Steph Pickerill editor Tal Davies london Tom Stevenson and Anna Matheson features Amelia Jefferies and Lauryn Murdoch arts Keeren Flora and Bethia Stone photography Angel Lambo and Ryan Ramgobin music Amy Bowles and Lucinda Turner fashion Mark Birrell and Kamilla Baiden film Colette Yapp-Davis qupid Maria D’Amico cartoon
@cubmagazine.co.uk “I loved listening to him talk about his band. ” Another Qupid success? p. 14
1 A class of its own 2 What is killing religion in Jerusalem?
Mikhail Kurt comments on the commercialisation of religion in one of the world’s holiest cities
3 Bromance 3 The Battle of Cable Street: The Anniversary 4 COVER: The Art of Tattooing 5 Rothko and Happiness
6-7 CUB’s EYE: ‘isad’
CUB Music talks to the man himself on the brink of his debut album
10 Paris post-Galliano “There is no telling how long fashion’s love affair with bloggers will last.” p. 11
CUB goes to Paris Fashion Week, but what is Galliano without the genius?
“These storylines will cease to amaze.” p. 12-13
“I hurled my tired corpse into a passing car as it hurried through the streets.” p. 2
11 Blog your way into fashion...
CUB explores the pros and cons of fashion blogging
11 Mui Mui’s ration time fashion 12-13 Everybody goes to Nollywood
14 Qupid You should be working for us! To get involved with writing, photography, interviews or cartoons email firstname.lastname@example.org
Callum Stannard and Ilona Malinen are the latest lovebirds to be struck by Qupid’s arrow...
A class of its own
o you remember your school classroom? Check an old photograph, really have a look at the faces in those rows. You’ll do many things in your life, but you’ll never meet the same person twice. So I’m just wondering, do you remember the kids from your old class? Have a think. Do you remember moving to London? I was just over a year ago for me. I come from a part of the world that operates under the ‘see it to believe it’ kind of rule. Kuwait, the humble middle-child of insanely rich emirates, isn’t somewhere I can explain to you in a few lines. It’s life in a very comfortable bubble. Overnight though, it popped. Suddenly I was booted out of the nest and told to go live as men do. Throw in some freshly sharpened pencils and a Pokémon lunchbox and it would have been my first day of school all over again. Now, imagine that feeling of being the new kid. Standing in the doorway, peering through the gaps in your fingers at the ocean of desks already in the classroom. Everybody’s eyes are fixed on you so intently, you’re almost certain that you’re about to burst into flames. And because you know immediately that you’re being sized up – you start sizing everyone up. That kid’s wearing trainers I didn’t even know existed. I can’t really see that kid, but he seems to have to rest his knuckles on the table to stop them weighing him down, maybe I’ll keep away from him… And that girl! Wow, she can barely see over the pile of books on the desk, she must be so clever… It’s not easy being the new kid. Everywhere you look, there are things that have happened before you came along. The first walk I took around London, I’d barely unpacked my bag. I wanted to know, I wanted to see what this strange new world looked like. More than anything, I just wanted to be a part of it and the only way to do that was to be out there, where lives changed. Yeah, I was that guy. So I saddled up and headed into what I imagined was the ‘centre’ of London. The heartbeat. Let me put it to you this way… The first kid that I met on my first day of school was the kid everyone remembers. Little Mr. Perfect. Lights in every direction. Windows with price tags creaking under the weight of that many zeros. I was herded down Oxford Circus and Regent Street like a puppy in a stampede, at about the same moment I realised life in the city wasn’t going to be as rosy as I’d hoped. Because for all my starry eyed fantasies, it had just occurred to me that the tourist laden, neon buzzing London was a bit of a show-off. Much like that kid who
stands on tiptoes to answer a question, London was irritating me. You remember the feeling, I’m sure. It’s when you sit alone at lunch because everyone else has friends already and wonder if this is really worth it. There’s another guy you’ll always remember from school. He was the one who seemed about a foot too tall to be in your year, with a permanent black eye people said he’d gotten from a brutal showdown with ten kids from down his road. The whiff of violence around him, how he always turned up with mud on his trousers from football and his tie was about four inches long… The kid was a hero. He’d been around the block and it was his block now. Though you were scared witless and felt your knees almost buckle, he was the one who clapped a massive hand on your shoulder with a
crooked smile and said, “I’ll show you around, new guy.” Everybody loved that kid. For me, that kid was East London. Like any good underdog story or buddy cop show, that’s how I got to know London. It’s all very Dead Poet’s Society when I come to think back on it, but there needed to be a window to be young and stupid. The gentle ogre, East London, was my rock. It was always there – a little grimy, a little rough around the edges but with the spirit of a battle-hardened ten year old with boulder knuckles and bright blue, round eyes. He introduced me to everyone; the whole class. He took me West and taught me how the ladies of Kensington and Chelsea love to be refined, romantic and comfortable. He took me North and we ploughed through books with heavy leather covers and spines. One night he told me to dress up smart and we found the Strand, where the drama kids hung out and told their stories. When I asked him who made the rules of the classroom, he led me to Whitehall where he said the headmaster lived. And before I knew it, the classroom just isn’t big enough to be scary forever. The classroom is just a
had just occurred “ It to me that the tourist laden, neon buzzing London was a bit of a show-off
classroom – it’s the people you remember. It’s about time we cut to the chase. Once in your life you edged into a classroom, wishing you knew more than you did at the time. Wishing, pleading, hoping that something would happen to turn the blank expressions around you into familiar faces. If you look back at the school photo, you’ll see that it was easier than you thought, really. Try and remember how it felt to be a child and to believe so fiercely. To wish so sincerely that things could be the same, forever. They won’t. But like I said earlier - it’s the people you remember. Francis Bacon, a son of London, wrote, “Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” So put the photo back up on the mantelpiece and realise that you’re a graduate already. London is a class of its own. Omer Hamid is a second year History and Politics student. If you want to be the next LQMDONer then email the editor Natalia Davies at email@example.com
vendors, selling everything one can possibly imagine; from antique Icons to cups with a smiling Mother Mary. Wander deeper into the city and you are harassed at every corner by persistent merchants, who say “cheap” in ten different languages and are personally offended by disinterest, leaving you feeling guilty for not buying the plastic goblet labelled ‘GOLD’.
