BA Fashion Journalism

Graduates 2020

Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martins encourages students to adopt a critical stance in interrogating and reporting current issues and historical perspectives. The curriculum allows students to explore journalistic conventions and editorial roles in the production of fashion media.

This year’s graduating students have perhaps faced more challenges than in previous years. The Covid pandemic has forced them to reconsider their approach to journalism, particularly in relation to collaboration and access to subject matter and resources. They have, however, been spoilt for choice on stories. Whether it be Britain’s imminent split from Europe, and nation divided through Brexit; talking about climate change and the fashion industry’s anomalies on sustainability, race, queer identities. Voices unheard from around Britain; the handmade, the sustainable; designers and artists operating outside the narrow confines of the fashion system.

Van Dyke Magazine (Cover) (2020) by Isobel Van DykeCentral Saint Martins

Isobel Van Dyke: Van Dyke

From September 2020, all schools in England will be required to teach about LGBTQ+ relationships and identity in lessons. The introduction of the new curriculum will be a historic moment for queer culture, and Van Dyke magazine is a celebration of this. The publication tells the stories of those who have grown up under the restraints of Section 28, as well as those who are committed to undoing the effects of it. The magazine features interviews with LGBTQ+ teachers Andrew Moffat, Claire Nicholls and Millie Millington; as well as teenagers such as transgender activist, Ben Saunders, and 15-year-old girls based in the South West.

Van Dyke asked queer creatives from across the globe to answer the question: what was your school experience like as a member of the LGBTQ+ community? And has collected answers from the likes of Sharna Osborne, Sinéad O’Dwyer, Heather Glazzard, Nora Nord, Hal Fischer, Maria McKee, Paul Flynn, Desiree Akhavan, Cecile Tulkens and Louise Gray. As said by Birmingham teacher, Andrew Moffat, ‘no one is born homophobic, racist, or discriminatory, it all stems from learnt behaviour’. It is through understanding that we will gain acceptance, and through education that society will begin to understand. 

Van Dyke Magazine (Preview) (2020) by Isobel Van DykeCentral Saint Martins

Editor's Letter

‘I want to go back to school’, is written on the wall of Southwold Primary School in East London. The message, written by one of the school’s students, is a reaction to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused schools to close all over the world. If this had happened when I was at school I would’ve been thrilled. Like an extended snow-day or summer come early. But when there’s no snow and you can’t enjoy summer weather because you’re not allowed to leave the house, kids end up desperate to get back in the classroom. 

School can be both a blessing and a curse. For any child or teenager that sticks out, it can be a living hell that students won’t be wanting to return to anytime soon. But for kids who feel like an outsider at home, school is a safe haven and is sorely missed by those stuck at home with families who don’t understand them. Many of these students are members of the LGBTIQ+ community. Some of whom have no safe space to turn to. 

The path to acceptance is through understanding, but to achieve understanding, we must turn to education. Last year, the government announced that from September 2020 all schools across England will be required to teach about LGBTQ+ topics as part of the new syllabus. Kids, above everything, want to fit in. And by teaching about different types of families, races and religions, we create an understanding and as a result, acceptance. For the LGBTQ+ adults who grew up under Section 28 and weren’t afforded the privilege of queer education, ‘I want to go back to school’ feels like an appropriate sentiment. Some of those adults have in fact, gone back to school, as teachers. They’re already teaching the new syllabus and using it as a way to heal from their own pasts, to ensure that no child has to go through what they did.

This year, Pride will be celebrated over a pint in our kitchens. Pride 
is a celebration of how far we’ve come, but also a reminder of how 
far  we  still  have  to  go.  The  new  school  syllabus  is  an  achievement  
that should be acknowledged, but the curriculum still turns a blind 
eye to topics that must be covered. We all remember learning about 
the plague, Guy Fawkes and Henry VIII, but what we don’t remember 
being  taught  is  colonialism,  white  supremacy  and  historical  Black  
figures,  because  our  government  never  set  the  same  requirements 
for Black education as it has now for LGBT topics. As queer people, 
we  cannot  campaign  for  a  better  world  without  fighting  racism  in 
the  process.  Pride  is  hope,  but  to  hope  and  succeed,  we  must  first 
confront and address the gaping holes in our society. 

It is through understanding that we will gain acceptance, and through education that society will begin to understand - Van Dyke

Clamour (Preview) (2020) by Freya Martin and Kate McCuskerCentral Saint Martins

Freya Martin and Kate McCusker: Clamour

 Clamour  is a style and culture magazine for young people disillusioned by the anodyne glossy. (And the end of the world. We’re quite cut up about that one too.) Clamour  covers stories like legendary Channel 4 news reader Jon Snow’s extensive tie collection, and the film industry’s new way to shoot ethical sex scenes. There’s no typical Clamour  girl, but she probably feels as strongly about Marks & Spencer’s lingerie, Coke Zero, and the defiantly ugly interiors of rich people’s houses as editors Freya Martin and Kate McCusker do. The pair met in their first year at Central Saint Martins and have remained firm friends and accomplices since. They dedicate this first issue of Clamour  to the never more salient words of Eric Andre:

“Sometimes you throw brunch, and sometimes brunch throws you.”  

