‘I think about clothes and the way they have the power to transform the way we see ourselves,’ says Central Saint Martins Print designer Isabella Smith on what intrigues her about fashion. ‘How clothes can change how other people may perceive us.’
Smith is always on the hunt for ideas. While in France over the summer – where she interned at Givenchy in Womenswear and at Maison Margiela in the artisanal department – Smith found inspiration at the abandoned Le Provençal Hotel. The ‘hedonistic fantasies’ of its former occupants, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Coco Chanel, fuelled Smith’s desire to revive this long lost glamour for the near ‘apocalyptic landscape’ she experienced in mid-lockdown London.
Her optimism is refreshing. For her graduate collection, Smith is taking the broken reality that we are currently living in and ‘resurrecting something beautiful or interesting from it.’ Garments are littered with sparkling pieces of broken crystal and glass, a representation of Smith’s desire to smash down the outer shells we create through clothing. Whether Smith will find herself back in Paris, or returning to Central Saint Martins to continue studying, there’s no doubt she’ll bring a blaze of enthusiasm with her.
Bea Ross, BA Fashion Journalism