Last week I was lucky enough to get along the Scottish Academy of Fashion’s Opening Showcase. Part of the evening was fancy canapes and sparkly things in glasses which is always quite lovely – but for the most part it was about finding out what the fashion industry has been doing, what they plan on doing – oh and seeing the work of some of Scotland’s best graduates from some of the best fashion schools in the country that make up the academy – Robert Gordon, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow Caledonian and ECA.
One of the things I love most about the academy is there definitely seems to be a push for new Scottish designers in helping them market themselves in a competitive global market. I’ve got to say there were definitely a few strand outs for me.Sarah Struthers from RGU had uber feminine detailed dresses and coats with heavy beating and embroidery. Lots of pastels and cut out style flowers – very romantic with a real heavy sense of fantasy. While this is definitely a look that is far softer than I would go for personally, but still very impressive as a whole.Anna Stephenson of ECA again used florals, but with asian inspired tailoring. Fringing, pleats and primary brights as well as structured millinery made up the collection which was one of my favourites of the evening.
Definitely the stand out of the evening for me was Kyle Spires – pleated skirts and structured leather. Long flowing feminine skirts with classically structured bags – rich reds and browns and yellows. Filing him under my one to watch.
Other favourites for the evening included Anna Visocchi, Pamela Aitken and Melissanthi Spei of Heriot-Watt, Hannah Cumming of ECA and of course the collective womenswear from GCU. GCU also premiered a collection of menswear kilts with a western influence.One of the most exciting projects to come out from Scottish graduates included the Mackinstosh jackets. The designs from Scottish students who worked with Mackinstosh previewed the designs at the SAF showcase are set to go down to London. The coats were designed by Qi Zhang (ECA) – a pale brown coat with citrus lapel, Eliza Borkowska and Isabel Wong (ECA) – bronzed coat with draped collar, Lisa Leisos and Jett Sweeney’s 40’s style green caped coat and of course Pamela Aitken of Heriott Watt’s heather coloured coat with tail detailing. My faves are definitley Aitken’s and Sweeney and Leisos’ collab. Pretty sure these bad boys will be flying off the shelves.
Safe to say that after seeing recent graduate collections, Scottish students quality of work continues to rise with every year, as we continue to produce fresh exciting talent. I for one can’t wait to see what our graduates are going to do in the years to come – but these guys are def ones to watch.