17 July 2019

Graduate Fashion Week | Liverpool John Moores University

Graduate Fashion Week | Liverpool John Moores University

I didn't attend Graduate Fashion Week in 2018, because I was galivanting around Budapest, but gosh had I missed it. Unlike the commercially minded collections we often see at London Fashion Week, those presented on the GFW runway are unbound by the latest trends and market pressures, and steered purely by imagination and promising talent. As a consequence, the graduates' designs are spectacularly diverse, comprising all manner of colours, fabrics, styles and silhouettes. Frankly it's refreshing!

Liverpool John Moores University is the only show I photographed this summer, nonetheless I adored the creativity displayed by its graduates, especially in those collections that were a tad more eccentric. If I had to choose a favourite from the eighteen-strong student showcase, it would have to be Enola Wade's "Lost in Grace" - a vibrant, 80s-inspired collection that pays tribute to Grace Jones with neon catsuits, gold palazzo pants, animal print, and a cape made entirely from the supermodel's face. Special mention also to Lizzie Barnes for challenging the heteronormity of men's fashion in a flurry of fuchsia pink ensembles.

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12 July 2019

International Cheese Awards Press Evening

International Cheese Awards 2019

Whenever my parents and I open the refrigerator lately, our noses are immediately assaulted by the potent and unmistakable aroma of cheese. Which isn't altogether surprising, having returned from the press evening for the International Cheese & Dairy Awards with two goodie bags laden with vintage Cheddars, crumbling Cheshires, and wheels of gooey Camembert.

Much like last year's event, the evening was a majestic all-you-can-eat banquet of award-winning cheeses, held in the Southwark studio space of Lumiere London. Following an informative talk from Charlie Turnball, Director of the Academy of Cheese (where do we enrol?!), and wine pairings with Bradburys' Richard Paul, Maddy and I hungrily navigated a tantalising selection of cheeses supplied by the world's most accomplished cheesemakers, twice as many as last summer's spread, while stubbornly ignoring the inconvenient reality that my gut has since developed an intolerance to dairy. Hedonism has its drawbacks.

In satisfying my turophile temptations, I discovered my palate has a particular penchance for flavoured cheeses, such as Bradburys' White Stilton with Mango & Ginger and Dragon's Vintage Cheddar & Leek. But the ultimate choice had to be "The Guru" by Orsom, a red Leicester infused with flavours of mango chutney, which myself and Maddy couldn't help returning to throughout the evening. Frustratingly, this awesome Orsom was the one brand that wasn't present in the goodie bag, and I can't bring myself to purchase myself a truckle until my family and I make a greater dent in our supplies! (Anybody fancy helping us out?)

International Cheese Awards 2019 International Cheese Awards 2019 International Cheese Awards 2019 International Cheese Awards 2019

Although held annually since 1897, the International Cheese & Dairy Awards remains little-known beyond the cheesemaking industry. Hence this intimate gathering of food bloggers and journalists, to encourage budding cheese connoisseurs to venture north for a slice or twenty of exceptionally good artisan cheese. Certainly I was tempted when they offered us all the chance to participate as judges.

This year's competition invites industry members to attend on Tuesday 30th July, when a panel of three-hundred cheese and dairy experts shall determine the 2019 winners from more than five-thousand global entries. The show then opens its doors to the wider public on Wednesday 31st, where ticket holders will be treated to more than fifty cheese exhibitors alongside cookery demonstrations from James Martin and other professional chefs. I admit a Wednesday seems a tad awkward for a food festival, but for those who can't attend this summer, fear not, organisers have announced the 2020 show shall be held over a weekend.

The International Cheese & Dairy Awards is held alongside The Nantwich Show, the UK's largest one-day agricultural gala, through whom you can purchase tickets.

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19 June 2019

Specsavers Design Collective

Specsavers Design Collective

I didn't offer myself nearly enough time to explore the exhibition at Graduate Fashion Week, having spent much of my single afternoon shooting the runway or chilling in the media lounge. In between, however, I found myself ogling the Specsavers stand and its upcoming Design Collective, a brand new and imaginative eyewear range from four budding designers.

Launching nationwide on 8th July 2019, the collection is the result of Specsavers' inaugural competition with fashion label Red or Dead, and features unique frames designed by the winning graduates - Joshua Teodoro of Loughborough University, Emily Hill of the University of Arts London, Lydia Blackshaw of The Glasgow School of Art, and Tiffany Bachelet of the University of Dundee.

As a glasses wearer myself, I couldn't resist trying on all the frames, but there were two especially that I'd love to purchase for myself next month. The first are Teodoro's signature sunglasses, comprising a technical aesthetic inspired by space travel. Where the white colourway with an accent of red on the temples is intended to reflect the colours of a spacesuit, my first thought was the Tantive IV from Star Wars, if that doesn't sound too geeky. The second are Blackshaw's transparent frames, which likewise appear futuristic, albeit the kind you might find Tony Stark wearing with a sharp Tom Ford suit. That is, if he hadn't snapped his fingers.

Specsavers Design Collective Specsavers Design Collective Specsavers Design Collective

The Specsavers Design Collective will be available to purchase in-store from Monday 8th July

© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

All photographs are subject to copyright law, and must not be reproduced without express permission.

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