Serena Gili is the recent Central Saint Martins BA graduate, who has awed everyone with her brilliant final collection, which also earned her a second runner up prize, and who has already got accepted to the most prestigious course – MA Fashion with Louise Wilson.
Her pieces were so serene and magnificent, similar to the music she chose for her show by Joby Talbot – “Path of Miracles”, which in combination came out onto the runway almost like a meditation or a prayer.
Inspired by religious uniformity, devotion and works of a contemporary sculptor Anish Kapoor, Serena created pieces close to sacred objects of art or religion. Her tops were meticulously knitted with precious threads and golden metallic and neon plastic beading. Some tops were made of silk organza, which was molded into decorative patterns by one french craftsman, who created all the paper molds by hands. And the one-shape acrylic skirts, which gave the sense of a uniform, were constructed and made by ship building engineers! All the efforts are worth of the splendid collection. 1Granary would like to thank Serena Gili for the interview and congratulates with a beautiful grad collection and being accepted onto MA. Good luck!
Serena’s soundtrack for her show
Where are you from?
I was born in Paris.
Tell us about your collection.
I guess this collection is a reflection of my family; my parents were separated, so I spent a lot of time with my mother and my step dad, and they do mosaics. They had their studio at home, so I grew up in a very creative environment and learned how to work creatively at home. Because my mother lived in the countryside, but very close to Paris, I used to go there every weekend to see my dad, who is a cinema journalist. So, every weekend I used to go and see all the old french and italian movies with my father. Also, my grandmother is a creative director in classical music. I would spend all my time with her going to the theatre and opera. So, my upbringing, surroundings and family have influenced my final collection a lot. For example, I used a lot of beading and I find it somehow similar to mosaics, which my mother and step father did. Similarly, it is so time consuming and it takes a lot of discipline to complete… that is what they did all the time. Also, during the whole process of the collection, I was listening to the opera. I had to get into the mood of being focused and disciplined, and the music helped me a lot. In fact, for the show I used a classical piece by an English composer Joby Talbot, called “Path of Miracles”, which tells the story of passing pilgrims on their way to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Music inspired me, it was very austere opera or classical music and that comes from my grandmother basically. And from my dad, maybe this theatrical aspect that is present in the collection.
“I guess this collection is a reflection of my family ….When I completed it, I knew exactly where it came from…It is a tribute to my family somehow.”
When I completed it, I knew exactly where it came from…It is a tribute to my family somehow.
What was your main inspiration?
I was always interested in different aspects of religion like uniformity. I went to New York to do my internships last year and people there are very religious; many catholics who go to the church every Sunday, and I used to spend a lot of time with them. I got really inspired by them. There was always something curious about it…It got me interested in religion, uniformity, nuns, rules and how religious people are devoted to a certain cast. Also, I read a lot about Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish. And one of my main inspiration was the work of Anish Kapoor.
“…there was something missing. So, I applied to Central Saint Martins.”
How did you get into CSM?
Well, I already have a degree in Fashion Womenswear from École Duperré, Paris. When I completed my course and had my degree, I wasn’t satisfied with it…there was something missing. So, I applied to Central Saint Martins and if to be honest, I wasn’t aiming to get into a particular pathway; I just met Sarah and some other tutors and they asked me if I was going to be happy to do knitwear, I had no idea how knitwear was, but I was just so happy to come. I think that when you first come in, it is important to trust the tutors with allocating you to the right pathway because they look at your work and with all their previous experience, they can advise you on which course to go. So, I trusted in their choice.
When you look back at yourself on the first year, what would you advice to yourself now?
To stay focused. Also, trust tutors and look at everybody’s work because it seems that many people don’t attend crits properly and I think that it is so great to have this chance to see everybody’s work and share. I really don’t like this behavior of hiding your work because it is so interesting to show and share your work with others, to have that exchange with people because that way you also learn.
What would your advice be to the future 3rd year students?
My advice would be to be confident and believe in themselves. And not to follow other students’ rhythm of work because we all have different ways and rhythms of working. We all have difficulties at a certain stage; some people feel very stressed and anxious at the beginning and some don’t, but stress comes to them afterwards…so during the process, everyone feels not good at a certain point. Also, I think that it is normal to feel up and down because it is part of the process of creation. Don’t try to do something that people will like, just follow your desires basically.I think it is very personal to do a collection, so just be sincere as possible, be honest with yourself.
Who is the perfect person for you to wear your designs?
To be honest, it would have to be Beyonce. But because of my skirts being impossible to move in properly, I don’t think it is possible for her to wear. (Laughs) You can’t dance in them, maybe Lady gaga would wear it… I don’t know. (Laughs)
How would you describe your whole CSM experience in five words?
Freedom. Exchange. Discipline. Joy. And at this stage, I would say…Sense of accomplishment.
What is for the future?
MA and a very strong desire to work for myself.
FOX LONDON ART AND DESIGN STUDIO
工作室数年来培养出百名成功案例，100%录取，陆续进入伦敦艺术大学以及其它欧美艺术设计院校深造。工作室的艺术设计导师，无论是自身背景还是专业能力都是业界首屈一指，与众多知名品牌、著名博物馆合作过:大英博物馆、V&A博物馆、德国国立宝石博物馆、Cartier、Alexander McQueen、 Gareth Pugh、 John Galliano、Dior、Coco Chanel、Alexander Wang、Tiffany&Co、 Van Cleef&Arpels、Swarovski、Vivienne Westwood、Giles Deacon等。
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