Central to Glasgow's Intervention are the Railtrack Scotland Fashion Awards. We spoke to two young designers hoping to receive funding
and work placement. Words: Louisa Pearson
Charles James Johnston
Student Fashion Designer Candidate
Hailing from Motherwell and in his third year at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret College, Charles James Johnston is involved with Intervention for the first time. ’I think it’s an amazing opportunity,’ he says. ’People don’t usually get the opportunity to show their stuff, apart from the college fashion shows. The one thing I'm limited in is experience of what it’s like in the real world, so it’d be good to have a little of that.’
Johnston’s ladieswear will be on the catwalk, displaying his distinct approach. ’A lot of the collection is based around the idea of deconstructing clothes,’ he says. ’The original starts off with a full suit, and it gradually mutilates itself. I got the idea from going about car boot sales; I picked a lot of old clothes, took them apart and just looked at the way they're made — people don’t usually do that and I thought, what if I turned the pockets inside out, what if I hung things differently?’
Competition for the award is fierce, and lust being
involved should give young designers a platform which has not previously been available. Johnston hopes to find success in Scotland, not necessarily setting up his own label, but perhaps teaming up with his college peers and making an impact together. ’ I can see it being really hard for people trying to build something in Scotland,’ he says. The exposure from Intervention should make things a little bit easier.
E m i ly Q u i n n New Fashion Designer Candidate
Emily Quinn is a textile designer who’ has made the leap from aspirational student to successful deSigner, running her own business focusing on cashmere cushions, scarves and accessories with distinctive prints. But it’s been hard work, and initially she had to head south to kick-start the process. ’It's an essential part of the process to give yourself a push,’ she says. ’People aren’t gomg to come up to Scotland from London to see you, so you have to get yourself known and develop a reputation.’ .
Havmg made contacts with studios, agents and buyers she returned to Scotland to set up the company ’Emily Quinn’ in Edinburgh. ’It was a lot of hard work,’ she says. ’At times you wonder what you’re doing, if it hadn’t been for the money from the Scottish Arts Council and
Prince’s Scottish Youth Business
Trust I don't know if I'd have Emily Quinn prints on everything from cushions to clothes
Qumn is adamant that Scottish designers can find success in this country. ‘I feel strongly that Scotland should be put on the map in terms of design,' she says. She now exports her work to places as far flung as Japan, Paris and New York, but her ideal would be to see her deSigns appearing in outlets throughout Scotland. For the Railtrack Award she’s deSigned a whole new fashion series.
126 THE LIST 8—22 Jun 2000
’Interior goods are a really good vehicle for print,’ she says, ’but I’ve done a full fashion collection for Intervention. It’s womenswear — although I’d like to do menswear as well — and it’s a more pared down collection. It’s difficult to describe my style, but I like quite odd things, mixing prints together in a way that works.’
There’s £7500 up for grabs, money that would be extremely useful for the future. ’I want to set up my own label because a lot of the work I do is commissions, and if it’s for another knitwear designer then I don’t get my name on thelabel’
Intervention is at The Arches, 30 Midland Street (0141 221 4001)
from Wed 14—Thu 22 Jun. Here's the lowdown on the key events
Cardonald College Fashion Show Thu 8 Jun, 7.30pm. £6. Innovative and cutting-edge, Cardonald College’s annual fashion show featuring the finals of New DeSigns for Harris Tweed
Fashion and Business Conference Wed 14 Jun, 9.30am—6pm. £15 (£12). One of the key features of this year's event, the conference aims to give yOung deSigners adVice for starting up businesses, as well as examining Scotland’s place in the fashion world. Key speakers include Simon Ward of the British Fashion COuncil and Paul Simmons of TimorOus Beasties.
' AdmiSSion to the Traditional Catwalk is
Traditional Catwalk Show Wed 14 Jun, 8pm. £7 (£6). This fashion show celebrates Scotland’s traditional fabrics, from knitwear and tartan to tweed and
cashmere, With modern design from the likes of Belinda Robertson and 21st Century Kilts, and mu5ical accompaniment from Martyn Bennett. Makeup Masterclass Thu 15 Jun, 7pm. £6. The ultimate girl’s night out is in store, so treat yOurself to a makeover from leading cosmetics companies such as Clinique, CaIVin Klein and Helena Rubenstein, With complimentary drinks and makeup giveaways.
The Alternative Catwalk at Frunfly Sat 17 Jun, 11am—4pm. £10 (£8). Club night Fruitfly plays host to the best in alternative fashion at this catwalk show,
Designers Streetstyle Market Sat 17 Jun, 10am—6pm. Free. Buy fresh designs from Scottish designers before they hit the high street at this innovative fashion market. It's been sponsored by IC Scotland, so you can even buy clothes over the web. For a preView check out wwwthearchescook,
Hairdressing Masterclass Sun 18 Jun, 3—5.30pm. £15. Let the experts show yOu how to create this season's colours and styles.
Intervention Catwalk Show Thu 22 Jun, 7pm. £10. BOund to be a sell-out, the grand finale of the Intervention fashion festival features the work of over 200 designers and the Railtrack Scotland Fashion Awards. After the show DJ Nick Peacock spins some discs at the celebratOry funk night.