Tag Archives: St Martin’s

➤ Fearsome Louise, head of fashion at St Martin’s, dies suddenly

Timmi Aggrey, fashion, Louise Wilson, St Martins

Louise Wilson with her partner, Timmi Aggrey: At Buckingham Palace to receive the OBE in 2008

Louise Wilson: “As much as I might decry the students,
as much as they’re a nightmare, it is a privilege
to be among youth”

➢ Central Saint Martins professor who trained a generation of British fashion designers – Louise Wilson obituary in The Guardian

The honest appraisals given by Professor Louise Wilson – head of the MA fashion course at Central Saint Martins, London, who has died aged 52 – trained a generation of British designers who, in turn, shaped the course of contemporary fashion across a 20-year span. They include Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou.

Louise listed one of her recreations in Who’s Who as “voicing one’s opinion”. Passing the door to her office at Central Saint Martins, you could not help but be assailed by them. “It looks like a Halloween costume made by a drunk mother one wet night in October”, is one that sticks in the mind. Her powers of observation were underscored by a studied appreciation of how clothes could express themselves all the better if only they were coherent in their design… / Continued at Guardian online

There was a saying at St Martins: “If you can survive Louise’s comments, you’re ready to go into the world.”

Stella McCartney on Twitter: “What an inspiration and force in fashion. No one will ever replace you because you were a true one off. r.i.p xx Stella”


1976 ➤ When Iain met Stephen, London traffic stopped and St Martin’s stood still

❚ ON CENTRAL ST MARTIN’S ALUMNI PAGES, Iain R Webb — later CSM professor and fashion editor of The Times newspaper — recalls the unforgettable instant he arrived there as a student and clapped eyes Stephen Jones, who this month celebrates his 30 years as milliner to the stars…

Stephen Jones, milliner, Iain R Webb,fashion,St Martin’s School of Art, journalist,

Side-knotted scarf versus thin school tie: despite their differences in 1976, Jones and Webb became firm friends at St Martin’s

“I remember vividly the day I visited St Martin’s School of Art (now Central Saint Martin’s) in the autumn of 1976. Before I even entered the building I was convinced this was the place for me. Standing on the pavement outside, plucking up the courage to go in and wondering if I cut the sartorial mustard wearing a liquorice-thin school tie, plastic sandals and sloppy orange mohair sweater (knitted by my Mum). The doors swept open and out sashayed a boy (or at least I guessed it was a boy) who looked like… well, I wasn’t sure what he looked like, only that I had never seen anyone look like that before. Not in the real world, anyway.

“He was wearing a skinny matelot T-shirt with giant shoulder pads, exaggerated peg-top pants and stiletto-heeled boots. Around his neck was a scarf knotted at the side and the finishing touch (it should have been a clue) was a black beret worn at a very jaunty angle. He looked breathtaking and fearless and was ‘traffic-stopping’. Literally. He was Stephen Jones, later to become the celebrated and much-loved milliner to the stars, from Carla Bruni to Marilyn Manson.

“After a spell of work experience at London couture house Lachasse, where his head was turned for ever under the tutelage of Shirley Hex, for his final collection at St Martin’s in 1979 Stephen created silvery draped cocktail suits, accessorised with turbans featuring peacock feathers. The mood was 1950s couture with a punk attitude. ‘The last two looks were white court presentation dresses worn with broken tiaras with dead seagulls in them,’ he remembers, as adamant today as he was then that creativity is often born out of necessity. If you don’t have a lot of money it forces you to think alternatively. You have to be more creative. Like when I left college I bought hats from Oxfam and reworked them’.”