A balloon dress designed by Central Saint Martins student, Fredrik Tjærandsen, bagged the top prize in the 2019 MullenLowe NOVA Awards announced last Thursday evening. 1300 final year students were whittled down to a mere 14 to represent the school in the coveted design prize. A total of six awards were presented, but Tjærandsen’s design, ‘Moments of Clarity,’ which went viral on the internet and was the talk of fashion houses around the world, was the design champ of the night.
Norwegian Fashion Womenswear student Tjærandsen received £6000 for his inflated works of art. His collection is made up of womb-like balloons each of which contain 3,500 litres of air. He worked with Sri Lankan rubber growers and incorporated an internal air pressure system, allowing the wearer to breathe inside for several hours. As the garment deflates, the performer is born out of the shrinking bubble.
“I am deeply concerned with the relationship between what is seen and what is unknown, through the memories and misty impressions of childhood. This is a personal journey of documenting, researching and understanding how one communicates with the world through memory.”
NOVA Awards runners-up
Elissa Brunato, an MA Material Futures student, was a worthy runner-up with her ‘Bio Iridescent Sequin,’ a material inspired by the ancient art of sewing beetle wings onto fabric. Her 21st century sequin is a sustainable alternative made from wood instead of plastic. Brunato also picked up a second prize with the Creative Review Innovation Award.
Xiaoying Liang’s ‘The Dictionary’ is a 3-minute video exploring and questioning definitions from the Oxford English dictionary. Her piece, for which she received a runner-up prize, experiments with stretching and interrogating the linguistic definition of ordinary objects.
2019 Unilever #Unsetereotype Award
Sara Gulamali’s project, ‘Can You See Me, Still?’ follows a green burka-clad being which cannot be identified by race, religion, gender or sexuality. Gulamali took inspiration from her life as a Muslim woman and her experience of nonexistence in society. By donning the bright green garment, Sarah becomes both invisible and unmissable.
The public awarded Haemin Ko for her short film, ‘No Body,’ a hand-drawn charcoal animation which illustrates her autobiographical journey in London. The film focuses on loneliness in three emotional chapters dealing with excitement, frustration and hope.
You can read more about the Mullenlowe NOVA Awards shortlist here.
About the MullenLowe NOVA Awards
Now in its ninth year, the MullenLowe NOVA Awards is an initiative run by the MullenLowe Group in partnership with Central Saint Martins. The college is one of the world’s leading art and design schools with a student roster that includes the likes of Antony Gormley, Terence Conran, Tom Hardy, Stella McCartney, Alexandra McQueen, Laure Prouvost, Mathew Williamson and John Galliano.
14 students are shortlisted from 40 nominees across 1300 final year students working in fashion, fine art, design, photography, science and more. The nominated students participate in two shows: one in May, and the other in June. Twelve judges analyse the body of work with criteria that includes cutting-edge design, beautiful execution and work which pushes the creative boundaries to the absolute maximum. The awards evening took place on July 4 at the Tanner Warehouse in Bermondsey, London.
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