Big Noise brings young fashion to Glasgow.


Big fashion

Avril Mair discovers what Big Noise and Barbarella have to do with the future of Scottish fashion.

For longer than anyone can remember. Scotland‘s main contribution to the fashion world has been as manufacturer of fine fabrics. Tweed. Fair Isle. cashmere all home-produced and utilised by other countries to assemble the clothes seen on the world's catwalks. Tartan may be seen as uniquely Scottish. but it took an Englishwoman. Vivienne Westwood. to drag it into the style arena.

But a new spirit of freedom is growing in the industry. Inspired by the momentuous events in Eastern Europe. there has been a sudden realisation that there is an unexplored world out there. Hence the focus on Dutch fashion. Belgian fashion. Polish fashion. African fashion. German fashion. . . The capitals remain London. Paris. Milan. New York. but there is an increasing awareness that constant creativity exists outwith these fixed institutions. At last the possibility of style in the ‘suburbs‘ is being acknowledged.

This development. ofcourse. can only be of benefit to Scotland. The ultra-talented Pam Hogg is at last gaining international recognition for her unique and highly individualistic designs. and shops such as Cruise. The Warehouse and lchi Ni San are finally receiving credit for their pioneering outlook and influence. The final seal of approval to the country‘s industry was given earlier this year by the decision of Armani to open their second British retail outlet in Glasgow. Scottish fashion. like British Rail. may

Big Noise fashion models.

not have arrived. but it‘s certainly getting there.

And now an event is being planned for the City of Culture which should encourage a new generation oftalent to make its mark upon the world‘s stage. Big Noise. an organisation generating events designed specifically to involve young people. is coordinating a fashion show with a difference. Joyce Mackay. Press Officer for the programme. explains. ‘In March this year. the designer John Richmond. his wife the model Angie Hill and hair stylist Vidal Sassoon came to Glasgow to talk to youngsters. along with David Millene ofThe Warehouse. From that we got over 2()() names of those aged between fourteen and eighteen who would be interested in putting on their very own fashion event which would reflect what they actually want to wear. It has been all go since then.‘

The Big Noise Fashion Show will feature

clothes designed by young people. modelled by young people, styled by young people. dressed by young people, with make-up by young people and hair by young people. Quite an undertaking by anybody‘s standards. Quite remarkable considering the ages of those involved.

‘I’m very surprised at just how good some of their stuff is,’ comments John Parkes. Artistic Director ofthe event and the man responsible for keeping a watchful eye on the entire proceedings from its conception to the finish. ‘They‘re all really keen, and they‘re all really fashion-conscious which is amazing considering their ages. This sort of thing is going to be very important for the future ofthe country‘s industry.

The youngest of the designers. and one of the most exciting, despite his lack ofyears, is schoolboy Derek Walker. Just fourteen. but displaying remarkable understanding ofcurrent trends, he has produced four entire outits for the show, with a futuristic feel a la Barbarella.

‘My favourite designer is Vivienne Westwood. but she works the opposite way from me looking to the past for inspiration, whereas I look forward, like Thierry Mugler. ldon't copy from him, but he is my inspiration.‘ Derek states with disarming confidence. ‘I want to make this my career, and so sometimes I make up the odd piece for myself- but not like this. These things are so way out that you couldn’t wear them on the street, so it will be great to actually see them on a model. It has been pretty hard. but it is a fantastic opportunity and it has helped me no end.‘

Is this the future ofScottish fashion? I certainly hopeso.

Big Noise Fashion Show at Tram way, Glasgow on 4 and 5 Dec at8pm. Tickets [1. ()n 5 Dec Big Noise Young Designer will be announced and the prize presented by a surprise guest. A 11 box office proceeds from this final night to Glasgow Council For Single Homeless; also proceeds from a raffle with prizes donated by [chi Ni San, Cruise and Rodeo Drive. For further information contact Joyce Mackay on 141 2275592.

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