The graduating class from the Central Saint Martins MA are of course the first port of call for those on the hunt for fashion's future stars. This year is particularly poignant as the graduates were the last to study under the masterful Professor Louise Wilson, who tragically passed away last month. Wilson, who was known to title her year groups, declared the class of 2014 the "Textile Year". “It’s going back to hand-work, to having the skills to make and develop things. Most people can’t do that any more. It’s what’s missing and what’s needed. It’s a rejection of the digital, isn’t it?” she told Vogue.
Here, AnOther's fashion editors have sought out their top three from the Textile Year, Jessica Mort, Fiona Blakeman and Anita Herlekar, to feature an item from their final collection in a series of GIFs by photographer William Selden. The shoot was styled by AnOther's deputy fashion editor Nell Kalonji and the designs were modelled by the beautiful Maggie Jablonski who made her breakthrough as a Prada girl for S/S14.
"It’s going back to hand-work, to having the skills to make and develop things" — Professor Louise Wilson
On creating these undulating artworks, which see the model and designs blurring in and out of focus to mesmerising effect, Selden explains, "This was my first proper foray into moving image. I wanted to do something that required a very short attention span, about the same length of time as one would spend on the page of a magazine. Fashion film is a releatively new medium and, to be honest, I rarely see the ones I've watched all the way through to the end, so I wanted to do something very short that related more to photographs than films. I spent a week either staring blankly at my monitor or tinkering about with things that didn't work at all. I liked the idea of throbbing and wobbling and something perpetual, and eventually found a way of doing that successfully. The experience was really educational and fun, and now I can't wait to do more."
Born and raised in Iceland, to an Icelandic mother and Indian father, Anita Herlekar moved to London to study at Central Saint Martins, after completing a BA in fashion design with print. Having interned with Christian Dior Couture in Paris, and Diane Von Furstenberg in New York, she is currently a fashion finalist for July's ITS (International Talent Support) competition. Of her inspirations, Herlekar tells us, "I wanted my MA collection to have a strong focus on artistic glamour and femininity along with embracing modern craft. I was inspired by a strong sense of individuality with an oddly seductive feel."
Jessica Mort has already been snapped up by Loewe under JW Anderson. She undertook her BA in womenswear and only began designing menswear during her MA; however she has recently confirmed that she will soon be returning to the former. Her collection was inspired by the stripes and fraying punctuating inuit sartorial history.
Meanwhile, Fiona Blakeman said of her influences and the design process at large, "The fabric came first and I wanted to use laser cutting in a new way. The leather worked well as the rawness contrasted with the manufactured cutting. Jean Arp's painting "Constellation to the Laws of Chance" inspired me to collage with the skins, where i used the body as a base. In terms of attitude, I wanted to interpret sexy as elegant. I looked at the connotations of fishnet and Helmut Newton's portrayal of women to create the reveal-conceal dresses."
Photography by William Selden
Styling by Nell Kalonji
Hair by Yumi Nakada-Dingle using Aveda
Make-up by Jenny Coombs at Streeters London
Model Maggie Jablonski at Elite London
Special Thanks to Bolt London