Benny Andallo is a second year MA Fashion student studying the Menswear pathway.
I’m from Islington where I’ve pretty much lived all my life.
Fashion was something that really excited me. At school I managed to do the academic work, but it didn’t excite me generally or visually.
I wasn’t surrounded by people who told you being a creative was what you could do. It was just me trying to find the right people. I started interning really young as well, finding a way to always make a possibility out of this as a career.
About Central Saint Martins
I chose to study at Central Saint Martins because it was so close to my house!
I had an awareness of the reputation of the school. I’ve always studied in this area my whole life, around Islington and like I don’t really want to move out of London because everything: fabrics, inspiration, exhibitions, are all here. I realise that it’s such a rare thing to be surrounded by so many creative people all the time, just being inside this building. Outside of here you only meet other creative people at parties or openings.
About my work
I like to make more casual, loud but still wearable menswear – something that has a bit of energy and a bit of noise, and screams my identity and what I’m about. There needs to be a quality of fun in there as well. That’s why I do this, I need to enjoy it and not make it seem like a job.
On the BA you learn all the skills to build up what menswear is about: // what men wear // the traditional wardrobes // the palettes of shirts, trousers, tailoring // the shape and specific details of a man’s wardrobe // the solid palette.
Then slowly each year you put your tastes into existing silhouettes of men’s clothing, and then you do your own version, pouring out your identity and the things you’re interested in and showing you that as your own design and aesthetic.
The MA now is all about developing that so it becomes a product, not just an interesting creative thing to look at.
I didn’t realise the hard work it took to produce a collection. Each year I get to a level, each year I learn something new. I’ve always enjoyed looking at fashion, but before I started studying it I didn’t know what went into it.
I’ve learned the most from my peers as well, and sometimes, as there are so many skills to learn, you just figure it out for yourself.
You have great tutors who help you find your aesthetic, but there are other skills you need to pick up yourself, and you need to be self-motivated and be excited about doing that.
About the final show
I’m on the second term of the MA now, so the final show is coming up and I’m helping out a final year Textiles student.
So that was our second project, there were four or five textile designers in final year and we had to look at their work and pick one of them and based on the textiles we had to design for them. It’s been a process of like more than two months looking at their research and then working in groups.
Of all the projects I’ve done so far, this is the most professional, the most linked to industry. You have to always work in a team. As well as that I’ve been working on my own personal projects, trying to develop my identity and aesthetic.
- You do need a break sometimes…you need a drink!
- Finding peers to bounce ideas off
- You can’t do it alone
- Take everything on the chin.
Hopefully I'll be making money and employed. Maybe someone will be throwing money at me to make another collection. Maybe working with a creative team, sharing ideas, always thinking of ideas. Having a studio would be nice.