Eilish Macintosh took a step towards fashion greatness tonight as she was awarded the L’Oreal Bursary Award at the Central Saint Martins MA show by one of the prestigious fashion college’s most famous alumni: Christopher Kane.
Her collection, a simple procession of fluid black jersey dresses - some long, some short, some with padded shoulders, some with sleeves, some without - was marked out, literally, by rope. It would around the body, trailing, in some cases behind; obscuring the models’ vision as a visor-style headpiece in others; dropping from the body, in yet others, in the style of style of a hangman’s noose.
A second collection by Macintosh saw moulded gloss-leather separates, voluminous in proportion, seemingly sewn together with a plasticised rope that bore more than a passing resemblance to the traditional telephone cord.
A deserved win without doubt - Macintosh can add this year’s CSM Chloe Award to it, too - but there was plenty more to love elsewhere in a show that reminded everyone in the room why Saint Martins remains at the go-to source of global fashion talent.
Knitwear graduate Jaimee McKenna’s offering of textured cobalt blue dresses that sat away from the body in segmented, accordian-like cocoons drew spontaneous applause, as did the sci-fi-esque creations of Sadie Williams - enormous, stiff, long metallic dresses in Quality Street colours.
Subverting the silhouette was a key theme, with both Elena Crehan and Toma Stenko showing collections with board-like inserts that pulled the clothes away from the body. Minimalism, meanwhile, was at the heart of the menswear collections, with long, tunic-like tops over trousers a recurring motif.