was “ When faith put up for sale?
owering over the melting horizon, the Dome of the Rock glistens in the distance over the ancient city of Jerusalem. Those who come here expecting nothing less than the spiritual journey of a lifetime will be disappointed to step into a bustling marketplace replete with people trying to sell the holy and the divine. When was faith put up for sale? One of the most religious places in the world, where Islam meets Christianity and Judaism in an intertwined manifestation of culture and tradition, has fallen to the secular laws of market principles and consumption. Hordes of rumbling tourists trample over what was once the spiritual centre of the world. And after the tourists, the vultures soon follow. Every religious monument is besieged by various shops, kiosks and
Words and Image by Mikhail Kurt
Alternatively, step into a shadowy church where you will literally have to pay for your sins. Clipped onto a sandy stone, a withered piece of paper depicts
Tipping a Priest is quite an experience
What Is Killing Religion In Jerusalem?
in block capitals – Price List. “Confessions – 10$”. Tipping a priest is quite an experience. Believers come looking for religious enlightenment and walk out with a wax baby Jesus, an empty wallet and a head full of unanswered questions. Walk into a shop and you become surrounded by bibles, candles and wooden carvings of the last supper. Flashes of Christ the Saviour swirl in front of your eyes, and before you know it, you walk out of there madly clutching a piece of papyrus, a cross, two calendars and are missing 100$. Hypnosis you might ask, no, just the power of sales. Buy one get
one free, as they say. Just as my journey was drawing to a close, I hurled my tired corpse into a passing car as it hurried through the streets of the old town. When the car eventually stopped, the driver got out and pushed me into a blinding white room that appeared to be a shop. Kidnapped by my own tour guide; I was soon mobbed my a group of vendors shoving various icons into my face. The city is suffocating under the infestation of people hungry for your money. Sadly, religious objects and principles are morphed and exploited to add an extra penny to their bottomless pockets. True, the echoes of spirituality are still felt in every centimetre of the Holy Land, but the city is deeply scarred by corrupt individuals who can’t see past their bulging wallets
Words by Omer Hamid Cartoon by Maria D'Amico
rban Dictionary defines a Bromance as “describing the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males”; possibly the only way to succinctly provide a meaning to a word that has been shamefully under appreciated over the years. Indeed, when we speak of The Bromance, we are speaking of a concept as old as time itself. We are speaking of the ancient factors that brought together Joey and Chandler; Harold and Kumar. Han Solo and Chewie. So first, a brief introduction. The Bromance. The Man Date. What do they mean? The concept is actually so ancient that modern science is unable to determine the origin of male bonding laws. But just as Socrates probably said to Plato, “Bro, relax. There’s a method to breaking this stuff down.” Though rules of male friendship are dynamic; they are somewhat constitutional. There is an identifiable set of characteristics of The Bromance. What is it? I’m glad you asked. First of all, The Bromance begins with no agenda. And by that I mean,
ast month’s EDL march was still fresh in the memory of the demonstrators present at the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street; a day when East-End communities stood united against extremism. It was a diverse crowd. Communists, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and el-
quite simply, that when you meet a potential Bro, there is no ulterior motive – no ‘bigger picture’ and no need to be charming or attractive. The Bromance is not born out of the awkward, ritualistic precursor that we call dating. There’s no need to pretend to be interesting, funny or successful. And because of that, it’s a lot easier to be cheap, to be sarcastic and bitter, to be yourself. The lack of a sexual agenda is an unchangeable rule of The Bromance. Next is the Positive Externality or else known as The Spill-Bro-ver. Though much research has been conducted and there are graphs, charts and equations to really deduce the benefit of a good Bromance, the easiest way to sum up this aspect is that a true Bromance is beneficial to absolutely everybody. Ladies who find their boyfriend too withdrawn, too aggressive, too needy, or too whipped… there is a simple cure. A Bromance acts like a lightning rod for everything that women are ill-equipped to deal with. It’s a chance to have a no-holdsbarred conversation; exercise every male bit of insecurity and bravado
in the safest atmosphere. In the same way that girl-talk appears whiney and dramatic to men’s ears, women should steer clear of true Bromances, lest they misinterpret them as juvenile and callous. Besides the values I’ve already mentioned, a large part of the Bromance changes with the times. A generation ago, it would have been unheard of for men to cook for each other, but the metropolitan Bro can do so with ease. On the other hand, both in our fathers’ times and in ours, dressing up sharp and smart is a massive source of pride between men; always helps to catch a reflection and say, “Damn, we look good.” It’s the things we choose to care about. The Bromance is true modern science. It can be
traced back, by those looking for true wisdom, to the days of Hardy and Napoleon, to JFK and RFK, to Brian and Stewie Griffin. The Bromance is accepting, it is without agenda, it is without drawback. Thus are the laws of Bromance, and they deserve wholeheartedly to be part of the public discourse. It’s not an overstatement to say that Bromances can save the world; Winston Churchill, while taking up accommodation in the White House, called for President Roosevelt to enter his room, where he promptly dropped his robe and stood stark naked before his political Bro. To the shocked leader, he pointedly said, “As you can see, Mr. President, I have nothing further to conceal from you.” That’s a Bromance
derly veterans from across London gathered to remember the thousands who stopped Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists from marching through East London in 1936. At Aldgate East, hundreds from the local area greeted each other like old friends. Many were also celebrating the demonstrations of the Asian
community against the National Front throughout the 1970s, where tensions between fascists and the local people once again hit fever pitch. An elderly gentleman, Monty Goldman, who has lived in Stepney Green his whole life, and who witnessed the protests as a young boy, remembered that even then his city was fractured.
