Friday, 31 May 2013

Central St Martins Graduate Fashion Show: Goldfish does his little turn on the catwalk

Since Alexander McQueen committed suicide in 2010, Britain's beautifully upholstered fashion throne has remained empty. Wave after wave of up-and-coming designers have dreamt of planting their pristine derrières on the red velvet cushion and claim the fashion crown.

Previous pretenders to the thrown include Matthew Williams, Julian McDonald and Stella MaCartney. Each with their own tragic tale of disappointment and failure.

Matthew Williams will never take the crown after an ill fated collaboration with H&M that was instantly forgettable. Well do you remember it? Even he can't recall it.

Julian is buried under lip gloss and botox judging Grimsby's next top model demonstrating that when you can no longer design, it's best to retire to a TV panel and talk shit.

Stella, daughter of the leather faced Beatle, designed the unforgivable England Olympic kit that looked normal on but made everyone else look like a crack head space cadet.

So, with these three out of the running who will be our fashion figure head?

Student designer and part time model Cassandra Verity Green made a quite a media splash this week at Central St Martini's graduate fashion show. The Daily Mail, Evening Standard and RSPCA we're suitably outraged at the inclusion of Goldfish as accessories. Course director Willie Walters was forced to defend the use of the fish stating that "[the fish] were brought to the show in their usual bowls, and placed into [the bags] and fed between catwalk runs'.

Not a bad life!

The shock factor of the annual show at Central St Martins is part of the media calendar now and we can assume sartorial provocateur Verity Green might have known this.

A marauding pack of mainstream zombie journalists were teased with an oozing flesh wound and duly went in to devour the carcass. And in doing so, likely launched the career of a designer who, without her little waterborne assistants, might have had to go slum it as a sales assistant in Carnaby Street.

The throne remains empty for now but we may have just witnessed the handiwork of Britain's next Queen of Couture.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

I Hate People: A Long Overdue Minty Rant

Rule one: Don't write angry.
Rule two: Keep it concise

OK - I promise only to break only one rule of good journalism.


Maybe I can bend #2

People should have a label warning other people that they 'may be bad for your health'. If not your health then at least for your throbbing thumb after you ferociously text them some much needed abuse.

'People', of which I understand there are close to 7.1 billion, are annoying self obsessed lumps of aging, sagging skin, filled with bile, blood and life supporting organs. Usually topped with spaghetti-like bushes of varying colour and equipped with a gaping hole at the front from which noises emerge. They are a strange, noisy bunch. Ugly even!

Often making said noises before the organism can engage it's primitive cerebellum, they are prone to causing annoyance and distress. They have evolved additional mediums to annoy including email, text and even social media - a truly inventive and vile specie. 

With so many on the planet, and the number steadily rising, I can't imagine things ever getting any better. 'People' are just intolerable, but in truth, you have to grin and bare it. Drop some Valium with your martini and learn to live with them.

Rant ovah!!!!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Videre: The Pop-Up Pin Hole Project

