Tartan and tweed, although utterly iconic and unashamedly timeless, are not the only noteworthy fashion trends akin to Scotland. From the likes of Holly Fulton, with her circus chic patterns, and Christopher Kane, with his signature tailoring and bad-ass ways, to Jonathan Saunders and his effortless finesse and stand-out staples, the style scene is on the rise. Whether contemporary cuts or innovative designs, here are the top emerging Scottish designers to know about in 2017.
Forget star in the making. Charles Jeffrey is a star-clad galaxy filled with planets, solar systems and orbiting unidentified objects. Glaswegian by birth, this fashion pioneer is overflowing with innovation, determination and, most of all, that uncanny, addictive and alluring quality that one can only be born with. A true wild child party boy, Jeffrey’s brand LOVERBOY is more than a label – it’s a way of life; a party so epic, it’s beyond the greatest thinker’s wildest dreams. With a trusty following behind him, his team is comprised of creatives, from artists to performers, and drag queens to poets. The winner for Scottish Young Designer of the Year at the 2016 Scottish Fashion Awards, Jeffrey, another gem to emerge from Central Saint Martins, is also an illustrator. Renowned for using high quality fabrics and out-there themes, don’t be surprised to find Swarovski boxer shorts or his signature ‘art denim’. Watch out for this one.
A mind so brilliant it ignites an urge to delve within it just to experience the ideas as they’re being born, Rhys McKenna is destined for success. Grounded and deftly talented, this fashion connoisseur was rightfully nominated for Scottish Fashion Graduate of the Year at the 2016 Scottish Fashion Awards. Exceedingly intricate and yet undeniably masculine, McKenna’s designs are a resplendent display of master craftsmanship. After acquiring a first-class degree in Fashion at the Edinburgh College of Art as part of the University of Edinburgh, McKenna – who wears many hats and dominates all design disciplines – is currently working on his MFA in Fashion. Needless to say, this superstar causes fashion enthusiasts to fall head over heels with every stitch, cut and thought.
A fashion prodigy when it comes to her menswear collections, Jenna Rankin is a natural at working wizardry with garments. A Masters Fashion Design Graduate from The Glasgow School of Art and nominee for Scottish Fashion Graduate of the Year, Rankin’s talents separate her from the rest. Upon first glance, Rankin’s designs are subtle, contemporary, chic and understated. And yet, the reality remains that a maze of ever-enduring ideas inspired such designs, with every part of tailoring and design epitomizing excellence. Rankin shows an almost anthropological approach towards clothes – with themes such as ‘the uniform of the everyday’ – while exploring their practical uses and the human relationships towards them.
When it comes to Roslyne McQuillan, you can’t help but admire her meticulously crafted designs and commendable attention to detail. An unsurprising victory, McQuillan, who is from Grangemouth, took the crown for Scottish Fashion Graduate of the Year at the 2016 Scottish Fashion Awards. This little firecracker of a designer carries out extensive research for collections, with inspiration coming from a myriad outlets, such as Constructivism and Suprematism. With tremendous skill and first-class designs under her belt, there’s no stopping this one.
With Nadia Pinkney comes a whirlwind of wondrous designs, revolutionary ideas and thought-provoking collections. In a league of her own, Pinkney, who is a graduate of Heriot-Watt University, received widespread praise for her collection inspired by Alzheimer’s disease and the turmoil endured by all who are affected by its accompanying confines. The collection, which is inundated with red, shows some serious fashion game. Pinkney was also in the running for the Scottish Fashion Graduate of the Year.
Who says a kilt has to be entangled with clans and embellished with tartan? Howie Nicholsby, the man behind the magic at 21st Century Kilts, has created a designer boutique solely for the creation of bespoke kilts. Steering away from the prison of tradition and family names, Nicholsby’s kilts come in a constellation of styles – from pinstripe and purples, to denim, leather and camouflage. You don’t have to be a kilt connoisseur to note how his kilts fit the body, sitting lower on the hip, as opposed to the classic military kilt. Praised by the likes of GQ, Vogue Italia and the New York Observer, Nicholsby may have been around for some time, garnering quite the following, yet the praise he deserves is unwavering.