Clamour (Preview) (2020) by Freya Martin and Kate McCuskerCentral Saint Martins

Time for Tees

THE HALTING of everyday life around the world has prompted us to rethink the way we live, or lived, under normal conditions. From the way we interact with others to our relationship with technology, from how we work to how we relax, this period of standstill has forced us to poke holes in the habits that were once routine.

One fundamental change has been to the way we consume. Despite the surge in demand around the country for loo roll and every pasta shape imaginable, many people are beginning to realise how many products just aren’t necessary. With fashion expected to be the hardest hit sector of the retail industry, we look at a printing company that’s unique approach to working, from design through to production, is set to endure an uncertain future and keep its community afloat.

Everpress was founded in 2016 in East London by Alex Econs and acts as a middle man between creatives and consumers. Having already launched anoth-er printing company that supplied traditional merch and promotional apparel, Econs saw first-hand the problems faced by creatives and record labels wanting to sell good quality merchandise online. From the “high up-front costs, risk of ex-pensive deadstock if they don’t shift units, the need to set up and manage a web-store” to tedious aspects like trips to the post office and responding to customer queries, the process can often be disheartening for those trying to set up shop. Along with trying to make merchandising more accessible for artists and small businesses, Econs was keen to implement a successful pre-order model, so the company would only be printing what had already sold. “You see Burberry burning £36.8 million worth of unsold dead stock and it makes you scratch your head. How are companies getting away with this when we know just how dam-aging the fashion industry is for the planet? It seemed a bit mad that we hadn’t seen more businesses adopting this model. The potential for it to transform the fashion industry looked huge.”

But does this pre-order system actually work? By Everpress’ count it has al-ready allowed them to reduce waste by 7,624 metric tons and save up to 143 mil-lion litres of water in the four years they’ve been running. By 2025 they’re aiming to be water and carbon neutral as well. “Brands simply won’t be able to have any credibility if they don’t look after the planet as a priority.”The Everpress online store has an odd sense of community. Despite the hun-dreds of designs, created by record labels to graphic design teams, non-profit or-ganisations to independent artists, everything seems to work together quite well. Yes, there are a few slightly bizarre designs like drawings of slugs driving in cars and cartoons of animated food items having conversations. But, along with these lighthearted, funny tees many of the products are made with portions of profits going to charity with a clear message being promoted, be that a celebration of the NHS or migrant workers in the age of Brexit Britain. At the moment, the team is looking forward to their annual 50/50 campaign, to be announced later in the year. Each year 50 artists from around the world create 50 different tee designs to spotlight the work of a different charity, with proceeds donated.

In the past, Everpress have raised thousands of pounds work-ing with Amnesty International, Justice4Grenfell and UK youth cancer support charity, Trekstock. This year has already been monumental for Everpress, work-ing alongside various creatives to raise awareness and fundraise for the amazing work of frontline workers and charities amidst the chaos of a global pandemic. During the nationwide lockdown, Everpress’ 30-strong team of full time staff have left their Dalston office to work from home, while still managing to fulfil all of their orders and keep their online blog and newsletter up and running. Most importantly, they have been able to continue supporting independent designers and brands, at a time when they need help most. “We pride ourselves on provid-ing a valuable source of income for independent creatives and now, as many find themselves out of work, or struggling to find work, we’ve been able to work with them more closely than ever to help them stay afloat. It’s amazing to see our mis-sion to support grassroots creators in action at a time like this.” Everpress’ aim is clear: to empower independent creatives and help the wider community, from reducing their environmental impact to charity fundraising. And it’s an aim that so far, they’re achieving.  

You see Burberry burning £36.8 million worth of unsold dead stock and it makes you scratch your head. How are companies getting away with this when we know just how damaging the fashion industry is for the planet? - Clamour

Mind The Gap (Preview) (2020) by Lucy FowlerCentral Saint Martins

Lucy Fowler: Mind The Gap

Mind The Gap looks beyond London to the overlooked sounds and styles that exist outside Zone 6.  Issue One is dedicated to Britain’s DIY scenes of today. The Self-Taught Generation that grew up alongside the internet - who produce, design and write from their bedroom floor, whilst stacking shelves to pay the rent.  Read about the newest, self-made independents filling the gaps in their own niches across the UK - including Adam Jones and his pub inspired garments, Bug Teeth’s dreamy shoegaze, Sean O’Connell’s forthright shots of Yorkshire and Karren Ablaze’s fiery ’80s zine days. Very exciting stuff. So, watch your step as you hop from the four walls you’ve been stuck between since March, into those familiar grey and rainy streets of Britain’s enduring underground.  

Mind The Gap (Preview) (2020) by Lucy FowlerCentral Saint Martins

Live From The Living Room

Britain's independent radios are the glue keeping DIY scenes together during lockdown.

When lockdown restrictions were put in place on the 23rd of March 2020 – Britain’s nightclubs and music venues closed their doors. Real life parties and raves have ground to a halt, whilst gigs and festivals have been cancelled left and right – but communities found new ways to get together. Taking to the internet, with livestreamed concerts, Zoom parties and DJ sets – DIY music communities are holding on through the pixels of computer screens. Keeping them stuck together are Britain’s online independent radios – broadcasting night and day from living rooms and bedrooms across the country. Online radios are nothing new, owing their existence to the beginnings of Pirate Radio, which was pioneered by Denmark’s 1958 station, Radio Mercur. British radio, in its 1922 beginnings, was government owned due to it’s ability to spread messages, particularly during World War II. The government would deter publications from publishing information about the overseas broadcasts coming in, like Radio Normandy and Radio Lyon. People still tuned in, though - hungry for variety.

