FASHION – The Brains Behind 86 Dumbarton Road

Do you ever wander down the high street wishing for originality? Searching for something a little more unique? With fast fashion still flying off the shelves it can feel like you’re seeing double sometimes. If this sounds familiar, Frock Trade has some good news…there’s a new shop in town.

Leading emerging fashion designers Emily Lamb (left) and Marc Ross (right) have opened ‘Eighty Six’, what can only be described as an emporium of Scottish fashion delight. The shop will showcase wonders from Lamb and Ross themselves alongside Di Gilpin, Hilary Grant, Obscure Couture, William Chambers, Rebecca Torres, Shona Guthrie and Lesley Niezynski.

These designers make up Design Collective Scotland which was formed last September to promote contemporary Scottish fashion design.  Eighty Six, the DCS shop at 86 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, has the credible premise of only stocking high quality items from relatively new Scottish designers. It is also the first ever retail outlet with an in-store training academy where designers will  teach a range of advanced pattern cutting, dressmaking, knitting and shoe design/making skills. 

For more info visit www.designcollectivescotland.com

Frock Trade asked the brains behind DCS, designers Emily and Marc, to think fast and take part in our ‘Who What Wear’ quick-fire questions:

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FASHION – It’s a Wrap – Winter Fashion Shoot

 

December has been a very busy month – check out Frock Trade’s most recent photo shoot below as printed in ‘Made in Scotland’ Magazine. Thank you very much to my shoot team for their hard work – Christina Kernohan (Photographer), Tatiana Ashakova (Hair, Make-up and Styling) and Bora Zabransky (Model) – shoot direction is a dream when working with such credible people. As always Frock Trade is very proud to showcase the talent of local designers in this shoot. The beautiful coat below (my favourite piece) is by Iona Crawford, a member of promising young Scottish fashion group Design Collective Scotland. We’ll be showcasing more of the collective’s work here in 2012 but for now it’s a wrap…

FASHION – Launch of Design Collective Scotland

Pictures by Ann Russell

4 designers – Marc Ross, Iona Crawford, Emily Lamb and Di Gilpin; 1 ambition – to collaborate and promote Scottish fashion talent through Design Collective Scotland

FASHION – EXCLUSIVE look at AW 2011 shoe collection before Fashion Week

Scottish Fashion Awards nominee Emily Lamb gives Frock Trade an exclusive peek at her AW 2011 collection and talks about her upcoming debut at London Fashion Week.

As her London Fashion Week debut edges closer we assumed the nervous butterflies would have begun to flutter but Scottish shoe designer Emily Lamb can hardly contain her excitement.

“Being involved in London Fashion Week is incredibly exciting! Although it’s my first time exhibiting I’m not apprehensive (yet!). I’m showing in collaboration with Design Collective Scotland so I’m not on my own. There’s four of us involved and we’re helping each other by collaborating and showcasing our work together”.

Emily (pictured right) became involved in the collective after she was approached by fellow Scots designer Iona Crawford. They plan to gradually include more Scottish designers in the group with the intention of promoting their work internationally.

International acclaim was a distant daydream for a young Emily who admits to doodling shoes in the margins of her school notebooks:

“Shoes have always been something I’ve loved but I hadn’t realised I could make a career out of them until in turned 16 and someone told me I could actually study shoe design. I was probably quite lucky that I discovered my passion early on as I guess it can be quite difficult for young people to choose a career path at that age”.

Little did she know her chosen path would lead her to design shoes for celebrity fans Shirley Bassey, Claire Danes and Kelly MacDonald. Despite this early following Emily admits she gets more anxious when designing for her friends and family:

“The most daunting thing is designing shoes for people I know. I’m making the shoes for my best friend’s wedding and I’m feeling the pressure. I hope she likes them!”

Emily designs the shoes from her Scottish base using materials mainly from the UK with leather sourced from Barrhead. She returned to her native Glasgow following post graduation training with bespoke wedding shoemaker Emmy because she wanted to start her own business and avoid steep London rental costs. However, upon her return to Scotland she was frustrated by the lack of support for emerging Scottish designers:

“I was on a programme with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise but couldn’t continue as I wasn’t based in London. I found this really frustrating and wondered why there wasn’t more help for fashion designers in Scotland. I really feel there is a distinct lack of Scottish Government funding for fashion designers which is a shame because there are so many exciting things happening in the industry at the moment. Ideally in the future the Government will support fashion designers in the same way that they support artists.

Despite the lack of funding I would advise new designers coming out of college to get as much experience as they can. An internship whilst still studying is fantastic but I would definitely suggest graduates get as much experience after university as possible. There’s only so much you can learn from your course and getting practical industry experience is invaluable.

However, they should keep in mind that there’s no nine to five. My typical day involves getting up at six o’clock and finishing work around nine o’clock. Some days I work later and it’s pretty hard to switch off. I have to be really involved in the manufacture of the shoes and work in close partnership with the factory to ensure the finished pieces are exactly what I want. But I do think I’ve struck a happy balance between taking a back seat and showing a keen interest in the whole process”.

Despite the long and irregular hours Emily has had numerous business successes including nominations at the Scottish Fashion and Scottish Variety Awards.

“Setting up a business has been incredibly hard work. At first I wondered why people said business was so tough but now I realise it’s a constant juggling act that you have to get just right. You put your trust in other people to deliver on time and there’s a lot of admin and marketing work in the background. It’s nothing like I expected but it’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”

Emily’s focus for the remainder of 2011 is to increase stockists across the UK and internationally. Visit www.emilylambshoes.com for more information.