The dockers “may not have liked the Jews in their personal lives”, he recounts, but when Mosley organised his campaign of terror, “the working class stood united against the Fascists”, which he still sees as a prevailing trait in the community of today. Throughout his life he has been committed to fighting racism and helping those in need. Monty tells us of the charity the community formed when Spain fell to the fascists in 1939, where money was collected “from the slums of East London” to help feed needy European neighbours who were abandoned by their own government. Today, he says, he is there to recount his experiences for a new community, but is disappointed by the turnout. He feels that remembering the fight against fascism is more important than the few hundred turnout suggests. The march culminates in the park on Cable Street, next to the Battle of Cable Street mural, which depicts the victory of the public across the whole wall of St. George’s Hall. It is London’s only anti-fascist mural. Here members of the TUC, the Jewish Socialist Group, the RMT, the anti-racism group Searchlight and others held speeches to mark this day in history, and to call for a continuance of the anti-facist campaign. Those who come are from the broadly diverse city which we call our home, and have come together to celebrate and to show that East London still stands proud together
The Battle of Cable Street: The Anniversary
Words by Shaun Ramanah Image by Kaamil Ahmed
Gallery • Dance • Comedy • Campus • Drama Events • Art • Poetry • Photography • Print
The Art of Tattooing
ven in the 21st Century, when ‘taboo’ is often a word retained for the most perverted acts of humanity, tattoos remain a controversial subject. The Celts, our most British of ancestors, were famous for their terMillie Jefferies ror-inducing scarification using blue dye (think X-Men 2’s Nightcrawler but with a big pointy stick and you’ll understand what Julius Caesar was so scared of). Tattooed remains have been found across the entire world dating back over 10,000 years. But, unlike most things that have become accepted in polite society – sex, gambling, women reading – tattoos spark a debate that still divides the population. 100 years ago, tattoos in the Western world were pretty much reserved for sailors and freak shows, a symbol of sin and otherness. The youth rebellion in the middle of the 20th Ccntury meant that tattoos exploded onto the cultural scene, with bands like The Sex Pistols shoving their body modifications down the throats of “squares” the world over. Although still not accepted in most polite societies, a new generation was born that appreciated the counter-cultural effect of scarification, and wore their body art with pride. Worryingly for some, this generation grew up. And spawned. Although there may have been regrets amongst the jaded youth of 1977, their offspring were brought up in a world where preconceptions of tattoos were gradually fading, though not disappearing altogether (much like the tattoos of their parents). To follow this thought through, the spread of tattoos amongst the older generations has gradually led to a breakdown of the taboo. I am not suggesting, for one minute, that suddenly the process has become acceptable; at least 50% of the average public (if not more) will probably still tell you that the idea isn’t for them. The 21st century has, however, seen a rise in the popularity of tattooing as an art form, with the emergence of shows such as Miami Ink and celebrity artists like Kat Von D (a symbol of not only the rise in quality of tattoo art but also the increasing presence of women in every aspect of this male dominated world). Tattoos have always been a form of self-expression, sending a message to the world, whether it be sailors’ sparrows marking their 5,000 miles or American gangs indicating a number of kills, and even now the majority of tattooed people will have some deep and meaningful rea-
son for marking their skin. It is an entirely personal form of self-expression. Long summer months stuck at home in the countryside with only Miami and LA Ink to entertain me led to my own love of the art form, and even my mother (a staunch Catholic and as tattoo-free as the day she was born) had to admit that the skill involved in such a difficult operation was impressive. No matter your opinion on tattoos, the ability of artists to recreate an image so perfectly with absolutely no room for error is no mean feat. Of course not all tattoo artists are talented: David Beckham famously got Posh Spice’s name tattooed incorrectly in Hebrew, and the internet is littered with pictures of incredibly poor artwork. The main issue with these errors is that you are stuck with them for life. Unless you can afford laser removal (a painful procedure that doesn’t fully restore the skin),
your tattoo is for life, and most people can safely say that what they liked when they were a teenager is not necessarily what they are into now. (I know I would be covered in My Chemical Romance lyrics if my 16 year old emo self had had her way *shudders*.) Hopefully everyone remembers 18 year old Belgian Kimberley Vlaminck who got drunk and decided she wanted 56 stars tattooed all across her face (if you don’t, Google it; she claimed she fell asleep in the chair and the artist got carried away). Facial tattoos are often judged even by people who are into the trend as the positioning of the piece is of the utmost importance, even for simple reasons such as bodily changes (for example during pregnancy). Tattoos can warp or change, the colour can fade and you can be left with an indistinguishable mess that must be covered up at parents’ evenings, job interviews and weddings.
