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Central Saint Martins MA Fashion Course Director, Professor Louise Wilson, has taught and guided the careers of many of the most important fashion designers working today, including Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, Christopher Kane, Celine's Phoebe Philo, Richard Nicoll, and Jonathan Saunders (not to mention her influence on the late, great Lee Alexander McQueen himself).
In today's Dazed Digital, the blog sits down with Wilson at the old Central Saint Martins building on Charing Cross Road, before it moved to King's Cross this summer, to talk fashion and fashion students.
One of the most interesting answers Wilson gave was to the question: "How have the dynamics of the students changed since you started teaching in the early 90s?" Everybody talks about how every new generation differs from its predecessors. Here's what Wilson had to say:
I think the students work harder than we ever worked, but they have to because a lot of them haven’t got the skills that the old courses trained people in. The dynamic hasn’t changed—they’ve always been poor, they’ve always been untalented and then become talented, and they’ve always been insecure. At some point, they become people you want to know because you’ve worked with them and then they leave and you start with another group.· 20 Q&As: Louise Wilson [Dazed]
They have less skills now though, and I don’t care who hears that—they outsource more. When you talk about people like Lee McQueen or Christopher Kane, they did everything themselves—with no money, they could generate whatever they needed to. But the pressure on the students is greater now. What is expected of a student is beyond human—the MA fashion show is shown during London Fashion Week and is on Style.com. It’s viewed in a professional arena we never had. We were allowed to fail, and to make mistakes.