In 1964, Irish music manager Ronan O’Rahilly started Radio Caroline - the first Pirate Radio broadcasting from an offshore ship to the UK. Started as a frustrated response to the chart-structured BBC radio shows, that left British youth starving for the new rock and pop sounds – pirate DJs would illegally broadcast new bands from the waters outside Britain’s territory, to avoid legislation issues. Radio Caroline’s transmissions inspired a whole slew of new Pirate Radios, and by 1967 there were over ten stations broadcasting to 10-15 million eager listeners around the country. From Radio 270, broadcasting off of Norfolk’s coast, to Radio Scotland anchored in the Scottish East coast – DIY stations also began taking the emphasis away from London, focussing on bands in specific regions.

At the end of the ‘60s, the government had become so frustrated with the legal loopholes these stations were hopping through that they set up the Radio Agency. They managed to pass the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act in 1967, making it difficult for stations to continue and eventually forcing them to close down. DJs that had become synonymous with their stations, such as Tony Blackburn and the late John Peel, felt they had no choice but to join the BBC. Peel joined BBC Radio 1 – a new station the BBC had put in place to emulate the format of pirate radios. He managed to uphold the DIY mindset through his show, John Peel Sessions, playing underground and obscure artists, from punk to rave, and becoming an integral part of DIY scenes during the 1970s-80s.

Though it had become harder to broadcast, it didn’t stop new pirate radios from cropping up over the decades, and many took to setting up in city tower blocks with aerials erected high up on the roof. The ‘80s saw even more regions setting up stations – from Birmingham’s People’s Community Radio Link to Manchester’s KFM radio. These stations also began to celebrate and open up spaces for Black artists – such as London’s first black owned station Dread Broadcasting Corporation, or the soul, reggae and hip hop sounds pouring out of KISS FM. In the early 00s, a fresh wave of pirate radio began, with stations such as Kool FM and Rinse FM who championed the new jungle and UK garage scenes. As the internet began to rise in the 00s, setting up your own radio station became easier, as DJs were no longer confined to the broadcasting laws. Gone were the days of holding up masts on ships or steadying homemade antennas on the roof– the online world opened up a whole new way to broadcast music, from one living room floor to another.

Though today they compete with streaming sites like Spotify or YouTube, people still come to radio for the human touch - algorithmically made playlists and suggestions can only do so much. To dive into the underground scenes of British music it still takes a good DJ, who supports local artists and dives into global, obscure new music not available (or under-appreciated) on mainstream platforms. During lockdown, these stations become even more important for supporting and giving musicians exposure, whilst they’re unable to arrange physical gigs. So, turn the dial and tune in to the conversation with some of Britain’s current DIY radios.

People still come to radio for the human touch - algorithmically made playlists and suggestions can only do so much - Mind The Gap

Crass (Cover) (2020) by Morgan BowdenCentral Saint Martins

Morgan Bowden: Crass

It has been 20 years since the beginning of the 2000s, the noughties, Y2K. It was a time where Heat magazine sold half a million copies a week and Big Brother first hit our screens. In fashion, designer monogram was all the rage; Galliano churned out the Dior monogram and Burberry Nova Check was ubiquitous whether people liked it or not. This was a decade that was unapologetically hideous and simultaneously glamorous. Fuelled by nostalgia and an awareness that I wasn’t the only one, I created Crass; a magazine that is as much a zeitgeist of the era as it is a celebration of both “good” and “bad” taste with interviews spanning from Diana Vreeland’s grandson Alexander, to Big Brother winner Pete Bennett. 

Holy Smoke

As I sat on my sofa amidst a pandemic lockdown five seasons deep into Sex and the City, I couldn’t help but wonder; why the hell am I lighting another cigarette?

In July 2007, under the World Health Act, the UK banned smoking in public spaces. The Brits bid farewell to lighting up at their desks, and eventually the stale stench of tobacco that clung to mahogany bar stools and lingered in the air with the sticky heaviness of ale, lifted in pubs nationwide. Though it was a change welcomed by many, fag-fiends were enraged.Prior to the ban, the noughties were a time where a packet of cigarettes cost as little as £4, and despite the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act of 2002 which ruled it an offence to advertise tobacco products in any place other than specialist shops, smoking was still very much a rite of social passage — and, importantly, cigarettes remained a steadfast prop in the hands of models across countless fashion editorials and campaigns.The cigarette’s status can be traced via an arduous journey back to its advent in the nineteenth century where, after initially being reserved as a recreational past time, it permeated men’s everyday existence as means of necessity during the First World War.

By the Second World War, soldiers were actively encouraged to smoke both for boredom relief and morale. With free cigarettes even being distributed in ration kits, the number of smokers tripled and many returned home from the Front bearing the badge of both Veteran— and Smoker.Like much of history, a battle of the sexes presents itself. Given its prevalence in both World Wars, smoking was regarded as a man’s habit; one whose perceived infiltration by women was met with initial disdain. Regarded as a symbol of women’s emancipation, by the Roaring 20s, to smoke a cigarette was to finally be associated with sophisticated femininity; the type that radiates off the pages of a Fitzgerald novel. His 1922 novel The Beautiful and Damned sees protagonist Anthony Patch marry an endearing and self-absorbed Gloria who alternates between childlike sensibilities (she just wants to bask in a sun-drenched hammock eating tomato sandwiches all day— who can blame her?) and engaging in the excessive vices that the time afforded.

Although fictional, the novel is largely considered to be reflectional of Fitzgerald’s own marriage to Zelda and paints a picture of hedonistic realities — “There was the odour of tobacco always, both of them smoked incessantly; it was in their clothes, their blankets, the curtains, and the ash-littered carpets. Added to this was the wretched aura of stale wine, with its inevitable suggestion of beauty gone foul and revelry remembered in disgust” — a self-awareness of the stench and foulness that lingers in the background of such behaviours, but a conviction to carry on regardless.

A self-awareness of the stench and foulness that lingers in the background of such behaviours, but a conviction to carry on regardless. - Crass

KINGSLEY OFFICIAL EXPORT (2020) by Christina DonoghueCentral Saint Martins

Christina Donoghue: Atelier

A love letter to the handmade, Atelier pays homage to modern-day craft practices and the makers behind them. With an emphasis on craftsmanship across all its unique forms, I hope to document the stories of these makers and their journeys, centring around the idea of process and love; the love that these artisans put into their work and the love they have for it. If you are intrigued by making, whether it be fashion design, jewellery design, ceramics or art, this magazine is for you. In a world obsessed with technology, where the digital age rules supreme, Atelier is for those that want to slow down and appreciate the inner workings of handmade beauty. Born from an appreciation for the Surrealists and Dadaists, Atelier offers a slice of nostalgia, presented in a romantic, tangible, and most importantly, physical way. 

Atelier (Preview) (2020-07-08) by Christina DonoghueCentral Saint Martins

The Lost Voice of Arts & Crafts

Celebrating the legacy of the arts and crafts movement through its founding father, William Morris.

When making a magazine dedicated to handmade beauty, founding father of the arts and crafts movement, William Morris, is worth mentioning. Relevant in more ways than one, it’s also worth noting this magazine has been put together in a town that was influenced by Morris’s socialist ideas: Welwyn Garden City. Best known today as a designer and craftsman – while also a Victorian voice for socialism and an active supporter of the Garden City movement - it’s apparent William Morris’ skills varied far and wide, as did his work. He was an artist who undoubtedly accomplished more than most in his lifetime, proven by his doctor’s diagnosis of his illness in 1896, “his disease was simply being William Morris and having done more work than most ten men.”

His legacy can be traced through fashion’s doors today. Never far from a shop window, The Morris & Co. signature - a distinct floral pattern embellished with vibrant hues of greens and blues - has continually made an appearance throughout the fashion industry. From the company’s collaboration with titan high street retailer, H&M, to Liberty’s trademark house print, you cannot escape it (nor would want to.) Britain’s homes are also no stranger to the naturalistic leafy patterns; there’s nothing more distinctly British than a clustered floral design adorning the curtains and bedsheets of the middle class. Morris’ floral wallpaper, elegant swirls of vines, flowers, and leaves, all in perfect symmetry, are some of the 19th Century’s most iconic designs. Instantly recognisable, they boast a near spiritual passion for beauty that remains unmatched today. The woodblock-printed wallpaper can still be found all over the world, printed for furniture upholstery, curtains, ceramics, and even fashion accessories.

These mythical and nature-centric patterns can be seen up-close in London’s V&A, Kelmscott house in Oxford and the home of the arts and crafts movement, the Red House in Bexleyheath, designed and completed by Philip Webb in 1860. A craftsman who - like many craftsmen and women - believed in making and designing instead of machinery to do it for you, Morris committed himself to practises that made use of traditionalist methods, one of which is known as the Kelmscott Press. Established in 1891, the Kelmscott Press was - as Morris described it - a ‘typographical adventure’ and is hailed by writer, William. S. Peterson, as ‘The most celebrated private press in the history of printing.’

The style of publishing was consistent as it was wholly intricate - authentic works of art that when held - bare the laborious task of many that helped put them together. All volumes produced, feature thick, handmade linen paper, durable hand-sewn binding, and are encircled by embellished decorative borders, so much plant-life rich embellishment, the pages often seem fragranced. Writer, David Dunlap, wrote of this beauty in his 2013 article for The New York Times, commenting on Edward Burne-Jones’ distinctive baroque style used to illustrate The Works of Chaucer. This 556-page volume was meticulously printed two pages at a time between the years 1894-1896. ‘To say that the Kelmscott Chaucer is ornate is like saying that a peacock has tail feathers; true enough, but something of an understatement.’

