Onto the catwalk and beyond
WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE SCOTTISH DESIGNER? It's a question you’ll be hard pushed to answer. Scotland's profile in the fashion world has. after all. been on a less than global scale. We‘re known for our quality traditional brands. knitwear. textiles and tweeds. but for young Scottish designers creating new fashion. it‘s been difficult to gain recognition in their home country.
But things are looking up. After the success of last year's Intervention event. The Arches is putting on an expansive celebration of Scottish design. which is simply a reaction to overwhelming demand. ‘The festival last year grew from the response of Scottish designers who. once they heard that we were having a fashion festival just phoned
UP in droves saying they wanted to 'When a Scottish designer is selling on the global market they have a different position
be part of it.' says programmer Lucinda Meredith. ‘They're all
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Before Intervention came onto the scene. the main route for young designers to get their work seen was via the college degree shows. There are now plans to bring Scotland‘s colleges together in one showcase. ‘I hope we can work on an integrated college fashion week for next year.‘ says Meredith. ‘This year we have three large shows — North Glasgow College. Caledonia University and Cardonald College — but colleges also get the chance to show their work in our final catwalk event. where we feature five minute selections of the best of their shows.‘
Another group benefiting from Intervention are photography students. Disconsolate after being refused entry to practise their skills at big-name fashion shows. groups of students from Glasgow School of Art and the College of Building and Print went knocking on the doors of The Arches last year. and the result of their efforts is the Fashion Photography Exhibition which runs throughout the Festival.
There’s an obvious aim of supporting designers at Intervention. but it's as much about giving the public a chance to find out about work that‘s
really good designers with limited from Other BritiSh deSigners' Luanda Meredith being done in this country. To
resources. a lot of enthusiasm and a
lot of energy. but they’re working
almost in isolation because there isn't an umbrella that will support them.‘
Supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming design talent is what The Arches has succeeded in doing. and then some. Intervention not only features a wide variety of catwalk shows. it‘s expanded to incorporate a fashion and business conference. exhibitions. a designer market and masterclasses in hair and make-up. Meredith says that Scotland has many reasons to stick its hand in the air and make the world sit up and notice its design talent.
‘Scotland has a unique selling point in that when people buy Scottish products they genuinely buy something of quality.” she says. 'So when a Scottish designer is selling on the global market they have a different position from other British designers.‘
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this end you can spend
time rummaging through Intervention’s answer to Camden Market. the Designer Streetstyle Market. Meredith says that Scottish designers had complained that nobody would stock their work. and the market has been organised for them to sell direct to the public. Items vary from made-to-measure garments. couture knitwear and embroidered silk bedspreads.
As the event is being sponsored by icscotland. you'll even be able to buy clothes over the web. If this event is a success. The Arches plans to hold it on a regular basis. branching out into interiors and beyond.
Intervention has filled a gap in the Scottish fashion world. Its aim. says Meredith. is to ‘act as a stepping-stone and a midway group. giving people a platform to leap off‘. And Scotland is not alone in fighting for recognition of its artists. Throughout Europe. there are now more one-off avant-garde shows taking some of the shine from the big scheduled fashion shows. With funding secured from Railtrack for the next three years. this is an event which looks set to grow and grow. (Louisa Pearson)
Intervention, The Arches, 30 Midland Street, 221 4001. 14-22 June.