Regular readers will know just how fond I am of Stella McCartney and it's not hard to understand why. Whether it's with her own line or her work with Adidas and other ventures, she's one of the few designers concerned with giving something back and yesterday was a clear example of that.
As previously reported, yesterday the designer was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of the Arts London but in accepting the award she announced that her eponymous label will fund a new scholarship program to benefit Fashion MA students studying at Central Saint Martins. 'To get into a college like this so hard for so many talented young people,' the designer began. 'For that reason, I am setting up this scholarship and I encourage other fortunate fashion houses to do the same.'
According to British Harper's Bazaar, the scheme will 'fund home, EU and international students on the MA Fashion course' and the 'first scholarships, worth £25,000, will be awarded this October, and will include a year of paid work experience at Stella McCartney.'
Having been a long time fan and recent collaborator with Swarovski, I thought I knew the brand through and through. It's only recently when I was invited to attend this year's Central Saint Martins graduate show with their team that I realised just how little I knew. As well as sponsoring big events and working with leading designers, the brand is also committed to supporting emerging talent too and that's exactly what brought me to the show.
The college is known for producing tomorrow's leading designers and those that will really push the boundaries. For the select designers that manage to be included in the graduate show, a prestigious audience is a given. This year's event brought everyone from the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes to Style.com's Tim Blanks.
Appearing in the line-up this year was Scarlett Tull, who was a recipient of the Swarovski Scholarship initiative along with Stephanie Bila. Unlike other graduate programs the Swarovski initiative, which launched last year, sponsors the chosen student's tuition fees. With the prices continually rising, the cost of university education is an ever present concern, one which LVMH bursary winner Tigran Avetisyan captured perfectly on his workwear pieces sporting slogans like 'NO JOBS' and 'graduate 2012 - nothing more to say.'
This month has been a busy one for Pringle of Scotland. This pre-fall season marked the first for the house under the direction of their new creative director Alistair Carr and to help celebrate, the collection has just dropped on Italian e-commerce website, The Corner, along with their own mini-store.
If you're still unfamiliar with The Corner, it's definitely worth checking out. The online shopping space has become so saturated over the last few years but the site, which is part of the successful Yoox Group, has managed to separate themselves from their competitors by giving customers access to the world of the given featured designer in their personalised virtual 'corners' on the site. Multimedia content like videos accompany designers' products in their customised 'mini-stores' and that's exactly what they've done with Pringle of Scotland with their two latest collections. Tilda Swinton, the long-time face of the brand, was brought on board to quizz Carr on the new resort collection, his design process and what it was like to take the reigns at such a much-loved heritage brand.
In the interview Carr explained that he will always respect the brand's heritage but it's important for him to also take it forward. In light of that, the brand's new collaboration with Central Saint Martins students make sense. Under the watchful eye of Louise Wilson, MA students were given the opportunity to go through the brand 196 year old archive collection to design a capsule collection of 12 pieces that served to reconnect the present with the brand's long history.
"I have known Kanye for about two years," Wilson, the course director of the MA Fashion at CSM, told us. "He is very knowledgeable about fashion and interested - he is also interesting, he has an individual point of view. He has visited the college twice - most recently about employing interns to work on a variety of projects. He has supported the fashion school (with its fundraising regarding its move to Kings Cross) with a donation. I have not however been working closely with him on a collection but I certainly wish him well."
It's no secret that Kanye West is a bit of a fashion fan but if recent reports are anything to go by, he's planning to take that interest one step further. Before heading to Paris for the shows last week, West allegedly flew in to London to go to Central Saint Martins. The singer has applied for the an MA in fashion at the college and was invited for an interview with course leader, Louise Wilson.
So can expect to attend Kanye's MA show at London Fashion Week in the near future? Only time will tell.....
‘I think the problem is that fashion has become too fashionable. For years, fashion wasn't fashionable. Today fashion is so fashionable that it's almost embarrassing to say you're part of fashion. All the parodies of it. All the dreadful magazines. That has destroyed it as well, because everybody thinks fashion is attainable.
London College of Fashion is the place to go if you want to get a head start into the fashion industry (well, maybe CSM is, but you get the point). With that in mind, first year students have been given an exciting new opportunity from the college. For their coursework project, students have been asked to explore the relationship between music and fashion. The task- using T-Shirts donated from PUMA, the students are asked to conceptualise their ideas on this blank canvas.