Central St Martins Legend Louise Wilson passes on

Very sad news have struch the world of fashion:

Professor Louise Wilson of Central St Martins has passed away at a very young age. I remember her very vividly, because I held my first interview with her, when I applied for a masters degree at CSM. She had this strong, enigmatic personality (the boy who interviewed right before me came out shaking and crying) and was cheerful, making jokes along the way.

It was her who saw that my true talent is not in fashion per se, but in textiles, running out of the office to make a phone call which, as it later turned out, was a recommendation to the textiles department. After a short while I received a letter inviting me for a textile MA interview – although I never applied there in the first place! Well, needless to say, I got into the textiles MA and the rest is history.

Rest in peace professor Wilson.

Louise Wilson – Teacher, Designer, Inspiration

So many industry champions have met an untimely and unexpected end that 2014 is quickly becoming known as a tragic year for fashion.

L’Wren Scott’s suicide sent the community reeling, followed a month later by the shocking death of Peaches Geldof. Jay Ott, although only just at the beginning of his career, was equally as talented and his passing was just as tragic as that of master designer Michele Savoia (whose body was also found in the Hudson River.)

Though we never had the honor of knowing these people personally, their passing is no less sad.

This month we mourn the death of another shining star of both the fashion and education world.

Louise Wilson designer

On the 16th of May, Louise Wilson died in her sleep while visiting her sister in Scotland. She was 52.

Here’s why we’ve lost one of the best among us.

Louise Wilson: An Inspiration for a Generation

In the three decades since she attained her degree in fashion in 1984, the British-born designer became known as one of the best educators in the industry and lead countless students to success in fashion.

Born in Cambridge, Wilson spent most of her youth growing up in Scotland before gaining a grant to study at Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London. She sailed through her BA degree as a gifted student, and immediately went on to complete her Masters degree before working for a stint in Hong Kong as a consultant designer.

Louise Wilson Timmi

With her life-long partner Timmi and their then-young son Tim still living in North London during this time, Wilson returned from Hong Kong after a couple of years and reentered Saint Martins college, though this time not as a student.

So influential was her work as a professor and course director at Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London that she was bestowed with one of the highest honors in 2008, being appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Louise Wilson’s Teaching Legacy

Among her students, Professor Wilson was known as a fiery woman who pulled no punches when it came to delivering her opinion, and expected nothing but the best from those around her. At the same time, she used her superb eye and unparalleled teaching skills to help her students become the very best they could be.

It was this uncompromising, never-settle-for-second best attitude that earned Wilson a place at Saint Martins’ director table in the first place, and for giving her the leadership position, the college was rewarded by becoming known as the place to be to kickstart a career in fashion.

Louise Wilson influence

Proof, if proof were needed, is in the pudding; if it was not for Louise Wilson, the design world may never have known the names Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, Phoebe Philo, Chris Kane or Richard Nicoll, all of whom studied under Wilson’s demanding gaze. Many of her graduates also went on to high-flying jobs behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest fashion houses – you probably wouldn’t know them by name, but they make the world go round and it was Wilson that put them into motion.

And Wilson was exceptionally proud of her students and their work, consciously name-dropping them in interviews and waxing lyrical about their successes right up until her fight with breast cancer reached its sad conclusion. She was also a notably hard worker; even when her illness was at its worst, Wilson kept on powering through 12+ hour days without breaks, and continued to do so up until her death.

A Great Loss to Us All

Britain lost a great educator this month, and the world lost a great designer.


There may never be a force to be reckoned with quite like Louise Wilson again, though if there is any hope for an equally gifted successor, it’s likely to come in the form of one of the students whose life she touched.

– Gina x

(Source of article: http://www.longelegantlegs.com/blog/louise-wilson-teacher-designer-inspiration/)


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