Safra

Posts Tagged ‘central saint martins’

Musing: Paolo Roldan

In Canadian, Fashion, Men, model, style on June 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm


There’s a difference between fixation and fascination. Doing what I do, and my naturally investigative nature, I have been fortunate to meet people that have contributed to my experiences in one way or another. Good and bad. I have met people from YouTube , Facebook, MySpace, or simply walked into a room realising I had to know THAT person for whatever reason. My opportunistic instinct would kick in and my mind floods with ideas. It’s like a rush. And I transform from a meek figure on the sidelines to a Journalist with a purpose. In this case, with Paolo Roldan a Canadian model, it was a gradual progression.

I befriended another male model many moons ago named Ali. I was a volunteer at a fundraiser for M-A-C called Fashion Cares. As Ali walked by my friend and I, the top half of his body painted in glitter, my friend made a flirtatious gesture. He was sweet about it, and hung out with us for the rest of the night. Ali, who was from Pakistan, resided in Denmark. He was trying the Toronto fashion scene out and didn’t have much friends. But he was an Adonis: smooth toffee coloured skin, and full heart-shaped lips. He seemed somewhat precocious and a bit naive. I kept in touch with Ali, hung out a few times. A first impression would have you believing Ali was cocky, but in actuality, he was one of the sweetest people anyone could know.

I came home one day and checked my voicemail. Ali was moving back to Denmark. He thanked me for ‘everything I did for him’ which really wasn’t much. I never heard from, or saw him again, but sometimes I wonder how he is doing.


When I met Paolo, I felt got the same feeling I had with Ali. A lot of the time, you would expect an egotistical attitude from models. Particularly men. I’m sure Paolo has his moments, but I am not the giddy type. And I had my eye on Paolo. I had seen him twice before. But I had no idea who he was until someone told me. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I came across a profile on him in a publication. I used him once before. But he reappeared in my life in the knick of time. There was something I needed to accomplish before I moved back to the UK and Paolo was the missing link. I needed him. I had to act fast.

After having a proper conversation with him, I was fascinated by the things I automatically assumed he would know but didn’t, things I learned from him, and human perceptions. I always knew my niche within the industry, but this experience confirmed it. I have made Paolo my un-official muse though he’s not aware of it.


I do not know anything about Paolo. I don’t I want to know him either. He has served his purpose as someone who brought me closer to a brand, Givenchy, I hold very close to me. During our interview, my head was in the clouds by the fact that there I was, a few days before permanently leaving the country, with this person who creates fantasies for a brand I magnify. He was my subject of a story for a leading post-punk magazine I dreamed of writing for called i-D. When things like this happen, it has a profound effect on your reality.


Now, in London, during the Central Saint Martins graduate show, I stole a quick minute with another fashion designer I spoke about endlessly for another dream magazine, Christopher Kane. Then, I walked right up to the honorable Hilary Alexander and introduced myself. I have chatted up with Giles Deacon, fashion maven of a generation. I can’t begin to imagine what else is in store. Sometimes certain things happen, like my moment with Paolo, that are precursors for what things may come.

Shout out to Paolo Azarraga for providing the images.

See more of Paolo Roldan on my TUMBLR.

LFW Fall 2011: Central Saint Martins MA

In British, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Trend, Trend Report on February 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Must take note: I was really looking forward to the graduate segment of London Fashion Week. It’s the time when hungry hands are at their most creative, and it goes on to define their identities in the fashion world. Central Saint Martins is, by far, the best school to master the fashion craft – in any genre. And while I was blown away by many of the collections, I felt a strong sense of restraint. I’m not sure what that was about: trying to secure a job (something that seemed really obvious by some), or uncertainty of what message they were trying to get across. There was, admittedly, times when it felt like the show was going on forever, which I don’t think is a good thing.

The show started off strong: Jenny Postle sent creations reminiscent of the wounded creatures in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ down the runway – it mesmerizing. Ji Young Pyo made a statement with wooden blocks covering the models faces, but demonstrated strong draping capabilities, and, she knows her fabrics. Bethan Silverwood’s bouncy blocks (dresses) has some interesting moments, but after a while, they just started to blend into one another. Phoebe English constructed wonderfully intriguing dresses out of hair while Viktor Smedinge played on a scroll theme which ultimately won him (and England) the evening’s award, and I’m certainly not surprised; I had my eye on English.

It was all very costumey – and for that, they all get an A for effort. But It’s unfortunate the bouts of boredom outweighed the excitement.

