:- Lawler Duffy
In 1992, when footwear designer Lori Duffy was asked to predict both her personal and professional future in five years’ time, she proclaimed: ‘To buy our own factory and chateau in France with hundreds of mongrels and pot-bellied pigs.’ In fact this Jim’ll Fix It fantasy stands a fair chance of materiallsing if the recent success of the Lawler Duffy team is anything to go by. With both the US and Italian press slavering over their imaginative shoe designs and 50 per cent of their sales overseas, the level on the fame and fortune barometer is rising steadily.
Originally from Baillieston, Glasgow, the 25-year-old ex-hairdresser, ex- fashion retailer Duffy began designing in 1989 while studying footwear design at Cordwaine College, London. It was here that she teamed up with llicky Lawler and together they
embarked on a number of commissions for Joe Casely-llayford’s Spring/Summer collections.
llow having built up a solid reputation for the ability to produce everything from a classically English stitched sole with a twist to their wonderfully glamorous new summer sandal collection - the perspex soles and metal heels went down a storm with the fashion pundits at the recent Katharine llamnett show - Lawler Duffy put their success and savvy in staying ten steps ahead of their peers down to the fact that, ‘We reflect our personalities in our work.’
This, compounded by their insatiable quest to use such unconventional materials as paper, salmon-skin, and the Patagonian tooth fish, has led to i some gurus branding their work as ; ecu-friendly - a claim that they , dismiss immediately. ‘We merely use 1 materials that are by-products of the food industry - and that includes 3 leather and some fish skins.’
Though they confess that there are
: limitations to using unconventional
: materials, their new collection of male
and female footwear includes more of our fishy friends. “We have these shoes made of stingray skin where the cartilage on the outside has this amazing bead impression, plus boots made from woven leather, and a new line of trainers made from this hairy suede called Saluki, apparently the
name of a hairy greyhound.’
It makes you wonder quite what Lawler Duffy would do with all those mongrels and pot-bellied pigs in their French chateau. (Ann Donald)
Lawler Duffy Shoes are stocked by lchi lli San, Candleriggs, Glasgow.
_ Jacqui Burke
Jacqui Burke manipulates fabrics into the most out-ot-here futuristic textures until they barely resemble their original form. Past collections have included cotton splattered with latex, fun fur with embedded moulded gargoyle heads and a woven fusion of cotton and raffia. For Autumn/Winter 94 she has blistered supple leatherette into bubble wrap for sharp-shouldered, slim tit jackets with stand-up collars. Teased mohair with bleached tips forms the furry top half of a lycra catsuit. Soft kid leatherette is gathered into babydoll dresses and skating skirts.
‘l’d say the theme of this collection is Victorian meets punk,’ explains Jacqui. ‘lt’s a mixture of a powerful strong look in terms of the fabrics but with feminine shapes as well.’ A unique vision, which she feels owes a lot to her home surroundings; the coastal town of Dunbar. ‘lt’s undoubtedly the environment that inspires me. The first collection ‘External World’ was very rough and natural using scrunchy stretch linen with attached wooden beads. Torness Power Station and its effect on the environment inspired all my cotton and latex stuff.’
Since graduating from the Scottish College of Textiles in 1986, Jacqui’s Scottish base has not prevented her designs from attracting growing attention elsewhere. ller clothes have been worn by The Shamen and Cher among others and her first retail stockist was Joseph. Most recently Jacqui was recommended by the British Fashion Council to take part in Liberty’s “Designers of The llineties’ promotion exhibiting alongside Xavier Foley, Jacqueline liabun and Bella Freud.
However, as is so often the story for
British designers, this success has not been achieved withoutsetbacks. ‘A couple of years ago I was ripped off by the fabric manufacturer I bought my stretch linen trom. I attached wooden beads to the linen on the garments in my collection and the next thing I knew he had produced a fabric which had wooden beads attached and was
showing it at Premier Vision (major fabric show).’ Jacqui and her husband/business partner Steve also lost £14,000 last November when the manager of one of their outlets ran off with the profits. Undaunted by misfortune, Jacqui intends to show in Paris and Japan over the next twelve months and refuses to compromise her
‘ Black canvas, rubber-finned Victorian punk cape. Black canvas, short front, long back skirt.
creative integrity for financial gain. ‘l’m aware that you don’t cash in if you’re too different, yet I couldn’t ever see myself being commercial.’ (Betlran Cole)
Jacqui Burke’s designs are stocked by Corniche, Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh.
82' The List 8—2] April 1994