The Lethaby Gallery has opened an exhibition entitled Fashion: Central Saint Martins. Curated by final year BA Fashion Communication students, it is a celebration of the work of students both past and present.

Portraits of notable staff and alumni taken by students on the MA Fashion Image course line the walls. They seem to watch over the exhibition with a gaze that is discerning, but ultimately reassuring.

Matty Bovan by Heather Glazzard

However, the invisible protagonist behind the exhibition is undoubtedly Murial Pemberton, an artist, academic and designer heralding from Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent who transformed fashion design education in the UK. Having herself been awarded the Royal College of Art’s first ever Diploma in Fashion she went on to found the Fashion Programme at Central Saint Martins.

 Julie Verhoeven by Heather Glazzard

Pemberton is quoted in the exhibition as saying “If you can draw it, you can make it.” And her conceptualization of fashion design as an amalgamation of art and textiles is evident in the work which fills the gallery.

Fauve Penketh

Hanging along the back wall are 60 looks from The White Show, the project students on the BA Fashion pathway complete. These vary from the avant-garde to the understated and are the result of a first-term rite of passage, a moment where clothes, fashion and art meet in an environment of experimentation and education.

Kana Takahashi

With pieces from Craig Green’s religion-inspired MA collection, Edwin Mohney’s pink gaffer tape body suit from his BA collection, a Hussein Chalayan Airmail dress from 1993 and Hayley Grundmann’s Bin Bag dress made from orange plastic bags and foam strips, the exhibition makes obvious the way in which the fashion programme at Central Saint Martins is about more than clothes: it is about the translation of concept into object.

Fashion: Central Saint Martins opens today at the Lethaby Gallery,  1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA.