With the festive season inching closer each day, we join the holiday cheer by announcing the fifteen industry selected Central Saint Martins (CSM) recipients of the first Fashion Crossover London Advertorial Sponsorship - ELLE UK. The designer service platform holds close ties with the world-leading design and innovation institution, Founder Since Wang of Fashion Crossover London, an alumna herself has worked continuously on existing projects with CSM Programme Director Anne Marr since 2015.

Fashion Crossover London was founded on the principle of discovering the next talent who breaks the mould and give them a platform and the exposure they deserve, with the latter being more pressing than ever before. The class of 2020 has been faced with extreme challenges, forced to finish their collections in quarantine and were pushed to seek the extremes of their creativity with limited supplies. As such, the Fashion Crossover London Advertorial Sponsorship - ELLE UK was born, financially supporting the fifteen industry-endorsed talents from the BA Jewellery Design, BA Textile Design and MA Material Futures of the CSM class 2020.

After the initial screening by Fashion Crossover London, the decorated judges and Fashion Crossover London Designers Dame Vivienne Westwood Award Winner Aurélie Fontan and Swarovski Sustainability Award Winner Plaire Chaiphet offered the helping hand. Both no stranger to pushing the boundaries through textile and design innovations. Their expertise was matched by the notable celebrity stylists Manny Lago and Verity May Lane who have previously worked with Niall Horan, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa. The final fifteen were then confirmed with our Founder Since Wang and Programme Director Anne Marr. 

Starting her studies at the University of Arts Hamburg, Chelsea College of Art & Design and receiving her PhD from Goldsmiths College, Anne Marr now finds herself the Programme Director of the Jewellery, Textiles and Materials and acting Deputy Director of the Textile Future Research Centre. Anne Marr worked with an impressive array of international clients from IKEA, Sony, Urban Outfitters and many more. Her work and initiatives didn’t go unnoticed and grasped the attention of ELLE Decoration, L’UOMO Vogue and many others. In 2003 Marr set up her own design studio, specialising in customised design concepts for trend forecasting, prints and interiors.

"2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year to graduate from art college – the class of 2020 is a bunch of heroes! Our students had to adapt very quickly to the new normal and work from home in order to complete their final collections. As a college, we had to adjust very quickly and have put in place many new initiatives to enable the students with the best possible launch into their textiles and fashion careers. In response, the 2020 graduates had more online presence than ever before and many of our friends and partners in the Industry have reached out to support them. We have set up a new digital UAL graduate showcase and have arranged online special live features with The MIX Trend magazine as well as coaching sessions with Swarovski, mentoring by the Design Trust and of course the new Elle Feature with our long-standing supporters Fashion Cross-over London.

My advice for 2020 graduates would be to be confident about their achievements and to recognise the resilience they have, stay positive and continue to seek out new opportunities. If you can graduate from an art college in 2020 then you can do anything! Think about what you as a unique individual have to offer, what would you really like to do? It might be setting up your own studio at home, working closely with local communities or creating digital outcomes that you never imagined before. We are all in this together as a global community, therefore, it is more important than ever to work in diverse teams and continue to create a sustainable future for our industry." says Programme Director Anne Marr

Proving that statement right while unveiling groundbreaking territory in the fields of food and biomaterials were Sarah Graham and Riina Õun, as they experimented with bacteria and transformed this into suitable textiles for their sportswear and accessories, respectively. Molly Bonnell, stunned with her collection of speculative objects made from household sugar, dealing with the topical subject of medication. From food for thought to nutrition, Akane Kawahara developed cutting-edge cutlery that voids the needs for artificial flavourings, additives and sweeteners, while Sorawut Kittibanthorn impressed the judges as he successfully turns poultry waste into a protein food source.

CSM Textile Design graduate Huichen Yu found inspiration in Monet’s water lilies, as Yixin Sun’s looked to the sunset for a mix of vibrant colours seen in her work. Yiwen Zhou honoured the different facets of being a mother, as Nujoud Oweis collection objects from mother nature, giving them a new purpose in the form of unique accessories.

Staying at sea, Mizuki Tochigi investigated the imminent impact of plastic pollution, transforming it into abstract jewellery. Courtney Durka questions the true value of jewellery as she turns sterling pennies into necklaces. Creating order from chaos is Kewpie Chan, mending broken ceramics into standalone pieces of jewellery, and Jing Han elevates the overlooked object of rope, into eye-catching pieces of body-jewellery.

Siobhan Wallace externalises her personal DNA traits through her designs while Molly Wu leads us through the different stages of love with her tongue-in-cheek pieces of jewellery.

During this difficult period, Fashion Crossover London has continued to fulfil its promise to support young graduate talents. This collaboration between Fashion Crossover London and the fifteen talented graduates from Central Saint Martins is monumental, as it further cements the fusion of commercial success with raw creative talent in a year when the fashion industry ventures through a particularly challenging social landscape.



Words by Lupe Baeyens