Central Saint Martins MA Fashion graduate Luke Brooks on the Olympic Dream
Last month students of Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion presented their collections as part of London Fashion Week. Amongst the eclectic and exciting designs, the work of Luke Brooks stood out to us here at UAL 2012 HQ. Joint winner of the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award 2012, his first look relayed distinctly Olympian references and so we quizzed him on just how much the impending Games have inspired him…
‘I’m not really sure what to say in relation to the Olympics and what I just showed. It isn’t something I have been focusing on per se but it is looming all up in our grills here in London and I’ve been touched imaginatively by some of its tentacles, so to speak. More than the actual event, I suppose it is its epic nature and the hysteria that often goes with epic things that I have responded to there with that first look. Looking back I see that the ultra-graphic nature of all things Olympic related must have played a part, as it renders the competition easy to make reference to. The imagery, the colours alone, are ingrained, evocative and therefore pretty powerful. The Olympic dream however, is only one current of discussion that has been affecting me recently. So have all the manifestations of apocalyptic or mega-change stories surrounding the year 2012. They are exciting. As is talk of extraterrestrial life. For example, I thought for a few minutes recently about what kind of display (fashion and otherwise) we’d put on if we knew aliens from some neigbouring planet were coming down for a chat, a variety show and a cup of sugar. That scenario in my mind would probably involve romantic united-folk-of-earth head-gear. But maybe they’d relate more to our work-a-day clothes as some of them are said to be grey all over anyway. They might take umbrage at some of our ritzier styles and zap us. It could be best to play it cool in Calvin Klein and loincloths. Who knows?
On a practical level, that Olympic look came about quickly and without preparation. I had already made the body covering element a couple of months before and then it occurred to me that the colours of the rings sort of went with it. I am always pondering ideas of Gods and halos and related stuff, and the Ancient Greek/Olympic vibe connects with all that to me. I also saw that my rings were a bit like dream catchers, which felt poignant; having five catchers on one’s head. Like the title of that basketball film ‘Hoop Dreams’. By happenstance I already had the right yarn colours and wire and kit. If I hadn’t it probably wouldn’t have transpired, because I was working fast and kind of impatiently. I was in reveller mode that day and I couldn’t wait to get to the party.
But all said and done, that first look is a potential solution to the pressing problem of what we will be wearing when we toddle, bound or rollerblade down to Stratford in the summer or to any of the associated knees-ups.’
Thursday, April 26th, 2012