Designer Spotlight: Ara Jo

In British, designer, Entertainer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, In the Know, London, One to Watch, Trend on August 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

After musing over some ridiculously talented designers, it’s time to extend the platform. You see, of course a designer’s clothes are their main cred, but it’s the OZ – the creative genius with the fuel to tackle this business – that shapes the industry. So, come on now, let’s hear it for the future of fashion.

As much as I am a fan of fresh paint splattered (neatly) within Vogue’s coveted pages, I’m also a fan of the artist who smashes a window. Or, in Ara Jo’s case, adamantly gets her shit on Lady Gaga.

Ms. Jo, a 24-year-old Londoner and Central Saint Martins alumna, has a way with forging her own opportunities. Like I said, Gaga — for one. Then there’s the audacity of turning the surrealist, un-wearable side of fashion into an enticing ensemble of glam-rock pieces. Ms. Jo has evolved since her graduate collection which showcased an infectious cobweb of nude hues and sequenced sculptures. Though it’s clear that a woman’s anatomy is still Ms. Jo’s thing, the concept has taken on a more tangible form: a Gothic collection of body-con attire.

Ms. Jo works abundantly. In conjunction with new releases each season, she’s joining forces with some other new talent by way of music, and the cerebral. And no, not more mind-bending clothes, but she’s “collaborating with a Jewellery Designer – publishing a fashion book.” When asked if she has her sights on other big name prospects – obviously, she’s on it. “Roses Gabor (Gorillaz vocalist). [Hopefully] a customised outfit for the Red Bull Festival,” she explains. And so the hustle continues…

Safraonfashion: What was it that inspired you to become a Fashion Designer?

Ara Jo: When I was thirteen [I would read a lot of] fashion magazines, [and I noticed] when most people see the nice clothes in them, they’d want to buy them – or try them on. But I wanted to make them! That’s how I started to create clothes. Yep. I wasn’t good at it – considering I was only thirteen – and [I had] never made clothes before. But I was really into creating something that I could wear!

SOF: What do you want people to think of when they see your designs?

AJ: I want to be told that my work is crazy and different. That’s what I always seek, and I express that through my work. And actually, that has always been my biggest goal as a fashion designer: to be noticed as a different.

SOF: What have you learned about the fashion world that you were not taught in school?

AJ: That communication with people [is imperative]. And building contacts with [like-minded] people. But it can’t be taught, so I have learned this all by myself through this tough field. It was tough to study in Central Saint Martins with such competitive creators when I was a student. But I have been through so many things since I’ve graduated (Dealing with people, working with people, collaborating with people). I just have to experience everything that happens in fashion world. The real fashion world.

SOF: In an interview with Dazed Digital, you said you wanted to work with Lady Gaga. How did you go about bringing that idea to life?

AJ: Since my garments were worn by Lady Gaga, a lot of things have changed in my life as a fashion designer – of course. More people have curious about me, my work. So I am still keeping trying to create something cool, by designing for celebrities not just Lady Gaga. I don’t want to limit myself, now. There are so many creative people whom I want to collaborate with, and who want to collaborate with me. There are a lot of upcoming projects happening: collaborating with Buttafly – a new British singer – Junior Brat and more!

SOF: Based on a theme, which four songs would be at the top of your runway show playlist?

AJ: Oops, I always listen to hip hop and R&B, but I don’t have particular favourites in mind – it always changes. So I would say it all depends on what kind of theme I have. I will [either] select or literally make some unique tunes for the show.

Ara Jo’s Price tag: High End (from £100.00 as a little piece ~).
Where to by : Not Just a Label.

You can also contact Ara Jo here.

One to Watch: Jean-Pierre Braganza

In British, Canadian, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, London, One to Watch, Rouse, RTW, Trend, Trend Report on April 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Jean-Pierre Braganza is not a newbie. He’s been designing since 2002, but I’m hoping to see a burst of mainstream recognition going foward. This British-Canadian Central Saint Martins graduate worked as a designer for Roland Mouret before being selected by Karl Lagerfeld for the Protégé Project, then debuted his eponymous collection in 2004. He creates both men’s and womenswear, and there’s a slew of celebrity fans including Kings of Leon, Estelle and Cheryl Cole.

Jean-Pierre shines when he nourishes his talent for psychadelic prints. I do however, feel he should leave the modernism to Jil Sander and concentrate on his gift for knits and draping. Maybe he’s still trying to find his comfort zone. But if he cultivates what he’s best at, he’s bound to flourish.

