An #LFW Pause For Louise Wilson

Legendary CSM professor remembered

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The phenomenal turn-out at a memorial service for Louise Wilson, the late head of the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins, this morning was a fitting tribute to the power and influence she held over the industry as we know it today. 

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Image: Louise Wilson

Former students, colleagues, friends and family - as well as the entire Central Saint Martins MA course class of 2015 - turned out to pay their respects to Wilson, who died suddenly in her sleep in May, at a ceremony held at St Paul's Cathedral.

Kanye West, who was an aquaintance and has previously made a financial donation to the school, was a surprise fly-in. Designer Victoria Beckham also added star wattage.

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Image: Kanye West arrives at the memorial service, Getty

During the intimate and moving ceremony, readings were made by - among others - designer Roksanda Ilinicic and fashion critic Sarah Mower. Wilson's son, Tim Wilson-Aggrey, made an address, as did Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz.

Former students Christopher Kane, Natasa Cagalj, Craig Green, Louise Goldin and Simone Rocha read the prayers of intercession.

Image: Milliner Stephen Jones, Getty

'Louise Wilson was a dear friend and one of the biggest influences on my life and career,' said Kane, who has announced that he will support a scholarship at Central Saint Martins in Wilson's memory. 'Without her help and guidance, I might not be here today.

'The last thing we did together was a talk at the Design Museum. Louise spoke passionately about her views on education. She was a believer in all classes having access to the arts education system and not just the privileged kids. She was very concerned that fashion, especially, would become an obsolete path for the working classes, which is frightening.

'I hope that Louise’s passion and spirit will live on through scholarships and funding that will help the truly talented get through school. At the end of the day, that was what she was all about.'

Image: Victoria Beckham, Getty

The overwhelming message from Wilson's former students - among them Kim Jones, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Shannon - was that they owed much of their success to Wilson's teaching and guidance.

Said Saunders: ‘There is a whole generation of designers, myself included, who would not have the careers we have without her. It is now time to celebrate the fact that her design methodology and her devotion to pushing fashion forward will live on through Fabio Piras, Fleet Bigwood and the MA staff.

'All of our experiences with Louise will never be forgotten.’

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