The Central Saint Martins MA show is to the London fashion pack what birthday parties are to children always met with excitement and anticipation. After all, its the platform that launched some of Londons most innovative designers check Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou, Roksanda Ilincic, Simone Rocha and Alexander McQueen.
As a whole, this seasons offering was very strong, but there were two standout collections. The LOréal Professionnel Creative Award for design talent judged by Christopher Kane went to the two students who closed the show: Ondrej Adamek and Michael Power.
Adamek showed surrealist column dresses in vibrant blues that resembled tubular flowers. Big, bouncing petal shapes bloomed from the models hips and shoulders. It was dreamy and joyful.
Powers offering was darker. A tribe of women came down the runway in clomping boots, wearing garments embellished with weighty tubes of colourful beads that created a swinging relief of gestural, geometric patterns like some kind of ancient, graffiti body-paint. Mesmerising.
Elsewhere, juxtaposing hard and soft was a thread that ran through several of the collections. Drew Henry showcased boxy, utilitarian tailoring spliced with soft ponyskins and Nayuko Yamamoto also explored the contrast between stiff and fluid: the barefoot models wore flowing foil print dresses but the billowing silhouettes were interrupted by starched, abstract panels of crisp white.
As ever, the textiles were super accomplished. Graham Fan showed a series of well-executed silver and black tinsel knits, Jessica Mort had created deconstructed shirts in sun-bleached stripes with tassels that trailed to the floor, and Anita Hirlekar delivered heavy skirt suits in a colourful patchwork of thick threaded knits that almost looked upholstered.
Future fashion stars? You bet.