When something is handmade, it’s truly unique and like no other. There’s always a story behind it, swarming in the shadows of a signature stamp marked with love. Morris understood this, writing about the importance of handmade beauty in his 1891 article, Art, he notes, ‘nothing which is man-made will be ugly, but will have its due form and its due ornament, and will tell the tale of its making and the tale of its use.’ He realised the romance that came with it and that to be handmade was to possess character, individuality and beauty; an authenticity that machinery could only dream of. Despite his death over 120 years ago, Morris’ work still resonates with the arts and crafts generation of today. The lampworkers, jewellery designers, zine makers and leather workers featured in this magazine all share similar passions as Morris did in the mid 19th Century. From his textiles and tapestries to his book designs and socialist ideologies, Morris’ work engulfed the Victorian era and even came to influence the birth of the town I grew up in; Welwyn Garden City, a place that’s urban as much as it is rural.

In a world obsessed with technology, where the digital age rules supreme, Atelier is for those that want to slow down and appreciate the inner workings of handmade beauty - Atelier

SCHMAGAZINE (Cover) (2020) by George PistachioCentral Saint Martins

George Pistachio: Schmagazine

Schmagazine  is a whale of a time; its pages are square, its contents are strange, its wrists are limp.  First and foremost a fashion magazine, it speaks to queer readers who seek the storytelling and dark fantasy elements of style and subculture. The name ‘Schmagazine’ is a childish and sarcastic reduplication; a distortion of the standardised publication we’ve become accustomed to.  The graphic design remembers the colourful playbooks of 1950s, while features explore irreverent and often dark topics, such as a voyage into the adult baby community, the 'underground puppeteering mafia’, interviews with Gareth Wrighton and Sue Tilley, musings on fantastically loathed clothing, and more.  

Editor's Letter from Schmagazine

I know what you are thinking. “Ah. Another fashion publication. Do we need one more?”. The answer is, probably not. I made almost this entire magazine indoors avoiding coronavirus, and concluded it with news of police brutality stewing on my mind. A flouncy fashion magazine had never felt less relevant. The title Schmagazine arrived when I cynically denounced the need for another, but here we are, Schmagazine, Part 1. This baby took four years of studying to birth, and I couldn’t be happier.

I am someone who eagerly consumed magazines as a teenager. What they showed me was a world outside my hometown bubble, appeasing my mind when I felt disconnected from the community I yearned to be part of. It’s interesting to think of the fashion magazine sphere as some abstract religious body, with different publications as separate churches; each reader worshipping their distinguished ‘god’ within each. But time has taught me fashion editors don’t have some divine papal infallibility, stating style and lifestyle principles without any margin of error. Its rules are about as rigid as my wrists, and as it goes, followers of fashion are increasingly reluctant to authority. Anything goes — so why take it seriously? 

Only recently did I come to realise magazines didn’t tell me what I needed to hear. Too wrapped up in their own self-assured importance, my gaze into fashion was filtered with rules and regulations under the guise of celebration; always prescribing what their view of ‘fashion’ is, but never explaining why. In fashion’s purest form, I fucking adore it, and as a student journalist I sit on its peripheries, which offers ample distance to survey its blemishes. 

There are so many stories and perspectives from fabulous people who simply must be given a voice. Fashion may be a fantasy, but it’s darker than meets the eye. When I interviewed image maker Gareth Wrighton, his words “the jester is the only one that can tell the king the truth” resonated with me. They poetically define the sentiment of this issue. Because in the face of hostility, queer people have responded with strength, and a sardonic sense of humour. Think cabaret and camp. Remember Marsha P. Johnson, the proud black transgender woman who galvanised the rebellion against police at Stonewall? 

Strength and joy are what the people featured in this issue represent. We have interviews with the charismatic Sue Tilley, Gareth Wrighton and his fearlessly prophetic designs, iconic hair colourist Nicola Clarke, fabulous puppeteer Eddy Parnell and adult babies Emma and Lexi. Schmagazine welcomes you to my viewpoint of fashion, sitting at the crossroads between artifice and sincerity, the bourgeoisie and the rebel (thank you, Madonna), exoticism and eroticism, Disney and Dionysus. Schmagazine is the slick, sharp man in a gay bar, who will spill half his mojito on you because of his flamboyant gesticulations, but you keep around because of the ridiculous anecdotes he tells in the process. It’s queer, it’s wry, it’s Schmagazine.

Only recently did I come to realise magazines didn’t tell me what I needed to hear. - Schmagazine

Gag (Cover) (2020) by Honor Cooper HedgesCentral Saint Martins

Honor Cooper Hedges: Gag

Gag  is a very pretentious magazine. Lampooning the pretentiousness and excessive vanities of the fashion industry. Self-aware as it is silly, Gag is a life and style journal for the nauseatingly high-brow; fashionistas with a mild superiority complex, a touch of self-loathing and, of course, a sense of humour.   

Gag Issue (Preview) (2020) by Honor Cooper HedgesCentral Saint Martins

Tate-ally Radical

Did you seriously buy one of those?’ I can remember one of my school friends mockingly asking me, referring to the UAL canvas bag I was carrying – with a wounded tone which implied that a flimsy cotton bag could change me as a person. For the record, I didn’t buy it. I got it for free at a freshers event when I started my foundation at Central Saint Martins, but let’s be honest, buying one has become somewhat of a hazing ritual for first years – holding same significance in your undergraduate tenure as crying for the first time in a crit or making an inaugural photocopy of a pre 2000’s issue of The Face in the library. 