Essentially, this all boils down to the immortal and almost unanswerable question: “What Is Art?” In a society where subcultural art forms can often take bizarre and unfathomable extremes, who is to condemn tattoos as being less worthy than a messy bed? The main difference lies in the unfortunate fact that tattoos, as an art form, are judged on their eccentricities and have accordingly polarised society’s opinion. Needless to say this is unfair and ungrounded; imagine basing an opinion on cinema as an art form upon “Wild Wild West”. As a result the self-proclaimed “pioneers” of the tattoo art world, the people with nought but an inch of non-tattooed skin, have become the blocks to the mainstream they so strive to break down. Even I, myself, while supporting the idea of tattooing as an art form and believing it to be a invaluable form of self-
Photography by : Michael Brown Bethia Stone Matthew ‘TK’ Taylor Tattoos courtesy of the Queen Mary Student Body.
expression, am not immune to the stereotypes that are often attached to the process. When searching for photographs on campus to support this article, it was originally very difficult to avoid targeting people with piercings, dyed hair or alternative dress. The main issue I was having was that, with the weather rapidly turning, people are more and more covered up, and I was forced to rely upon the “conventions” of “What A Tattooed Person Looks Like”. It quickly became obvious, however, that where the girl with the lip piercings did not have tattoos, the guy in tracksuit bottoms did (and vice versa of course). Despite being on what felt like the least tattooed campus on earth, I have to admit that eventually I was forced to just ask everyone. Today, it seems, tattoos have become so integrated into our society that we don’t even realise they are there without unduly hot weather or drunken Belgian mistakes.
Rothko and Happiness
n a time when the coalition’s antidotes to recession include such placebos as ‘Big Society’ and scrounging coppers off the ‘benefitfraudsters’, seeking happiness in a short-tempered, suicidal, manicdepressive may seem a somewhat desperate state of affairs. Mark Rothko is often hailed as one of the founding fathers of the Will Tucker ‘Abstract Expressionist’ art movement that came into fruition in post-1945 New York. As a collective, these artists were notorious for their smoking and drinking habits as well as their swift ascension into the New York elite, with Rothko and his peers (among them Pollock, De Kooning, Newman) fast becoming insidiously wealthy. If ever there was a story of short-lived success and the despair that follows, this New York fable must surely be it. Untimely heart attacks ended the lives of both Franz Kline and Barnett Newman; Jackson Pollock met his end in a drunken car crash and Rothko’s eventual suicide marked the demise of this ‘Golden Age’ of American modernist art. Of the next major chapter, which found its occasion under the title ‘Pop Art’, Rothko was sceptical to say the least: “Are these young artists plotting to kill us all?” With the benefit of hindsight it would seem that yes, that is exactly what the ‘post-modern’ sensibility strove to accomplish. To return therefore to the question of happiness, what can one learn from this ephemeral and frankly tragic artist? In search of a remedy, the words of fellow New Yorker David Rieff seem fitting: “in the valley of sorrow, spread your wings.” With the incessant hammering of the arts by the government, it is important we ‘spread our wings’ in the inconsistent valleys of spending cuts and Westfield Shopping Centre. Amid such inconsistencies, the Rothko exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, as well as other free art collections across London (among them the Rothko Room at the Tate Modern), are the ideal solace in and amongst the oppressive political climate of Tory predictability, where everything is judged by its monetary value – once again prov-
ing the Tories to be a party which knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Standing sternly at the opposite end of the Monopoly board, the V&A recently launched its latest exhibition: Postmodernism: Style and Subversion. Guardian Arts writer Adrian Searle calls it a somewhat over-ambitious “epoch in a teapot” that is nowhere near “as major as the V&A might like it”. Alternatively, the Whitechapel Gallery’s current major exhibition is modestly titled: Rothko in Britain, reflecting a digestible exhibition that manages to avoid epochs
William Scott and Mark Rothko at Elm Tree Cottage, Hallatrow, Somerset, August 1959© James Scott, Courtesy of William Scott Foundation and The Whitechapel Gallery
the Tories “ Proving to be a party which knows the price of everything and the value of nothing
and teapots altogether. Comprising of a single painting (‘Light Red Over Black’) and letters, notes and articles, the exhibition is a triumphant celebration of relationships. Relationships form an integral part of Rothko’s work, in as much as they frequently stimulate an emotional response and indeed a total immersion in their content. To quote the artist himself: “a painting is not about experience. It is an experience.” With this in mind one can find relief in what Rothko’s favourite philosopher Nietzsche deemed a “melancholy happiness”, which is brought forth through the dark chasm of the works themselves and the zealous tranquillity they generate. The current exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery along with the permanent Rothko Room at the Tate Modern allow us all to experience something darkly beautiful and to recover some tranquillity amid our busy lives, and all for free too. With such an austere governmental focus upon utility and value, both in education and employment, it is important to remember what we are actually resuscitating the economy for. By having an abundant foundation of free cultural institutions for anybody to appreciate, this purpose is easily kept alive. However, the more the arts are rationed the more our society could slip into the melancholy side of Nietzsche’s equation, with happiness ever decreasing. So can happiness be found in Rothko? Absolutely. And I would encourage it to be sought after. Any place which enables us, every once in a while, to stand back and view our lives from a safe distance must be treasured and fought for. To call upon Nietzsche once more, we must “not forget all these moments of ease which are so plentiful in every day.” Or indeed, let the coalition forget them for us. Rothko in Britain is in Gallery 4 at the Whitechapel Gallery from 9th September to the 26th February. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11.00 - 18.00. Admission Free. Mark Rothko 1961, Whitechapel Gallery Photograph: Sandra Lousada
CUB’S EYE: “iSad” The news of Steve Jobs’ death on October 5th 2011 spread rapidly thanks to social media, often on devices that Jobs himself invented. Alongside hashtags, status updates and blog posts, a more traditional type of tribute appeared at Apple stores around the world. Pictured here are symbols of mourning left on the pavement outside the Regent Street store. Among candles and ﬂowers, bitten apples were neatly arranged as an innovative celebration of Jobs’ cutting edge approach and invaluable contribution to our culture. Image by Stian Slaatten Skistad
WORDS BY RYAN RAMGOBIN
I would say I love both and I think, y’know, production is always going to be easier because I’ve been doing it for years. Having my own career is going to be difficult task because I’ve had to develop it from the ground up and I’ve done that in the space of like a year and half. What you’re gonna see on stage today is how I’ve developed. Well, it’s been a quick rise in the music industry… Yeah man, it’s kicked off very quickly. Frisky, Pass Out, Let the Sunshine… it was a very quick rise to fame. Of course, I’ve enjoyed it every step of the way but I’m someone who believes that something should be honestly great and that’s what I’ve been trying to do – to be an amazingly honest artist. That’s wicked, well you’re signed to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco – the first non-talent show signing in six years. How is it working with him – is he as ruthless as he makes out to be on television? No... no, he’s not as ruthless as he is on TV. Well at least not with me because I’m used to the business and the whole business is like that: if someone doesn’t like you – they don’t like you. But, he’s not as ruthless because he respects my opinion. And I think when he sees someone coming on his talent show - they haven’t done anything so
Yeah definitely, and it’s a testament to your quality that you are the first non-talent show signing in six years. Yeah man, it’s a privilege - it’s a really cool thing to have. But I don’t really think about that man, I just think about being the best I can be. Of course, it’s a cool achievement but I don’t get a big head or anything.
