is said to be a huge fan of her sisters designs and has already asked to wear some of the garments from her 30-piece graduate collection entitled ‘Bite Me’.
Inspiration for the collection was drawn from the pressure of being in the media spotlight, where a girl is trapped in a cage and ravaged by creatures with claws and fangs. Fabrics such as silk, lace and Spandex are shredded and distressed creating a raw but beautiful feel. Savannah has always wanted to be a fashion designer and now with graduation done and dusted she is ready to set up her own label. With a potential backer and a business partner in the pipeline Savannah Miller is determined to succeed.
While each of the 36 graduates strived to create their own unique style there were a variety of themes that kept re-emerging:
+ Bulky layers and ruffled skirts
+ Irish country feel with earthy knits and worn linens
+ Cultural and traditional costume influences
+ Layers worn over panung style pants
+ Casual combined with the dressy
+ Simple repeated patterns
+ Elegant well-cut eveningwear
There was plenty to take in at the Central St Martin’s 2004 Graduate show and as Peter York – the show’s host said: “These designers are the next Alexander, the next John, the next Phoebe and Stella.”