I attended the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) Graduation Fashion Show 2011 a couple of days ago and coincidentally the Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Show 2011 was held at East London’s York Hall a few more days back. 45 designers were chosen out of nearly 200 students to present their final collections to a panel of judges that included Alexandre Roux, business development manager for Christian Dior, Carola Long, editor for the Financial Times’ Life & Arts section, Craig Lawrence, up and coming knitwear designer under the NEWGEN sponsorship, Luke Hersheson, noted hair stylist from L’Oreal Professionel, Lucas Ossendrijver, designer for Lanvin Homme, Lutz, designer and CSM alumni, Christoper Kane, CSM alumni and Willie Walters, course director at CSM.
Hilary Alexander, the fashion director of The Daily Telegraph presented the show and awards were given out by Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen alongside Benjamin Kirchhoff and Edward Meadham of Meadham & Kirchhoff who are all also previously from CSM.
Taking the top prize, the L’Oréal Professionel Young Talent Award for best collection is print designer, Flaminia Saccucci, who presented a collection of florals, more florals and tyre tread marks but wait, hand-painted on latex. Nicely tailored and quite wearable when you compare them to the other BA collections. Love the colour palette, the prints and colours kind of reminds you of D&G Spring/Summer 2011. I really like this one. Looks simple and subtle but not easy to achieve.
1st runner-up goes to Nicholas Aburn for his exaggerated silhouettes. Not liking this one, the white bodice and brown shoulders and sleeves makes the model look like an oversized soft toy. Tacky outlines of the outfit. The monochrome striped blouse and printed pink skirt outfit had a hint of Prada Spring/Summer 2011 as well but blah. The off-shoulder dress looks out of place and frumpy and correct me if I’m wrong, the red was supposed to be an accent colour but it’s too strong here. I wished he had worked more of the prints though. I just totally don’t get this collection.
Sharing 2nd runner-up spot are print designer Momo Wang and menswear designer Ivan Curia Nunes. One was whimsical and the other resort.
Here are some of the other collections-Holly Fowler, Shengwai Wang, Annabel Luton and Holly Skousbo in that order.
What do you think? Where do our fresh local talents stand?
At NAFA, 43 graduands of the Diploma in Fashion Design presented their collections on the runway out of a cohort of 43. Probably less than half stood out. Outstanding ones, maybe a handful. For graduands of the BA (Hons) course, a total of 10 presented on the runway out of a possible 10. At CSM, 45 out of nearly 200 were chosen to show on the runway. That is the difference in the level of competition. If you manage to get into the famed MA course, you get to show at London Fashion Week. However, recently in Singapore, graduands from Lasalle College of the Arts BA (Hons) Fashion Design course got to show at the Audi Fashion Festival which is not bad at all.
Competition aside, the standard of creativity and design innovation are what we should be comparing. How does an ‘A’ student from NAFA compare with ANY student from CSM? Or how does an ‘A’ student from NAFA compare with n ‘A’ student from CSM? And it seems that only talented designers with potential and of a certain calibre can enter CSM. So is talent for fashion design intrinsic or nurtured?
How do colleges overseas match up to local colleges? Have you ever wondered what makes them better? The teachers? The resources? The students? Is it really worth it to take up a course at a famed college overseas only to come back and achieve the same position as someone from a local college? How much more can you learn overseas?
But what does that mean for aspiring designers here? Go local or overseas?