Death of a Fashion King

In Collection, death, designer, Fashion, I heart, Icon, Legend, London, News, UK on February 12, 2010 at 1:16 am

Alexander McQueen‘s death today is not only a shock, it’s a cruel reality of how fickle life can be. A young boy with a dream, Lee Alexander McQueen dropped out of school at 16 and took an apprentice position at Savile Row‘s Anderson & Sheppard. GOD recognized this man’s gift; he went on to work for Gieves & Hawkes then worked in Japan and Italy. Very much an inspiration of the `90s, he went attended Central Saint Martins and set up his label in East London – the place all cool people go.

McQueen’s built a relationship with some of the most prolific people in fashion, Isabella Blow being one of them. But his talent spoke for itself. He was the epiphany of innovation; his collections were breathless. Even if you didn’t know fashion, you were easily taken away by cinematic creations. What’s most important was that he stayed true to Britain; he was utterly fierce houndstooth and scots plaid, no designer, no matter the tenure could match his devotion to British tradition.


For his Spring/summer 2010 collection, he spearheaded a trend: he streamed his entire show online. The collection was his most dramatic yet, with those infamous hoofs immediately worn by the likes of Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga.

His stores are now being closed, he’s irreplaceable. He was able to touch people through his craft, and in such a saturated, ephemeral industry, this is very, very difficult to do.

He will truly be missed. RIP, Alexander McQueen.

One to Watch: Alexandra Groover

In Fashion on January 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm

UK-based Alexandra Groover’s spring/summer 2010 collection reminds me of those indie east-side fashion boutiques. You know, at first glance, the pieces are a bit intimidating, but when pulled off the hanger, they’re fresh, and brutally original.

It’s always nice to break away from the norm with these for-the-people collections, but their authenticity and made to order strategy mean they’re not for-the-people prices.

The California native got her papers from Central St. Martins and Rhode Island School of Design before working under Alexander McQueen and the infamous Zandra Rhodes. Her line, seperated in two – grey and black labels– and is available to order via her online boutique and farfetch.com. Her s/s 2010 collection also made its début at London Fashion Week and she’s been noted as one to watch by Vauxhall Fashion Scout.

Ms. Groover’s got some great representation (Blow handles her pr), but it looks like a lot of the clout she has obtained due to her own hard work. Her line suits UK’s ambiance and to call her line architectural is a bit passé; it’s gothic, new-age yet mysteriously sexy. Ms. Groover’s all-black concept of ruffled shoulders and tapered pants compliment the tastes of fashionista who can gloss it up with neatly coiffed hair and lips kissed in M-A-C’s “Girl About Town” fuchsia shade.

Trend Report: Protruding Hips

In Collection, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, RTW, Shopping, Trend, Trend Report on January 22, 2010 at 10:54 pm

If there’s any trend worth paying attention to for 2010, it’s the rise of protruding hips. Ideal for lanky, androgynous types, a mini-dress with accentuated hips figments an hour-glass shape, drawing attention to pelvic thrusts guaranteed to reel men in like fish bait. And as you know, wide hips represent child-bearing abilities. Why else would Shakira profess that the ‘Hips Don’t Lie’?

Central Saint Martins graduate Georgia Hardinge diligently embellishes the hips for her spring/summer 2010 collection. For this I’m sure she’ll be well loved by girls  dying to add some plump to the ‘stickness.’  But beware: if you’re already hippie, a la Beyoncé, then you might want steer clear of this look; you’ll end up looking like a sci-fi Gwar groupie – not cute.

One to Watch: Derek Lawlor

In designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, London, One to Watch on November 24, 2009 at 4:43 am


No, the UK fashion designer Derek Lawlor really is that good.

You see, I understand because I’m from Canada and my blog is fairly new, I have a lot of catching up to do compared to my overseas counterbloggers with hot, new fashion designers, but I’m quickly catching up.

Derek Lawlor has taken the knitwear concept to his own little planet. It’s a fabulous line. It’s complex, armour inspired, and contemporary.

Mr. Lawlor graduated with an MA in knitwear from Central Saint Martins in March 2009, and as you can see, his education has done him fair justice.

Derek Lawlor’s collection is via online e-tailer couturelab.com, but the price is steep (easily retailing between $2,000 to $5,000+), but it is worth? Well, if I could I most definitely would.