We, the final year BA Fashion students, welcome you to our 2021 digital showcase, which presents our collections and portfolios, the culmination of a tumultuous but ultimately creatively empowering year. This period has been one of intense learning, collectively embraced with enthusiasm. Through some difficult times, we have learned that life is fragile, that what we take for granted can be pulled from under our feet in an instant. But we recognise that without these periods of darkness, we would not have to search for the light, which can be found in the most unexpected places.
For much of this year, we adapted to working at home – again. We refocused, became re-inspired, abandoned old ideas for new ones we might never have looked for. We learned to trust ourselves and our creative instincts, because we only had ourselves. We learned to focus on what we could do, and not what we saw others around us doing. We pivoted and adapted and, as we did, our worlds opened. We found new inner strengths as designers, as material innovators, as our own muses.
As well as displaying our own work, we celebrate our peers and tutors who have supported and encouraged us endlessly through our years of study.
We have had plenty of reason to celebrate most recently: on June 8 and 9 we were able to host our first physical show since 2019. The past eighteen months have been marked by many firsts that have pushed us to challenge our habits. So, given the chance, why create a show the same as any other? So this time round our show featured us – us modelling our own creations, 102 students in one look each.
Our multi-sensory show takes the viewer through the ups and downs of our final year, from the events and mindset of January when a new lockdown forced us to once again work in isolation through to the excitement of being back in the studios. The 60-metre-long patchwork catwalk cover that meanders through the show space, sewn from the fabric waste and deadstock produced by our collections, begins in dark hues to set a sombre mood and ends in an explosion of colour, with the sound of cheers accompanying us down the catwalk.
To be able to honour our work in the way it deserves. To create a memory of a lifetime through a real in-person event. To celebrate, for pure celebration’s sake. All these have added up to a joyful end to our journey through Central Saint Martins.
By Lily Kinnear Griffiths
On 30 July 2021 the UAL Graduate Showcase opens