The way I see it, the canvas tote bag is not just a bag, it’s a subtle space to of signify your personal taste, brand loyalty or political leaning, far more effortless than wearing a slogan t-shirt. While most luxury fashion brands offer their own seasonal iterations, it’s the ‘indie’ designs which are the biggest crowd-pleasers. The staid humour of the ‘Emotional Baggage’ print, and delightfully smug ‘Books are my Bag’ slogan tote - which also comes in a Tracey Emin-designed version - are some popular contenders. Ever since the 5p single-use plastic bag charge was introduced across shops in 2015 and with more hard-line price raises in 2019, the popularity of tote bags shot up. It’s become somewhat of an essential item; I think I’ve got about 10 different ones currently tangled up in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. 

The New Yorker has an exclusive tote, only for subscribers. It’s become such an unexclusive symbol of exclusivity that it even has its own Instagram page. People who don’t want to subscribe - but want people to think they do - can buy one from reselling platforms like Depop, Poshmark or eBay, where they go for up to £60. The ArtWords bookshop bag is also a strong favourite amongst the sartorial and post-hipster elite. Trust me when I say that if you walked from Old Street to Stoke Newington and had to do a shot of vodka every time you saw someone carrying the £6 accessory, which is available in a charming array of bright colours, you’d need a ride home in an ambulance. They’re also cropping up in art galleries. I counted six different tote bag designs in the gift shop at the Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol retrospective. There was a Karlheinz Weinberger photo-printed tote on offer at the Barbican’s Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography exhibition. And if you missed out on that, the iconic London venue also offers their own BRUTAL branded tote which is riotously popular amongst studious graphic design graduates and Brutalist architecture nerds. 

Margate’s Turner Contemporary also sells a branded tote, available in five fetching pastel hues; the perfect souvenir for city-dwelling visitors to Shoreditch-on-Sea. Not forgetting the border-printed tote bags in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, which are a sell-out item. 
At the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, the tote bag’s status as a style staple became all the more solidified. Outings being limited to supermarkets and later a muggy square of grass has stoked up the nations thirst for a top-notch tote. It also became a fundraising tool, loved by style-conscious slacktivists; online market place Etsy was teaming with totes covered in rainbow and pro-NHS slogans. ES Magazine sold a Ben Turner-designed tote in partnership with Kurt Geiger which proclaimed ‘WE ARE ONE’ in bright screen-printed letters. 

During my time in lockdown, there was no thrill quite so comparable to the mundane buzz of finding myself at a loose end and deciding on an excursion to a local supermarket. Making the painstaking decision of big Sainsbury’s or Whole Foods, whilst I select a tote; I ask myself, how did I get here? It’s not just me, the let’s go food shopping for fun types - you know, the wildly out-of-touch members of the middle class who see lockdown as quote, unquote ‘an excuse to relax’- are hopping on the trend too. With every trip the slogans get more worthy, the illustrations more flowery and the brands more irreverent. It feels as though the shifting paradigm of the new normal has reduced our collective joy of dressing up into the primal question of ‘How shall I carry sustenance home safely?’ Whilst also letting everyone at the self-checkout know I shop at COS and laugh at the cartoons in The New Yorker. Will this last? Or is this just another sourdough bread-esque idiosyncrasy that will quickly fade away when we go back to usual programming. I honestly don’t know, I don’t even know what day it is anymore.

During my time in lockdown, there was no thrill quite so comparable to the mundane buzz of finding myself at a loose end and deciding on an excursion to a local supermarket. - Gag

Flawed (Preview) (2020) by Lawrence HarrisonCentral Saint Martins

Lawrence Harrison: Flawed

Flawed  is a magazine exploring the quality of authenticity in worn and second-hand clothes, with a focus on practical and individual style. It’s true our imperfections make us individuals, and this philosophy shouldn’t be overlooked for our second skin. Blemishes upon our clothes are an honest representation of life, symbolising narration, character and endurance within its form. Exploring and featuring like-minded individuals, from designers to restorers, collectors and enthusiasts who are all united in flaws. Flawed believes good clothes never die, and longevity in your wardrobe is a luxury only time, love and wear can achieve.  

The Corona Prologue

Lawrence Harrison pens his feelings on the international tale we cannot escape… 

Kant once said, “there is no doubt whatever that all our cognition begins with experience” and this can be said for every fictious tale. However, there’s something truly gruesomely gripping when life imitates the horrors. Coronavirus pandemic has led to an enforced shutdown of most of the fashion industry, and the never-ending fashion seasons have come to a halt. 

Most “non-essential” shops have been subject to enforced closure and with social isolation in place, there has been less reason for the public to buy clothes. It is notably said ‘nobody buys a new outfit not to go out’, and the dress code for binge-watching Netflix is not very demanding. However, at some point the world will revert to normal and, as it always has after every past crisis, fashion will return to people’s lives. The question is in what form? Will there be a post Coronavirus ‘New Look’? 

The Coronavirus outbreak has in many ways ‘broken’ the aggressive cycle of fashion, and some of these may lead to changes, either temporary or permanent on the fashion industry. We have been made more conscious of personal cleanliness, social distancing has become common practice (the notorious sample-sale sphere will never be the same again) and the use of face masks have become uniform. 