“Wherever music is - follow it, learn from it, and have fun with it
You’ve collaborated with many artists in your career so far: Tinie Tempah, Master Shortie, Professor Green to name a few – who has been the most fun to work with? I’ve worked with Master Shortie longer than Tinie. I worked with Master Shortie for about a year when I was 17 and that’s when I produced his whole album. We’ve worked for a longer period so obviously there’s a closer connection. Bluey Roberts was in the studio when I worked with Master Shortie and I met my first signing to my record label, Odd Child, this girl called Etta. We partied in the studio, we produced in the studio... it was crazy man. Plenty of stories, so I’ve gotta say Master Shortie.
partied in “We the studio, we
Where did you go out then? I didn’t go out man, I was always in the studio... but it didn’t matter where we produced stuff. Whether it was in someone’s bedroom or a factory… it doesn’t matter. Wherever music was I was there. That’s the best advice I can give. Wherever music is – follow it, learn from it, and have fun with it. Do you have an ultimate goal which once achieved means you can die a happy man? Everybody wants to make history. Everybody wants to have a legacy. The ultimate goal would be to change someone’s life through my music and inspire them. If my career could inspire someone to be an artist or take their life to another level, then that’s great. And not just my career as a musician, but as a businessman and as a person… If I could help and inspire someone through that then that’s it.
aybe it was the free beer or the summer vibes, but in the short time I spent with Labrinth, it was more than apparent he is an ambitious and talented individual and unlike many other artists - has his feet firmly on the ground. He knows what he wants and how he is going to get it. He is definitely one Brit that has the potential to crack the USA. A strong album with big name collaborations is expected from the Londoner. He’s keeping his cards close to his chest, but don’t be surprised to see his good friend Tinie Tempah on the record - along with other British acts such as Devlin, Yasmin, Wretch 32 and maybe Example. The album is expected to be released early 2012. His debut single Earthquake is out on October 24 2011 and includes remixes from Benny Benassi and Noisa. It will be a number one hit.
produced in the studio... it was crazy man
You started your career producing records for Master Shortie and most notably since then with Tinie Tempah. You’ve also brought out your own material, but what gives you more satisfaction – producing with other artists or working as a solo act?
of course they’ll get a bit more of a rollocking.
f you haven’t heard about Labrinth by now - where have you been? To be fair, you might have blinked and missed this man’s meteoric rise. His debut single, ‘Let the Sunshine’, reached No. 3 in the charts and his monster collaborations with Tinie Tempah (‘Pass Out’ and ‘Frisky’) have dominated dancefloors for over a year... You’d be hard pushed to avoid hearing them on a night out. Don’t be fooled into thinking he’s yet another young urban wannabe star. This guy is a genuine musician: a singer, songwriter and producer. Since working with Tinie, he’s gone off the radar and concentrated on producing material for his debut album. His focus is demonstrated by turning down collaborations with US superstars such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna. Luckily, this summer we were able to catch up with the charismatic star at Global Gathering.
You were born in London, do you have any advice for those who have moved to the captial to try and make it? I was born in Hackney so it’s not too far from Mile End. Well, I would say East London is flourishing with musicians, and South London has got some good stuff. East London has a lot of it though – a lot of people check out Shoreditch and Camden… it’s really creative round there.
