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Richard Cawley (born May 28, 1947)

Richard Cawley (born May 28, 1947) is an English food writer, chef and fashion designer.

Cawley was born in the Yorkshire market town of Doncaster. Richard attended the local art school before being lucky enough to gain a place at the 'Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne', a fashion school in Paris founded by the great couturiers to carry on their most treasured traditions. During his time in Paris he also studied life drawing at the 'Beaux Arts' school. After this fascinating introduction into the world of fashion, Richard moved on to London and after two more years of college was accepted into the Fashion School of the Royal College of Art.

Graduating with a Masters degree with Distinction, Richard was invited to work at the fashion house of 'Bellville Sassoon' designing couture and ready to wear collections, and clothes for many famous and Royal ladies, especially Diana, Princess of Wales for whom they designed many outfits including her engagement sailor suit and her 'going away' outfit.

After the Royal wedding Richard began to look around for new heights to scale. He decided to leave Bellville Sassoon, and when in 1984 he won the prestigious Mouton Cadet cookery competition in the ‘Observer’ newspaper, he overnight exchanged a career in fashion for one in food.

Richard has published several cookery books; The New English Cookery, Octopus Books 1986, Not Quite Vegetarian, Orbis 1986, The Artful Cook, Macdonald Orbis 1988 which he also illustrated with his own drawings and paintings and That's Entertaining a Headline Book for Channel 4 1990. In 1993 he published Easy Oriental (originally for Marks and Spencer), Outdoor Eating, and Green Feasts, a book of vegetarian menus for 'everyone' all published by Conran Octopus. He was also one of six 'star' contributors to the new Sunday Times Cook's Companion (Ebury Press) His being the section on American cuisine, and The Creative Cook (Conran Octopus 1995) plus the best selling Ready Steady Cook 2 and most recently Fast Fab Food (Headline 1998)

This hand-painted coat was designed by Richard Cawley when he was an assistant designer at the London fashion house Bellville Sassoon. It was presented as part of the 1970 Winter Couture collection, which was inspired by Indian art and culture. This coat was named "Rajputana" after a former group of princely states in north-western India and featured in colour in the November 1970 issue of Vogue magazine. After being made up, the plain cream wool coat was hand-painted with vibrant floral motifs inspired by Indian art in the Victoria & Albert Museum's collections. Cawley co-designed the motifs with Andrew Whittle, a student at the RCA Illustration School, and the actual painting was done by Whittle.
This coat was worn by Sara Donaldson-Hudson for her registry-office wedding to Nicholas Haydon on 23 April 1971. Sara’s mother, Dorothy, was a dedicated follower of fashion who did not want her daughter to wear white to marry a divorcé. Between them, they chose this colourful coat, which was worn with a bright orange shift dress and orange satin knee boots which matched the coat lining.

‘Rajputana’ coat as featured in the pages of British Vogue, November 1970. Modelled by Maudie James, photographed by Barry Lategan.

He has written countless food, cookery and travel articles for many magazines and was for two years the food editor of OPTIONS. For several years he wrote regularly for YOU, a section of The Mail on Sunday.

Richard has travelled extensively, particularly in the Far East. In 1987, with three other artists, he spent three months travelling around China, culminating in a major exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall and a 30 minute television programme for the BBC called," A China Scrapbook."

He has worked extensively in television, beginning in 1990, as a writer presenter, making six 30 minute programmes entitled That's Entertaining for Channel 4, and a 30 minute programme called Guess Whose Coming to Dinner for Channel 4 in 1991. He has appeared occasionally on Granada's This Morning, Six o'Clock Live and on Children's Saturday television Parallel Nine. He has appeared on the Travel Show, The Big Breakfast and cable television and had a weekly spot for six months on GMTV’s Top of the Morning. He has made a guest appearance, singing and dancing with Rustie Lee on a SKY telethon, has appeared as a guest in Delia Smith’s series The Winter Collection. He has also made a film for BBC Food and Drink in his own kitchen, and his home was the subject of Through the Keyhole.

Richard cooked frequently on Can't Cook, Won't Cook and Mixing It and has appeared regularly on BBC’s cult programmes Ready Steady Cook.

He regularly appears in pantomime and has published a novel - “The Butterfly Boy”.


Further Readings:

The Butterfly Boy by Richard Cawley
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: GMP (October 1, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1902852176
ISBN-13: 978-1902852171
Amazon: The Butterfly Boy

The Butterfly Boy marks the debut as a novelist of Richard Cawley, television chef (That`s Entertaining, Ready Steady Cook and food writer The Artful Cook, The New English Cookery, Not Quite Vegetarian). Reflecting his own peripatetic life, this accomplished tale is rooted in Australia but includes excursions to London, Provence and the Italian riviera. Michael is about to celebrate his fortieth birthday but he is still recovering from the death of his lover of twelve years and his return to Sydney`s bars and clubs is at best wary. Whilst having drinks with friends, Michael sees for the first time a tall, skinny and black -clad youth whom he immediately nicknames `the butterfly boy`. It is a fateful moment - the beginning of an obsession at times idyllic, at times painful, sometimes destructive. And the Butterfly Boy - beautiful, capricious, sexy - propels him into the world of high fashion, art and music as he flits - butterfly like - from admirer to admirer. Vividly evoking the gay social whirl of Sydney, the tranquillity of a small Provencal town and the excesses of riviera life, Richard Cawley has created a lushly romantic novel peopled by a clutch of unforgettable characters who remain with the reader long after his tale has been told.

More Fashion Designers at my website:, My Ramblings/Art

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
That coat is GORGEOUS.
May. 29th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
I saw that one live on a display of wedding dresses, it's really faboulous
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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