The facemask has become symbolic of this new war, and since the genesis of clothing is protection, it’s only a matter of time till it becomes as ubiquitous as a handbag. Protective gloves have also become more common, often used in editorials and runway shows to project a ‘relatable lifestyle’ in fantasy ideals in fetishized latex or luscious lambskin now may become normative behaviour. Once considered a social faux pas for respectable men and women to be seen without gloves in public, the sensitivity about touching the skin of other people may lead to gloves becoming as omnipresent as in Victorian times. Anti-bacterial properties of modern fabrics may become the latest desirable quality, clothes that can be easily cleaned may become more prevalent, though that is perhaps in conflict with the environmental concerns of modern life.

It is notably said ‘nobody buys a new outfit not to go out’, and the dress code for binge-watching Netflix is not very demanding. - Flawed

Make Do (Preview) (2020) by Hannah ConnollyCentral Saint Martins

Hannah Connolly: Make Do

Make Do is about making the best of it, all while looking to the past to make comment on the present and hope for the future. A publication that explores fashion and culture beyond the limits of London. Exploring regional identities, history and culture, bursting the bubble of coldness that fashion publications often leave in their wake, Make Do does not operate as a private members club it is a magazine with its doors left firmly ajar.
Heavily influenced by Northern upbringing, Make Do is peppered with humour and hopes to dispel a few fashion myths along the way. Features include: All Aboard - The Sartorial Legacy of the Railways, Fashioning Sense - Christopher Shannon, Youth Culture Museum, the New Museum and how they are combatting Covid-19, Get Hooked - The Enduring Nature of Crochet in Times of Crisis and Last Orders - The New Wave of Working Men's Clubs. Make Do, a magazine best enjoyed with a pint. 

Make Do (Preview) (2020) by Hannah ConnollyCentral Saint Martins

Good As New

There comes to be a point in Making-Do and Mending when clothes and their owner face each other with the realisation that this is the end. Not another adjustment, nor another refacing, not another decorative patch can they take, nor can you do. So, there must be new ways to breath life into these veterans, and one that is satisfactory to our current sate of boredom. 

The goal is the emergence of a few new desired items, and attention placed on restoration elsewhere. The principle is simple, you treat all clothes earmarked for renovation as a pool of “raw materials” for new clothes to spring forth into life. First of all ruthlessly cut away all parts that cannot be salvaged. These can always be handy rags for about the house. Next spread out all you have retained and review for colour combinations and natural partnerships in texture and pattern. Sit down with magazines, books, or simple imagination and figure out what you can do. You won’t find yourself a master couturier at first go, but you will surprise yourself. 

If you knit or crotchet, bear that in mind: also it helps to begin your own collection of buttons and decorative odds and ends. What you decide to make will, of course, depend on what you have available to you at the time. But go forth and Make Do with what you have got.

You won’t find yourself a master couturier at first go, but you will surprise yourself. - Make Do

Kristin Wertz


S.I.R.I.U.S. aims to explore the relationship between the ongoing technological revolution and the fashion industry, and how they can impact other industries in their wake. This platform hopes to highlight the beauty of what combining two extremely influential industries can achieve. Maybe it’s about how artificial intelligence can improve a fashion company’s business model or maybe it’s about how two robot arms spraying a model, live, on a runway are capable of telling a story that incites incredible emotion. It is about seeing the future of the fashion industry through the eyes of a tech nerd, business mogul, young entrepreneur, or politician-in-training. It is our hope to articulate collaborative projects between these realms and the endless possibilities that derive from that. S.I.R.I.U.S. is a place where fashion innovation flourishes from understanding its history, studying consumer behaviour, keeping up to date with the newest technological advances, and from having an eagerness to create something hither to unimaginable.

S.I.R.I.U.S. may stand for "Specialising In Retail Innovation Under Science", but really it's for you, the forward thinkers, the day dreamers, and the ambitious go-getters.

Slap! Magazine (Cover) (2020) by Phoebe ShardlowCentral Saint Martins

Phoebe Shardlow: Slap!

Ahoy, Slappers! In these uncertain times of Goop and Poosh you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed about who to turn to and seek solace in – so here’s Slap! Remember your older sister’s weirdly sexy, goofy party girl best friend distilled over 70 pages of top-notch journalism. It’s a beauty magazine for the girls who come home in last night’s make-up, the girls who let yesterday’s foundation fester on their face whilst re-watching Top Gear on Dave and nursing a hangover. Slap! is a step-back from the sterile world of current beauty journalism and pressure to spend money. Slap! looks back at what got us into make-up in the first place – whether it be Bratz dolls or 2012 Tumblr. After all, Slap! just wants to have fun. 

In Fair Corona Where We Lay Our Scene

Love in the time of lockdown is hard but there’s nothing this serial dater can’t resolve - global pandemic or not. 

I collect dates like trading cards, adding them all into my impressive Rolodex of boys (I call it the ‘brolodex’). So what happens to the love life of a serial dater when put on lockdown? No one in my Rolodex I feel close enough to quarantine with so our interest in one another ultimately shall dwindle over this period of separation. Although now if anything could be my chance to form a meaningful connection with someone over Instagram DMs but honestly I don’t have the time. I’m busy sleeping all day and solving all your beauty quibbles by night dear readers. Being perpetually single and happy about it often leads to acquiring a crew of equally horny and single friends - Clapton is Hamelin and I have become the pied piper of women (and often men) with doomed love lives. So I’ve taken some time to help you with all the love life dilemmas you may face during this hideous time for the single.