CUB’s Ryan Ramgobin with Labrinth
e all know the story, John Galliano graduates from Central St. Martins with first class honours, spends a few years in London making brilliant clothes and partying too hard. He moves to Paris after bankLucinda Turner r u p t c y , looking for financial backing and clients, finds backing for his eponymous label, launches his line in Paris with the help of Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, gets appointed creative director of Givenchy. Following this success he gets moved to Dior by the head of LVMH (the luxury goods company that owns pretty much every French designer you can think of), and spends 15 years at the helm of one of France’s leading fashion houses. Then he gets drunk and tells a Jewish couple "I love Hitler... People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed." Within hours the story caused a global uproar. The world was left appalled, disgusted and wondering what the fashion industry had become if this man was one of its leaders. Dior were left with no choice but to fire him and even his own label wanted him out. He faced a full criminal trial, had to pay fines to the French government and was found guilty of giving public insults
is still “Paris trying to work out how to navigate fashion in a post-Galliano world
on account of race; quite a fall from grace for a man who was once regarded as the shining star of the fashion world. Since then both Dior and John Galliano have a new creative director, Bill Gaytten, the man who was Galliano’s right hand man at both labels for many years. You would think that there could be no man more prepared for the challenge of taking over Galliano’s legacy. However, both collections have received mixed reviews from those in the fashion industry. Reading through any review of either show the overriding comment was that they were “safe”; a word that would never have been associated with Galliano himself. Dior’s July Couture show, also designed by a team headed by Gaytten, was
given bad reviews. So this new ready-towear collection was greeted with a mild sigh of relief. It was by no means a bad collection. It was pretty, classic and well executed. But the sense of fun that Galliano had once brought to the collection was no longer there. It was Dior, but a Dior with no personal touches from the creative director behind it. This could be excused by the fact that no one has formally accepted the job of creative director of Dior; Bill Gaytten is merely a stand in until someone else comes along. He may not be Dior’s star, but that does not mean the collection must be one of an understudy. It was a hard collection for any designer to pull off, but it seems to be the general opinion that Gaytten may have just missed the mark. Dior was not the only collection taking up Gaytten’s time leading up to this year’s Paris Fashion Week. He has officially been appointed creative director of John Galliano and his premier collection for that label would have definitely been preying on his mind this summer. This show was his chance to make his mark on the fashion world. The collection was totally at his creative mercy and he had the chance to put as much of his own personality into it as he chose. Galliano’s show at the Galerie de la Mineralogie during Paris Fashion Week was truly beautiful. Bias cut sheer dresses, floaty skirts and blouses and a show stopping finale dress. However, look a bit closer, or maybe a bit further back in time and you will see slightly copycat version of Galliano’s own collections without his flair and skill. The collection was beautiful, but just as at Dior, Gaytten failed to find his own style and has looked back into the archives and found the looks that worked best. In an interview pre-fashion week, Gaytten stated that he wanted to stay true to the “strong codes” of the label. However, it seems that in staying true to the label’s roots he has failed to let it grow and develop into a line that is his. Maybe this is all a little harsh. After all he did work sideby-side with Galliano for decades, maybe their aesthetic is incredibly similar and he is simply rehashing his own ideas from years ago. But for a show that was held within the Museum of Evolution in Paris, Gaytten’s own evolution is yet to happen. Having lived and worked in the shadow of one of the biggest names in fashion for so many years it can’t be easy to find your own voice. I think Paris is still trying to work out how to navigate fashion in a world postGalliano, but give it a season, and with an official creative director at Dior I’m sure everyone will start finding their stilettoclad feet.
John Galliano Spring Summer 2012. Image courtesy of John Galliano.
FASHION Student Street Style
Mui Mui’s ration time fashion
Emilie Kronhaug, a first-year Business Management student, wears Zara jacket, Oasis jeans, boots and shirt from Norway.
eptember's VOGUE, the biggest, most influential issue of the year. Heavier than the three previous issues combined, it contains gold dust - the first glimpse of AW11's Amy Bowles d e s i g n er campaigns. For those not in attendance at the shows in February, these pages of back-to-back advertisements are an excellent way to get the AW trends straight from the horse's mouth. This year one campaign stands out; Miu Miu's Hailee Steinfield looking bored on an abandoned railway track, in a striking 1940s dress, oversized clutch and monochrome shoe-boots. Criticised for their choice of a 14 year old to model £2,845 adult designer dresses, Miu Miu have done well to dress Hailee with minimal make-up and modest styling. Controversy aside, the campaign represents the most interesting trend of the season: the '40s. A decade when women came into their own, devoting their days to the war effort whilst pulling out all the stops to maintain the
glamour of the time, in spite of government cuts on fabric and limited clothing ration points. But today, although the Miu Miu tea dress with signature embellished swallows may look stylish on Hailee Steinfeld in some remote American scrubland, it is a look that is difficult to channel in a seminar. The theme here is glamour, something that will look out of place with a boyfriend shirt, artfully messy hair or any form of denim. To really make this AW trend work, choose a detail; embellishments, brooches, a belted waist or a stacked heel. For a statement 1940s reference invest in a floral tea dress or even a turban. However, the real commitment of this look is a dedication to grooming. Scarlet lips, sleek eyeliner flicks and painstakingly waved hair could be overkill when teamed together, but try one or two details, pair with a sequinned hairclip, and you too could channel Miu Miu's forties Hailee Steinfield – boredom on the railway optional. Dress £38, Miss Selfridge.
Blog your way into fashion...
s part of London Fashion Week, Look Magazine set up a pop up shop in the new Westfield shopping centre. What was supposed to be a Q&A with Sophie Berseiner, the beauty Rachel Phipps editor, about her job at the magazine and her blogs quickly digressed into a rather lively seminar on how exactly you should go about trying to land yourself an internship at a fashion magazine. The biggest CV and profile boosting pointer we were given is to start a blog. The beautiful thing about blogging is you don't have to get past an editor to get your work published online; you're totally in control. Being a fashion blogger has other perks too. Pre-show and after-party drinks at fashion events are great, just make sure you don't start drinking until after you've done the networking (and don't get too drunk and make a fool of yourself at an industry event!) It’s not just about the freebies, but it helps out with the student finances - its like getting the swag from the Freshers’ Fair every week, and you can also make money from doing sponsored blog posts and advertising. Starting a blog is really simple, you just need to sign up at blogger.com and get writing!
