Central Saint Martins: the art school with which few others can compete. With illustrious tutors in bucketloads and a dominant presence within the fashion industry, a space on a course here is the ultimate dream for anyone wanting to pursue a career in fashion. From Phoebe Philo to Alexander McQueen, some of the biggest names in the industry have walked the halls of this historic London college.
While everyone has heard about the school’s prestigious MA and BA fashion courses, there are other routes offered by the school which also have the power to catapult ambitious designers to stardom. Enter the Graduate Diploma, a one-year course that sits between BA and MA and is led by the infectiously bright – in both personality and dress – David Kappo, who aims to help students perfect their craft and find their niche, before moving on to the next stage in their evolving careers.
Kappo chats in his Granary Square office, taking a break from frantic preparations for the course’s final exhibition. He makes it clear that students on the GradDip are expected to prove themselves right from the outset. “It’s a very intense course,” he says. “They have to work really hard, but they get a lot out of it.” He cites Parsons, the Institut Français de la Mode and CSM’s own MA programme as the next stops in many of the students’ educations. Feted designers to emerge in recent years from the Diploma include Michael Halpern, Adam Andrascik and Rejina Pyo. The course is clearly successful in shaping new generations of talent.
“I’m very lucky that I do get fabulous students,” Kappo explains fondly. But his expertise and enthusiasm for teaching (“My product is people, that’s why I love teaching – I’m a people person,” he exclaims) must also be recognised for crafting the success of the course.
So, who are these young creatives set for stardom? Fashion Unfiltered was fortunate enough to gain access to this course and work with image makers from MA Fashion Communication. Browse the ones to watch…