Clapton is Hamelin and I have become the pied piper of women (and often men) with doomed love lives. - Slap!

Rabble Rouser (Preview) (2020) by Francesca PalmacciCentral Saint Martins

Francesca Palmacci: Rabble Rouser

Rabble Rouser is a digital platform that aims to speak truth to power in both political and fashion circles through investigative work and satire. Rabble Rouser’s raison d’être is to bring common sense to a world of chaos. Rabble Rouser publishes a wide array of journalism ranging from investigative work, satirical pieces, cultural commentary, and interviews with rabble rousers who have bridged the gap between politics and fashion such as the creative director of George Magazine, Matt Berman and the former editor of Teen Vogue, Phillip Picardi. Rabble Rouser values the written word in its purest sense, speaking truth.

The Democratic Dilemma

Hollow phonies or righteous vicars? New York elites are playing an old game and pose major questions about the viability of the democratic party. 

Think elite, think East coast, think egotistical - the three E’s. They live in million-dollar brownstones and send their kids to boarding schools in Connecticut, their tender feet parading around in six-inch exotic skin heels that never touch the gum strewn cockroach crawling streets of New York City. Their driver is their Roman chariot - their savior from being exposed to the perils of a less-than-perfect reality. 

This doesn’t sound ideal, but hey, at least they always vote democrat - although many “I’m with her” stickers had to be gracefully peeled off the back of their Maserati's with a gold-plated knife (they never cook anyways). It is them, the seamless and silent influencers, except this time they aren’t influencing on your Instagram feed but rather influencing elections - the Kremlin might as well be moved to a three-story brownstone with preferably a red door. From the 2016 election, they were unanimously “I’m with her” because a. she is a woman and they gravitate to any form of identity politics unless it threatens to take away their wealth and b. because, as mentioned above they thought Bernie would take away their wealth and tax them into obliquity. 

Anna Wintour, occupier of the iron throne immune to all scandal, Vogue, is a doting supporter of South Bend Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg. An endorsement made on the safeguarding of money. No woman? No Warren? Maybe she was afraid she’d take over the tethered reins of Vogue herself and the next day everyone would be wearing Lululemon pants with pussy hat pink and democratic donkey blue blazers. 

Wintour’s net worth of $35 million is a humble $16 million away from succumbing to Warren’s millionaire tear-inducing tax plan of taxing two cents from every 51 millionth and thereafter dollar earned. Modern American elitist liberalism is counterrevolutionary - they know the revolution is within the alt-right so they stick to the basics, donating a lot of money, attending fundraisers in wine caves dripping in Swarovski crystals. Most Americans don’t want to be told what to do by an ostentatious Brit with a royally large net with - we fought a revolution to avoid this happening again. 
Vogue did not respond to comment as to if they will be endorsing a candidate in 2020. Attention within the steely walls of Vogue has drifted from endorsing candidates to the cancellation of the 2020 Met Ball. The catalyst? A pandemic. 

The problem is pervasive in the New York fashion set. Bloomberg, fellow rich New Yorker, garnered the support of former Vogue employee Selby Drummond who took a leave from her new position at Snapchat to campaign for Bloomberg. Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller, and the human equivalent of gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe, Derek Blasberg, all endorsed Bloomberg. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City now sees himself as a beloved figurehead. They don’t want anyone to disrupt the system, they want a plutocrat who will favor the same people that Trump does. 

Now that Biden is the candidate, Drummond promotes Snapchat advertisements, Bloomberg tweets, the occasional veiled Biden endorsement, or stunning political commentary like “wtf is this”. Blasberg is busy having a love affair with homemade banana bread, promoting an interview with Miley Cyrus for The Wall Street Journal, and asking philosophical questions such as “do you think the pigeons miss us?” Medine is missing her nanny and lamenting about the perils of early morning Zoom calls. 

The epitome of this phenomenon is Karlie Kloss. She’s married to Jared Kushner’s brother Joshua Kushner. She posted a photo of her voting for Hillary in 2016 on Instagram (brave, Presidential medal of freedom for this, please) and gave an interview to Vogue U.K for the August 2019 issue lamenting about how “hard” it is being married to Jared Kushner’s brother and how her “liberal” values are what matter most to her. This doesn’t stop her, however, from attending tennis games with the demonic cocktail that is Wendi Deng (Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife) Princess Beatrice, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, the only one missing, unfortunately, was Jeffrey Epstein. 

From inside the castle walls, I spoke to Phillip Picardi, formerly of Teen Vogue and Out magazine. Picardi is not telling people who to vote for but encouraging them to be more involved with the primary process. He warns that, in his eyes, “fashion is wary of genuine critics” and “often avoids politics for fear of alienating a “broader” consumer base. In this age of capitalism, why stand for something and risk conflict when you could just stand for nothing and collect a profit?”

Follow Fashion Journalism students and graduates on Instagram @FCCSM and Central Saint Martins Fashion Programme on YouTube.

Click here for more information on BA Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, 1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AA

Credits: Story

Header image by Freya Martin and Kate McCusker for Clamour.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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