Scottish designers celebrate Wool Week

As the weather gets colder knitwear shopping is at the top of my agenda so when I heard The Campaign for Wool had partnered up with 15 student designers and 10 top British fashion brands to create a series of jumpers I was excited to see the results.

Now in its second year, the Wool School offers student designers the opportunity to design a jumper which will be sold nationwide by some of the UK’s top retailers during Wool Week (14th-20th October). Students were selected from 12 leading textile and fashion universities with creatives from each retailer deciding on a design that would be sold by their label.  The Campaign aims to encourage young designers to engage with natural fibres and create innovative knitwear pieces whilst learning more about the wool production process.

Wool is such a integral part of Scotland’s fashion heritage that it seems fitting to have a programme that educates up-and-coming designers about the ways it can be crafted for a modern audience. With that in mind I was particularly pleased to hear that three young Scottish Designers Francesca Stride (University of Glasgow), Lindsay McQuarrie (Jordanstone College of Art) and Emma Lawrie (University of Edinburgh) had created winning designs for Pringle, Brora and Folk respectively.

Folk Wool Week
Brora Wool Week
My particular favourite is this modern boat neck lambswool sweater (pictured below) by Francesca Stride for Pringle. Its reverse intarsia is a modern take on the brand’s signature Argyle print. Having interviewed Pringle’s COO Tracy Chapman recently for Vogue I know how passionate the brand is about working with innovative fashion students and I’m sure Francesca will be pleased to see her design added to Pringle’s prestigious archive at the brand’s Hawick mill.

Visit www.campaignforwool.org for a list of Wool School stockists.

Pringle of Scotland

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FASHION – Herald Scotland Fashion Spy – London Fashion Week Day 4

Chriskane

Christopher Kane played on his Scottish roots today with short sharp kilts featuring heavily in his Autumn Winter 2013 collection.

These were kilts with metal and patent buckles that swayed in tune to music from Love Triangle. The fashion pack (including Salma Hayek and Donatella Versace) were treated to broad shoulder jackets, ribbed cashmere (Scottish of course), silk camouflage separates and delicate embroidered dresses.

Feathers, fur and velvet added luxury to sharp tailoring and feminine shades of wine and midnight blue showcased the models’ slim shape.  Large paper-like appliquéd flowers covered sheer skirts that caught the light in the airy, rooftop show space of Cannon Place in central London.

Kane’s collection was larger than usual which may be due to his recent partnership with large luxury goods brand PPQ.  The collection became more dramatic towards the final chapter as MRI images of brains appeared on t-shirts anda static crystal fringed eveningwear series raised a smile from everyone on the frow.

Accessories included silver collared neckpieces and sturdy patent ankle boots while make-up was kept clean and hair flowing. Kane purposefully played with the audiences’ senses through his collection and show production and the result was a complete triumph.

Speaking of success, iconic knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland impressed guests with clean and structured pieces at their informal gallery presentation. The interactive presentation format allowed guests to touch the garments which allowed for close-up inspection of the luxury detail in each piece.

My highlights were a blue knitted dress with tubular piping and beaded detail, matching blue sheen pixelated print separates and a cosy white cardigan that had intricate lace detail around its cuffs. Clever use of knitwear in the pockets of tailored trousers and the introduction of feathers to knitted sweaters and dresses made traditional pieces special. Shoes for the collection were created in conjunction with Manolo Blahnik using Pringle fabrics.

As one of the oldest knitwear brands in Britain (established in 1815) Pringle has done well to continuously evolve and produce a modern take on knitwear whilst retaining elements of the brand’s signature argyle pattern. Both Christopher Kane and Pringle of Scotland are flying the flag for Scottish fashion and in doing so inspiring the next generation of design talent.