SCOTTISH TOURISM INDUSTRY
I, and many of the friends that I am using as my muses, grew up in Falkland, Fife. Falkland’s historical significance and picturesque streets have made it a tourist hub, and despite limited understanding growing up, it was clear that the place we lived in was special.
As a teenager I worked in Falkland Palace Gift shop which gave me an insight to the global fascination with a romanticised Scotland and how much people loved the tourist tat that we sold. I’ve always found it funny how bizarre and tasteless much of the products sold in tourist shops are, particularly as there is such a huge variety of talented creatives across Scotland.
Moving to Edinburgh for university only intensified my confusion/ love for a highly stereotyped Scotland.
Scottish people are hugely passionate and proud to be from Scotland. It’s interesting to see how closely Scottish stereotypes are linked with the way we display our patriotism.
A prime example of this is the ‘see you Jimmy’ hat. Named after the comedy character ‘Jimmy’ (a stereotypical Scottish man) created by English comedian Russ Abbot. Nowadays the ‘see you Jimmy’ hat can be found in almost every tourist shop in Scotland, and is now so recognisably Scottish that it is often worn at patriotic events when people are celebrating being Scottish.
It’s part of Scottish nature to not take yourself too seriously and to find humour and love in harmless stereotyping. This lighthearted approach has created a special connection between the Scottish tourism industry and the Scottish people that has allowed the industry to thrive.
SCOTTISH WOMEN IN TV AND FILM- SUZI KETTLES- TUTTI FRUTTI
John Byrnes series Tutti Frutti follows Scots rock ‘n’ roll band ‘The Majestics’ on their Silver Jubilee tour. Backstage squabbling from aging band members and a dispiriting tour reaction sets the tone until Suzi Kettles joins the band. Despite much backlash from the ‘alpha male’ members angry at the introduction of a woman to the band, Kettles appears to turn the bands fortunes for the better.
She is a strong female whose clarity and sharpness creates a stark contrast with the childish ridiculousness of the middle-aged men living in the past.
The theme of opinionated, unapologetic, independent women is heavy across the representation of Scottish women in art and culture.
PATCHWORKING OFFCUT FABRICS TO LUXURY STANDARD
One of the biggest issues in the fashion industry is the volume of textiles that ends up in landfill. While it is important to develop methods that produce textiles in a more sustainable way, it is necessary to work with the fabrics that have already been made and are sitting unused. One way of using these is by integrating patchwork panels across garments. This can however lead to garments looking unconsidered, jolted and crafty. To combat this I decided to carefully consider the panels that I am working together and develop a method of embellishing across the panels to make it one cohesive piece.
ZERO WASTE EMBELLISHMENT
Taking inspiration from the rich history of tartan and the influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh I wanted to develop my own tartan with flowing curves, integrating various tartans into one piece. I cut strips of scrap net and organza on the bias that I could hand appliqué across the fabrics- the sheer nature of the embellishment kept the warp and weft illusion. Layering various coloured strips builds the energy of the pieces and allows the ‘patchworky panels’ to work cohesively together.
Taking inspiration from Scottish patriotic tattoos I have developed a print that integrates the Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Art Nouveau style drawing and line, with imagery of Scottish stereotypes- from Nessie to drinking, thistles to Braveheart. The curved lines are made up of arms linked for auld lang syne, hogmanay style- highlighting the community, togetherness and global reach that Scotland has. The print was developed as single tone so that it could be exposed and used for screenprinting. Screenprint offers a way of printing that has fewer restrictions than a digital print, allowing me to be hugely open with my fabric selection. Alongside my tartan manipulation it offers a way to integrate panels in a way that creates a cohesive look- less patchwork, more luxury.
DEVELOPMENT OF SEPERATES
Taking inspiration from Hubert De Givenchys view on seperates I focused on creating beautiful individual pieces that relate back to various elements of my research and my muses. These separates could be styled down or together as in the context of this collection.
CONSIDERATION OF COLOUR PLACEMENT
I began by looking at the deep, rich colours used across many tweeds and tartans- by using dark blues and reds I was able to keep a clear reference to traditional patterns whilst giving the collection a luxury feel. I incorporated many grey fabrics as a base, referencing the workwear/ sportswear clash across the collection. The similar tones allow the collection to read cohesively where I am using limited quantities of offcut fabrics. While pieces may not be able to be reproduced exactly, it would be fairly easy to reproduce something similar if translating into a more commercial context.
MANUFACTURE OF LOOK ONE
The layering of holographic organza and black strips creates depth that emulates tartan with the addition of print pulling it all together. I decided to add tassles along the front of the dress and jacket to reference how sporrans are worn on the front of the body.
Project engineers demonstrating the cantilever principles of the Forth Bridge in Scotland, 1887
The criss crossing poles inspired the lacing up the back which allows the dress to fit multiple sizes perfectly.