Tuesday, 30 August 2011


When I talk about the relation between old furniture from your grandma's house and the army clothes, I am sure you can't find any. Kirsty Longman, a CSM graduate just combines them for her graduation collection. picking the floral pattern from those old furniture and camouflage from army as the inspiration, Kirsty created a new pattern and gave those out-dated pattern a new birth. My favourite of collection is the cross stitching element. I did it when I was 16 to help my friend making a birthday gift for her boyfriend. I always thought it's so feminine that's why I was so surprised when I saw this technic applying in menswear. Kirsty's collection is a really well developed collection. If one day I am rich enough to buy graduation collection, I am sure this is what I want to get.

As a new member in the industry, what do you think about the fashion world?
It’s an intimidating place full of really talented people who work incredibly hard to create some amazing things.

How do you describe your style?
My work is always based on quite a strong, sometimes humorous theme, which I then try to use to create desirable garments. I explore this theme through detail, colour, pattern and silhouette. iI try to make my clothes wearable however abstract the theme and always have in my mind the fact that I am designing for a certain intelligent, stylish yet joyful man.
I use a lot of embellishment, so I work really hard to make a succinct colour range and choice of fabrics so that however elaborate I make any embroideries, prints or knits, all the pieces go together to form a collection that works.
I try to treat each garment individually and really think about the insides as much as the out so each pieces feels really special and considered as well as part of the whole.

What is your opinion of being a successful fashion designer?
Having people love, want to own and wear my clothes for a long time.

Who is your favourite designer? Does he/she inspire you when you do your own designs?
I love Prada because she madly reinvents everything every now and again while still playing a really savvy commercial game. I love the way she takes a theme, and stylistically really runs with it and pushes what can be considered ‘good taste’ but once you look past that the pieces are wearable and cool. This is what I tried to do in my collection.

Can you tell me more about the collection? Which is the iconic piece in the collection and which one is your favorite?
My collection was based on a juxtaposition of two themes: combat clothing and old lady’s interior design choices. Somehow the dense floral patterns on the cheap synthetic fabrics of grandmothers’ houses reminded of the patterns found in camouflage designs and so GRANOUFLAGE was born!
My collection is quite textiles focused - I tried to use a few key motifs in different scales and techniques to create a rich textural collection with uni-coloured pieces to bring it all together.
I like to play with ideas of high and low, good and bad taste and so I took silhouettes and details from mass-produced cheap products from both areas (housecoats and combat jackets, aprons and jogging bottoms) and incorporated them into quite classic shapes in interesting fabrics to create hopefully quite luxury, desirable garments.
Some key pieces are the intarsia floral-camo knit and cotton/lined apron-suit.
My favorite piece is a pair of embroidered jogging bottoms, taken from the pattern of a pair of soviet combat trousers and cross stitched in a pixilated camouflage pattern.

There are many new and up-coming designers in the industry. Is there anyone that you really admire?
I like the British designer Christopher Shannon –he is not afraid to have a sense of humor and explores exciting print and embellishment techniques on really cool sportswear.

As a CSM graduate, do you have any advice for other fashion students?
Don’t be afraid to do something mad and sick to your ideas whatever everyone else around you is doing.

What is your next plan now? Are you building your own label?
For the moment I’m going to work and get as much experience as I can, meet as many nice people as I can and pay my taxes for a few years. After that an MA would be fantastic but I will just see where I end up.

To know more about Kirsty, please visit her website

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