Unfortunately I did not get to see the first part of Central Saint Martins degree show because of my exams, but last week I came down to London to see the second instalment of emerging creativity. Even though it was only one half of CSM graduates, there were too many amazing works to squeeze into a post (or ten), but I want to share at least a few projects that I personally loved the most.
Chinal: a Limiting Gift Set by Mia Che
Addressing China's sociopolitical issues and consumerism in a fun, sarcastic way, Mia Che's work was one of my absolute favourites. The Chinal Limiting Gift Set includes a pair of red sunglasses that erase uncomfortable truth from your sight, a glue lipstick that shuts your mouth, and a necklace that 'keeps you on a lead.' The set guarantees to its owner 'harmony and order at all costs.'
The (in)visibility of black people and minorities in general on the pages of fashion magazines (and everywhere else) is a long-term issue that has come to the fore more and more recently. Nii and 2026 are two magazines that explore race and fill a blank (or should I say white) spot within the industry, with high quality imagery and a meaningful message supporting it.
I was not able to find 2026 online, but you can preorder Nii here or check out their Instagram account.
Nostalgia is the one word I would use to describe Shinhye Kim's project. Centred around childhood memories, its intimate imagery drew me in immediately. But my favourite part was Kim's decision to create a fragrance that goes with the theme of her magazine. And strangely enough, when I smelled it, my mind, too, wandered back to my childhood.
You have probably noticed by now, but I have a weak spot for magazines. Sarah Xuanyi Liu's Out There was both an impressive idea and an impressive amount of field work, which mapped the fashion of two cities - London and Shanghai, but rather than yerr typical street style venture, it portrayed 'ordinary' people and the way they adopt and adjust fashion trends. Rather than a glossy fashion magazine, Out There shows the role fashion plays in society in a straightforward, realistic way.
Arcade also addresses the social context of fashion, but in a very different way. Instead of trends or the commercial nature of fashion, the magazine focuses on people's lifestyles. It presents an in-depth portrait of Paris suburbs and their inhabitants, combining interviews, editorial, and street photography.
Photosympathise by Freya Morgan
[left] Löv by Jean Huang [right] No Chair
If you've lived in the UK, you know you can count days when it doesn't rain on your fingers. Löv is an umbrella stand that turns terrible British weather into something positive. Every time you use it, the water that slides off the umbrella waters the plant in the pot below. Huang said her initial goal was to solve our unhealthy eating habits and allow people to grow vegetables even without a garden. I absolutely loved the idea as well as her clean, minimal design.
Every Time You Put Me On, I Die, A Little by Kay Guo
Inspired by Buddhist teachings, Kay Guo created a collection of jewellery that degrades as you wear it. The number below each piece indicates the number of wears it takes for the piece to degrade, but rather than becoming useless, each piece transforms into something that is still wearable but different from the original shape. Her collection questions the established ideas of what jewellery is but also what luxury is by focusing on impermanence instead of longevity.