Last year the Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program withdrew from the Business of Fashion’s Global School Fashion Rankings. They sited conflicts of interest, namely its combative commodification of education, BoF’s dubious initiation of their own online courses, and the ranking’s lack of geopolitical and socioeconomic variables. And yet ranking is perfectly reasonable in a world where universities are increasingly public-relations businesses.
London’s Central Saint Martins, arguably the world’s top fashion university, consistently produces impressive MA showcases. This year, two graduate collections in particular sparked intense interest: Liam Johnson and Edwin Mohney. While it’s an easy, if not lazy, task to buttress the already elite-ranked institution, I was gripped by the two designer’s distinctive approaches in reimagining the application of dress through reduction and the found object. They were also, maybe for those reasons, the bookends of the graduate runway.