Its all very well starting a blog as a window into the fashion industry, but the role of the 'fashion blogger' has not really been defined yet. Lots of different fashion people have lots of different opinions about bloggers. The result? Sometimes you can have a really great time, meet some amazing people and score really good opportunities, and sometimes you can get treated like total crap because people don't see you as 'real' press. A few seasons ago, at the SS09 shows, a 14-year-old American blogger Tavi Gevinson scored front row seats in New York. From that point on bloggers started being taken seriously as fashion week press and it became easier for a blogger to attend fashion week. Bloggers were allowed into the main press area and even got their own bloggers lounge to take a break between shows. However, this season many bloggers press requests (including my own) were not rejected, but simply ignored. I was out for cocktails just after fashion week with a few of my blogger friends who had managed to get their passes, and they were complaining they were denied access to the press lounge and told they "had their own place to go" - a bloggers lounge that was barely big enough for a few people and with none of the refreshments the mainstream press are treated to. So is it really worth becoming a blogger
to boost your CV? There is no telling how long fashion’s love affair with bloggers will last. At this moment in time, bloggers are at the forefront of fashion journalism, so there is no better time to get stuck in. You might want to check out... Wish Wish Wish (wishwishwish.net) is written by Carrie, a 21 year old living in
North London. LLYMLRS (llymlrs.com) is an outfit blog written by Lily (a former graphic design student) who is a self confessed ‘high street girl’. Gem Fatale (gemfatale.co.uk) is written by former Fashion Promotion student Gem. 11
Everybody goes to Nollyw
irst it was Hollywood giving us Psycho, Casablanca and Ben Hur. Then Bollywood burst into life in the 1970s taking over Hollywood’s crown. Now we have Nollywood, a name coined in the same manner as Bollywood, with its
roots in the heart of Nigeria. So, what is Nollywood exactly? Nollywood is Nigerian cinema, it is now the second largest film industry in the world, churning out an astounding fifty feature releases a week and worth a whooping $250 million according to a 2010 UNESCO report. Nollywood’s roots stem back to traditional Nigerian films, which were first made in the 1960s. By the 1980s every Nigerian state had its own broadcasting station – which prohibited foreign broadcasting, so producers started
making films to be shown in local theatres. After the release of the hit Living in Bondage, Nollywood exploded and all forgein films were pushed off shelves and replaced by homegrown flicks. Nollywood can attribute its international success to the use of the English language rather than the widely spoken Nigerian language Igbo – this has allowed it to spread and evolve into a global phenomenon. Nollywood is not bound to Nigeria. Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone are just some of the West African coun-
tries where you’ll see posters upon posters advertising the latest Nollywood releases – many of which are advertised and premiered on YouTube. As the home of the craze, Nigeria itself is overrun. Churches, buses and shops everywhere just scream Nollywood, many endorse and promote it too. In the heart of Nigeria’s business city, Lagos, streets are constantly swarming with cast and crew filming the next release. Nollywood has become a way of life for many people across the world. Millions of Africans-
“ Religion, cheating husbands, money prostituion, corruption, rivalry... with a Nigerian Twist
about two weeks to shoot and is filmed for about £9,500. Forget about a big multiplex cinema release, the movies are released straight away on DVD and sold, along with bootleg releases of Hollywood films for about £1. On average 25,000 – 50,000 copies are shifted of each movie. However, crowd favourites such as the internationally renowed comedy Osuofia in London, have sold over 200,000 copies. Walk into any Afro-Caribbean hair shop or head down to a market and you can easily pick up a copy of the latest Nollywood release for a bargain price. Low budgets and high popularity makes it more profitable than Hollywood, but what is it about Nollywood that has made it such a phenomenon, and what does this mean for big budgets and the cinematic experience? From a film critic’s point of view, it is the circumstances in which these films are made that gives them a unique look and feel; the need for location shooting and untrained actors conveys a particular brand of realism which is a refreshing change from the slick and over-produced feel of Hollywood. It’s an overstatement to say that Nol-
lywood is unique. If you’re a Nollywood virgin, please don’t be put off by overly dramatic music and the (at times) abysmal acting. At the heart of it – no matter how cheap it may look – are local concerns and this is what makes Nollywood movies so entertaining. Whether it is 419s (bank fraud/scam), the Area Boys (hoodlums), juju, religion, cheating husbands, homosexuality, prostitution, money, corruption, and rivalry - literally anything you can think of - it almost mirrors the issues and themes presented in Hollywood - but with a Nigerian twist. The movie Issakaba, released in 2000, which has gone on to become one of the biggest selling Nollywood movies across the African continent, is about a vigilante group who set out to tear down the thugs who destroy their community by using juju (a form of West African witch craft). It has since gone on to have EIGHT installments – I’m pretty sure not even Rocky could have got to eight. However, as much as Nollywood is a beloved genre, watched far and wide by most of Africa and Africans around the world - the movies are wholly unrepresentative of the majority of people who watch them. Most of the movies are about middle class people who have ‘house boys’, live in the city and have a driver. Although not all Hollywood films represent the everyday layman, Nollywood does erase some of the many facts that occur daily in Africa. For example, I’ve watched loads of Nollywood films - and I’ve not seen one that mentions or makes any reference to the erratic behaviour of the electricity system. Which is a problem for many West African countries, as it cuts out on a daily basis - leaving many unable to use their fridge or freezer – Nollywood conveniently forgets this. Also, ever more recently Nollywood has been critiqued highly by African intellectuals for the way it makes a mockery of African culture. Jean Rouch, a champion of indigenous art in Niger, has compared Nollywood to the AIDS virus, saying it has contributed to the ‘Nigerianisation’ of Africa, as the continent is continuously adopting and being influenced by the culture of the movies - some even going as far to describe it as a ‘re-colonisation’ of Africa. Like other genres of movies, Nollywood
films hold a select power, they send out a message. The most chilling message I’ve seen in a Nollywood movie, was when two men got in a bed to have sex, and one turned into the devil. In a continent that is already extremely volatile towards homosexuals, surely showing something like that does nothing to progress the cause of LGBT rights? Philosophical readings and comparisons to Hollywood aside, I simply can’t get enough of Nollywood. The story lines will cease to amaze you, and while you will be able to notice the cowboy acting and the shaky filming style, it is the content that gives it its unique and fresh feel. I’m a Nolly-
“ Nollywood conveniently forgets Africa’s erratic electricity system.
