Graduation: or what I like to call GAME of LOANS


As I sat, mid-auditorium, listening to UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry‘s “inspirational” speech about how lucky all us creative graduates are and other nonsense, all I could think about was the sheer amount of graduates surrounding me. 500 of us, dowsed in ceremonial black and pink and emotional nostalgia, all simultaneously being chucked into the deep end of an ocean of debt. Imagine.

I loathe nostalgia. Nostalgia looks at a high-res video of Central Saint Martins’ too-clean concrete campus set to cheesy stock music and gasps, ‘awwwww.’ Nostalgia clutches your heartstrings and wears rose-coloured glasses. Nostalgia also grossly overlooks the fact that this crowded madness of a year is only one of six ceremonies within University of the Arts London, which is one of thousands of arts universities around the world; and this amount of diploma-handing happens every year. Nostalgia forgets.

But flippance, on the other hand, that’s what I’m talking about. Flippance with a bit of pizzazz. Flippance remembers. It downs a double gin-and-tonic just before finding its seat, almost pees itself and cackles loudly about the psychological warfare its been put through. Flippance sees the £30,000+ fine over everyone’s heads and crafts a very special warning to an oversaturated creative market:


Beware of the Game of Loans… for it’s gonna be a big class this year.


Inspired by Game of Thrones, obviously.

At the 2017 CSM BA Fashion Show

Central Saint Martins held its annual BA Fashion Press Show the other week. Let’s just say the dense consternation, general hopelessness and overwhelming depression was palpable amongst all the debt-clad graduates this year.

For some bizarre reason I hadn’t received my ticket to the show. I realise that normally, one would assume that a notorious Fashion Icon as myself would have a VIP ticket + backstage pass + gift bag + handwritten ‘thank you letter’ with roses afterwards for bestowing my glorious presence upon any fashion-related event… And this is true. But alas, that day I was stuck waiting in the ticketless line for an hour as they made sure there was enough space for me in the standing section. We’ll chalk it down to the usual disorganised chaos that UAL is so well known for.

Anyway, seeing as I’m about as wide (and #lit) as a little burning matchstick, space was readily made.

But the wait was not over.

Oh no, the show this year lasted an astounding 3 HOURS. If this doesn’t belong in the Guinness Book of World Records of longest most anticlimactic catwalk shows of all time, I shudder to think what does. It’s funny, I’ve never noticed my bum falling asleep before during CSM’s Press Shows – I believe this is the true mark of a curatorial fail.

But let’s be clear that I do not blame the students, here. There were some great ideas – such as a superbly glutinous bread ensemble with birthing-hip proportions – it was delicious. This is obviously a great concept that is burnt into my memory. But the over-selection of students (I mean who has time for a 3-hour show, least of all me?!) and most of all the way the students tried so painfully hard to stand out in their sumo-sized class, made a show that was off-kilter at best and excruciating at worst.

But a picture is worth 1,000 words, n’est-ce pas? Therefore I’ll let my video of one of the looks do the talking:


I do worry about the future for these poor, gullible souls. God knows they’ll probably never pay off all that debt within their first few years of being unpaid interns.