Videre: fully assembled

The creator of the Videre, 24 year old Kelly Angood, is sipping elderflower tea somewhere in trendy east London while I’m sipping cold coffee on my cold balcony South of the river; the only place I could get reception for our phone interview.
Kelly is at once warm and funny, putting me at ease, with her Midlands accent via Brighton and London. She explains she has always lived around film cameras and paints me a picture of herself as a child holding a point and shoot from Boots with a caterpillar illustration gracing the front. It wasn’t until the age of 20 that she finally embraced modern digital photography saying both methods have their ‘pros and cons’ and ‘think how many memories were lost before digital?’ Angood believes digital and analogue can and must coexist.
Videre hands The Videre: The Pop Up Pin Hole Project
Videre: self assembly
Perhaps inspired by the caterpillar on her childhood camera rather than the camera itself, Angood went on to study illustration at Brighton University where, in her own words, they let her ‘do what she wants’. Evidently, not a bad plan that seem helped her on the path to the Videre. In her Vimeo video she states simply ‘I knew I’d never be able to afford a proper medium format camera, so I made one’. The Videre was born.
But what is the Videre? Well in the simplest terms, it is a medium format pin hole camera that you build yourself from a template. The kit is printed and die-cut onto thick recycled card and supplied with easy to follow instructions and a spare medium format spool. Angood also plans to produce a short instructional video, which will be viewable online alongside a virtual gallery space where pinhole photographs that have been taken with the camera can be submitted.
I want one. Where can I buy it? Well you can’t just yet because the funding isn’t secured! But the good news is that Angood is well on the way. She has significant funding in place via Kickstarter and has suppliers ready to go. The plan is to have the Videre available in November.
Videre bron select 277x300 The Videre: The Pop Up Pin Hole Project
Videre: image
But it doesn't end there. Angood plans to go on and work with illustrators such as Suzie KempHattie Stewart and Tom Edwards to produce a collectable family of cameras that would sit pride of place amongst all the other design classics. For Angood the camera must ‘look beautiful’ and also act to educate people about the disappearing art of film photography.
The long term plan is to see the flat pack camera kits on sale in the likes of the London Design Museum. With Angood running workshops so people can learn how to get the most out of the pin hole camera creating a perfect first lesson on the path to great photography.
My coffee cup drained and my questions answered I feel enthusiastic for her endeavour and wish her the best of luck.
To keep up with news on Kelly Angood visit her blog and if you wish to support the kickstarter campaign click on the link below, deadline is Saturday 18th May.
Robert McCaffrey
Article orginally produced for

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

London's Culinary Gem: Borough Market

Borough Market: est. 1758
Some would have us believe Borough Market is nearly 1000 years old, surely the oldest market in London? Official records are a little more conservative placing the origin (at the present site just off Borough High Street) closer to 1756.

Either way we are looking at a Market steeped in London history and famous all over the world as a place to shop for unique gourmet foods.

Borough Market: Balsamic Vinegars
My first encounter at Borough Market was nearly six years ago; I took home two rich, mouth-watering Ostrich fillets from ‘The Exotic MeatCompany’, and I never looked back.  Since that culinary awakening I have tasted the finest Salted Caramel Fudge, the best syrupy Balsamic Vinegar and unforgettable Blueberry Saussison.

The last few years have seen the traders shunted from one corner of the site to another while essential building takes place. The worst of the upheaval seems behind them now and the market is going from strength to strength attracting the best traders with the best foods from all over the globe.

The best time to visit is ideally a bright sunny Saturday morning. Have a light breakfast and head down with a wallet full of cash to see what catches your eye. Samples of cheeses, tapenades, breads, olive oils, chocolates and fudges will all be offered so dive in.

Borough Market: The Globe
When it all gets too much and you feel the need to sit down for a coffee there is the wonderful Monmouth Coffee Company. Opened in 2001, all the coffee beans are freshly and locally roasted so you can savour the finest coffee in confidence.

If you are re-invigorated and ready for round two then I would suggest piecing together a dinner party feast. The Borough market website offers recipes ideal for impressing your friends. Why not try Tori Haschka’s ‘Oliveoil poached scallops with blood orange and garlic’ for the main and ‘StickySaucy Passionfruit Coconut Pudding’ to follow. Mouth watering yet?

Borough Market: Saussison
Borough Market is an ancient gem in London’s culinary crown. More than just a place to buy food it is a place to discover new tastes and renew your love for home cooking.

Opening times
Mon - Wed - 10:00 - 15:00
Thursday - 11:00 - 17:00
Friday - 12:00 - 18:00
Saturday - 08:00 - 17:00
Sunday - Closed

For more see the image gallery below...

Flowers at Borough Market : The Gated Garden
Borough Market: Wild highland Venison

Borough Market: Sussex Skate
Borough Market: Church
Borough Market: Green Market Arch
Borough Market: German Deli
Borough Market: Glass roof
Borough Market: Fresh fish