home and abroad are hooked on Nollywood films. The Ivorian rebels hiding in the bush are said to stop fighting when the latest releases arrive, when Sierra Leonean president Ernest Bai Koroma asked the actress Genevieve Nnaji to join him on his campaign trail, Zambian and Congolese mothers alike say that their children talk with Nigerian accents because of the films, while thousands of people in the UK are subscribed to the Sky Channel Nollywood.tv. Nollywood has changed the face of African film production. Forget months spent on filming and millions on a budget. A Nollywood film takes
wood fan because I love the way it embodies all the social fears of so many Africans. That is completely different from Hollywood movies - not all Africans can relate to a Western world where the biggest trouble in someone’s life is their continual failure to secure a boyfriend. The tangled love stories, mothers blackmailing son-in-laws, the frequent use of juju, black magic and the iconic characters will just keep you coming back for more. Like Hollywood, Nollywood is not a genre, but rather a movement of Nigerians in Lagos wanting to recreate their lives to entertain the masses on a shoestring budget. Still curious? Cub’s Nollywood shortlist: 1. Mr Ibu- Featuring one of Nollywood’s best loved comical characters. 2. BlackBerry Babes - Based on three ‘babes’ whose lives are organized by phones. 3. Tom and Jerry - If you loved Dennis the Menace, you’ll love this.
Politics with Business Managment 1st year “Cheerful. Honest. Impatient.”
I’d barely been at uni for two days when my friend took it upon herself to sign me up for a blind date. Having dinner with a random stranger did not particularly appeal to me, and I dreaded the thought of what I was about to experience. What if it was super awkward?! On the ¨big day¨ I arrived at The Fat Cat and was positively surprised to find my date already there (unlike some previous blind daters). I had been informed that having our photos taken
Comparative Literature 3rd year “Easy. Lucky. Free.”
Walking into this blind date thing I couldn’t help worrying that Qupid was sending me into a lion’s den. What if she’s boring? What if she’s crazy? What if she’s a vegetarian?! But Ilona just turned out to be really cool. Obviously, the beginning was a little shaky; she turned up with a friend so I kind of felt like I should have brought some back-up too. The expectedly awkward photo-taking bit was actually fine, apart from the embarrassing “look at us at the table about to tuck
together acted like some sort of icebreaker, but as I hate having my picture taken, I found it to be quite the opposite. Callum was very sweet and (thank god) talkative, which put me at ease right away. I have to mention though, with the chance that I sound completely shallow, that from the start the date felt more like hanging out with a friend instead of a romantic dinner. This was down to the fact that although he was cute, I was quite a bit taller, which to me is usually a bit of a deal breaker. However, we had lots to talk about - although I’m afraid I might have been a bit too chatty, asking loads of pointless questions. We had some things in common, like similar music tastes and the random fact that our mums are both French teachers. I loved listening to him talk about his band, his on-campus job and his Queen Mary experiences. Hopefully I didn’t bore him with my stories about Finland! All in all, I had a really good time. I got a fantastic meal and a possible new friend out of it, if I’m lucky I might even get a discount coffee from Ground! in” shot. Once the entourage had disappeared, we spent a while trying to figure out the most expensive wine on the list we could get away with and agreed to swap meals if the other looked better. We got talking and I found Ilona really interesting. We’ve both got French speaking mothers and we chatted about France for a while which is always nice. I was really into her Finnish background, which she said was synonymous with being shy, but she kept eye contact with me all through the conversation which was good. Ilona recommended me a band (Bagraiders) which I checked out today and she was spot on, which rarely happens with recommendations. Her accent meant she pronounced Tottenham ‘Toe-ten-haym’ which I thought was cute and I felt slightly bad poking fun at her about it. We talked about London a lot - places to go out, meeting new people, etc. I guess you could say one of us was at the end of the beginning, and the other at the beginning of the end. I don’t really see us going out again but doll, if you’re reading this – I’m around.
Do you want to be the next student struck by Qupid’s wandering arrow? You won’t only meet your potential soulmate, but you’ll get a free meal and bottle of wine at the rather lovely Fat Cat Cafe. If you’re interested email Collette Yapp-Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image by Matthew Martin
Qupid’s verdict From the start this date felt a bit dence and that Ilona was quite atmore positive than the other two; tracted to Cal in general. I may be no extreme weather and every- reading a bit too much between one was on time! the lines here but a lot of eye conCallum was already patiently tact is always a good sign (wink waiting and informed me that he wink). The banter about Ilona’s had been there for quite a while. pronunciation of certain words (“This guy’s good”, I thought to shows that they were both conmyself.) He told me that he’d fident with each other and got strode confidently into the adja- on well. It’s a credit to Ilona that cent dog-grooming shop thinking she wasn’t offended by this and it that it was Fat Cat, only to hasti- makes me feel all warm inside to ly have to turn around and wait hear that Cal thought that this was outside. “cute”. Maybe for the first time I Apart from the height differ- created a successful match? ence, they looked good together. Well, yet again something Nature was on our side for this wasn’t quite right. It seems like date! So with a whisper of “Wow, the fact that this is a blind date these two are photogenic”, we acts as a block to number exleft five minutes before the date changing, second date arranging was even meant to start! I felt re- and all the other formalities that ally good about the match that I come at the end of date one. They had created and I hoped they felt seemed to get on well and were at the same. least semi-attracted to each other, Callum and Ilona talked about so why are they content with simsome really cool things, I’m glad ply bumping into each other now that I’ve managed to find people and again on campus?! Surely who have things in common. At Cal’s good looks and great personleast I’ve avoided setting up dates ality should make up for what he where they sit awkwardly in si- lacks in height! I hope these two lence looking at their watches! have second thoughts about each It looks to me that Cal was quite other, so that next time they meet, attracted to Ilona’s quiet confi- they act on the potential.