London's deserved reputation for nurturing more 'big new things' per square mile (or season!) than any other fashion hub in the world was again proven last night with the Central Saint Martins MA graduate show. The course is infamously no breezy picnic in the park, and the living legend of fashion teaching, Professor Louise Wilson, is the woman who has made it happen for the likes of Christopher Kane.
The popular Scot designer was in attendance on the front row yesterday evening (alongside Lulu Kennedy, Tim Blanks and Hilary Alexander) to present the L'Oreal Profesional Bursary Chloe Award. If you aren't familiar with some CSM's prestigious alumni, let's recap: Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, Simone Rocha, Mary Katrantzou... you name a top designer on the LFW schedule this season and it's most likely they've undergone the CSM MA treatment. But who stood out as future talent on this February's runway? Well, in terms of menswear, you'd find plenty of Muslim-style 'thobes' over trousers, but we'd quite happily run away with one of Elena's Crehan's savagely beautiful lace, tufted furry, frilled knits - they seemed to be organically growing away from the body with every step.
Womenswear was of course a highlight for the Grazia team - and Elish Macintosh, with her black jersey column dresses adorned and harnessed in expertly knotted white ropes, was the evening's most triumphant, winning the L'Oreal award. But, you'll want to see the whole shebang, right? Scroll down for the womenswear designers in contention...
As explained above, Elish was the winning designer of the evening. And even made the fash pack chuckle, as one of her rope-covered peepholes that sat within the various black maxi dresses featured on the bottom! Oooh, cheeky.
Like Pierot the clown, these beautiful pleated and layered cornflower blue and navy creations practically danced and bounced down the runway.
In a modern take on Issey Miyake, Jessica's earthy tones and clever leather bonded sections made super-size accordion pleats look new and fresh.
Cubist 3D shapes adorned these loose-fit draped dresses in a classic colour wheel of black, red and white.
Rachel's dramatically ruched, folded and slit outfits were striking in black with slashes of bright cobalt blue.
Like 1970s Christmas tree angels, Sadie's cone dresses were one part sci-fi, one part retro in the most sparkly of lurex, embossed and layered with leather.
Also playing with 3d shapes away from the body Toma layered abstract moulds underneath her silky jersey colour blocked dresses.