Over the next six pages we bring you trends and tips, clothes and accessories, and, most importantly, a list of the shops that will get you into fashion shape for spring. First up, Sarah Graham, editor-in-chief of Scottish online fashion bible The Coveted Mag, kickstarts proceedings with her thoughts on why Scottish fashion does so much more than it says on the tin

S cottish fashion is not all tartan. When I was studying fashion marketing, I couldn’t wait to graduate so I could move to London and start working for one of the big design houses. Then when it came to the crunch, I couldn’t bear to leave behind the country where I had lived all my life. I began to look at the opportunities here for a young fashion upstart. I threw myself headlong into the world of unpaid internships at newspapers and magazines, volunteered at fashion shows and photo shoots and later worked as a freelance stylist for events such as the MOBO Awards, developing my own opinions about the direction of this nation’s fashion scene

along the way. A pet peeve of mine is when Scottish fashion events planners play the stereotypical Scottish card. Is it any wonder that folk living outside of Scotland believe that we Scots wear kilts every day and chomp haggis for breakfast when our fashion shows and fancy awards dos are so full of nationalistic cheerleading? Surely we Scots can be as innovative and cool as our London-dwelling counterparts, without the desperate search for a national identity? Cue epiphany. I started Coveted Mag to help ditch the tartan, and I’m not alone in this ambition. There are numerous Scottish fashion innovators all advancing the scene without the help of the Scottish tag. Here are my top five:

ISOBEL AND CLEO Given the abundance of sheep in Scotland, it is understandable why there are so many cashmere and wool companies offering knitwear that barely differentiates itself. Isobel and Cleo make leggings, tunics and chunky pleated scarves that are fashion forward. Their knitted fringed trousers are a firm favourite of mine. SPRUCED UP & WALK THE SAND I used to think that Scottish fashion blogs started and ended with the world-renowned Kingdom of Style (, but recently I stumbled upon these two gems. Steph at

Walk the Sand is currently blogging an A-Z of all things fashion, featuring current runway shows, and much loved pieces from her overflowing wardrobe. Caitlin at Spruced Up never fails to make me smile with her self- deprecating wit and impressive shoe collection.

HANNAH ZAKARI I have no choice but to churn out overused terms such as ‘one-stop shop’, ‘treasure trove’ and ‘haven’ when describing Hannah Zakari. Their online shop is home to a plethora of indie designers, some Scottish, some not, who specialise in jewellery, bags, and homewares. Some of my favourite handbag designers such as Sarey Poppins and Dazed Dorothy are stocked along with jewellery designers I Am Acrylic, Plastic Bat and Haberdash House. ROWAN JOY As a vintage lover, I appreciate the obvious influence that past fashion eras have had on Rowan Joy’s collections. Coupled with bright colours, and shapes reminiscent of dresses worn in childhood, her collections are fun and novel. Rowan Joy is stocked at Godiva Boutique in Edinburgh and Raw Vintage in Glasgow.

DEATH DISCO Death Disco is a firm favourite with fashion students and creative types. I stopped going to Death Disco at the Arches a long time ago on account of my age, and due to the realisation that I just don’t do dance music. The only reason I used to go was to dress up and go a bit wild. One such outfit of mine included a 1960s mod-tastic bright green mini-dress, worn with a blue and yellow apron my friend had made. I also carted around a large fluorescent green and purple toy snake we named Jobby. I don’t think you could get away with that in other student haunts like The Garage. Death Disco has always been the place for aspiring fashion photographers to go and take street style imagery of the punters. Even though I have stopped attending the club night, I still log on to their Flickr site to have a wee look at the clothes on show.

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12 THE LIST 4–18 Mar 2010