CSM New Alumni | Living Up the Legacy During the Toughest Time



The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t stop these bunch of brilliant creative, newly-out CSM alumni from the renowned London’s Central Saint Martin (CSM), to showcase their exceptional talents in this year graduating class. António Castro, Sólveig Hansdóttir and Genevieve Devine are paving their way to join the CSM infleuntial alumni—Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. 


To receive the Luxiders newsletter, sign up here.

Working through lockdown have shifted the way we live and for these designers who debut in the midst of it, they had to challenge their creativity and perseverance. The most-anticipated CSM's graduation presentation was presented in the immersive digital format where the guests welcomed by a message from an eccentrics French culture and fashion figure Michèle Lamy. Her raspy voice ushers us to a final chamber where we can find the designers visioner new collections. Three emerging designers share the story behind their striking collection with Luxiders. 

“With lockdown restrictions, I started using my own body to drape and develop patterns. This was a very enriching experience that informed the design process and the film” –António Castro



Icelandic Sólveig Hansdóttir perceives her collection as a study on chaos and a manifesto of us people being irrational and trying to be on top of everything. ”There are cosmic forces around us that are uncomprehensive, irrational, and they make us uncomfortable; we consider them evil.” Her ten-look collection is a manifesto of the Three Theories of Evil concept in which translate into asymmetrical structures and repetitive pleats. Hansdóttir was the recipient of the L’Oreal Professionnel Scholarship and graduated from CSM’s MA Womenswear course.

Further in her collection, Hansdóttir incorporates social and ethical aspects by upcycling materials, using local materials and production, not to mention supporting local craftsmanship. For her, it is essential to speak up her voice to minimize the environmental impact of her creative production and to have a commitment to sustainability issues.


“Supporting local female craftsmanship and creatives was important to me, so I had the power to exalt women who worked in the creative field and with craftsmanship, which is amazing.” –Hansdóttir.


"Throughout last year, I started working with an 80-year-old weaver from Portugal. In our collaboration, we explore traditional Portuguese patterns. The meticulous fabric developed with her contrasts with my expressive handwoven technique, where I weave unwanted vintage garments" —António Castro





Join the L’Oreal Professionnel Scholarship recipient, António Castro graduated from MA Textiles, whose collection was based on a Portuguese winter solstice ritual, the Caretos. Castro was questioning how the pagan rituals survive for many centuries, and he visited some pagan villages and collaborated with some of the artisans. “Although it is important to reflect on what is happening in our surrounding, I like to delve into the past and historical contexts of clothes and recontextualize them," he says.

Through his handwoven artisan technique, Castro showcases a rich collection with draping, pleated that shapes into a Renaissance look. Adorning his portfolio is his textile development, in which he collaborates with Ritex Lab. He collected post-production textile waste, such as silk, wool, and cotton, from weaving mills in England and created a unique embroidered fabric development.




“My collection Smoke and Mirrors presents a fever-dream of feminine imagination in which the act of playing dress-up, with only a mirror and the objects found around me, transforms garment making into a form of alchemy,” says Devine about her graduate collection. It is a personal and intimate record of hers while she explores her hoarded garments in which play as the activators of memory, eroticism and delight. Devine opts to repurpose and transform objects and garments but still hold the past.

Her work’s core ethos is slow fashion; she focuses on pieces that can be cherished for a long time and passed down to others. Her curiosity leads her to endlessly wanting to learn more about her surroundings and objects that fascinate her. She defines her fashion array as "an essay in using what I have around me, celebrating handwork, salvaging discarded fabrics and subverting traditional crafts to make clothes that retain and communicate secrets and stories."




"My process is centred around play, becoming obsessed with an object or the story of a garment I have hoarded. I allow myself to be led by the process of playing with, re-imagining and objects and giving them a new life, whilst celebrating the life they once had." —Genevieve Devine




*Header image by Anna Maggy for Sólveig Hansdóttir's collection




 +  Words: Alvia Zuhadmono, Luxiders Magazine 

Sustainable Communication student | Sweden-based writer

Connect with her through LinkedIn