While editors pore over the pictures from last month’s London Fashion Week to determine what we’ll be wearing this Autumn/Winter, we look at what’s in store this season, according to the Scottish designers who matter.
The poster boy for Scotland’s runway renaissance, Chris Kane seems to grow in confidence with every new collection, a feat no doubt aided by the backing of high-profile editors, including US Vogue’s Anna Wintour, and devotees such as British Fashion Council ambassador Samantha Cameron. This confidence is manifested in new directions each season, but his customary template of lady-like style with an unexpected edge is the constant that underpins his wearability. This season is no exception, where Kane showed prim shapes in nostalgia-inducing glittering brocades, or festooned with gaudy appliqué flowers reminiscent of a little girl’s sticker collection. His structured A-line skirts, shift dresses and demure shirts were among the most accessible of the pastel pieces that were seen on almost every runway, in a palette ranging from warm menthol and pistachio shades to zingy lemon and electric blue.
Named last month as the winner of the 2012 British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund, and the Elle Style Award for British Designer of the Year, Jonathan Saunders has cemented his transition from rising star to established international designer. His Spring/Summer 2012 show was the toast of London, encapsulating, and thus setting, a wide variety of the major trends to emerge from the season. Swirling paisley-esque prints, sportswear luxe sweaters and feminine 1950s-style dresses were all present, but the most influential of Saunders’ ideas were the languorous and luxurious pyjama sets in sky blue and navy spotted silk. The collection was refined and demure, all knee lengths and high necks, but the rainbow of light-hearted, juicy, fruity colours – watermelon, tangerine, banana, apricot, tempered by azure and lilac – saved it from being staid and left an overall impression of sunny optimism.
Pringle of Scotland
The Pringle of Scotland runway is never going to incite riot nor revolution, but easily assimilated pieces you can always depend on are nothing to be sniffed at, and Pringle has again exhibited an excellent understanding of the way women want to dress. The pyjama-style trousers that are set to be an easy Spring/Summer staple were beautifully done, in wearable and elegant navy. The label’s signature knits were anointed with a touch of this season’s pastels. Elegant masculine suiting in soft greys and blues tempered with soft knits, and gently draped yet reassuringly tailored knee-length dresses completed the run of wardrobe classics.
Fraserburgh native Louise Gray is the Scottish renegade of the London runway. Her eagerly anticipated shows are always a cornucopia of riotous colour and texture. Oblivious to trends and unconcerned with perceived “wearability”, Gray (rarely seen without her red, blue or green beauty spot) is firmly of the creative, rather than the commercial, school of design. This season, her rainbow of colours and tribal prints, splashed over easy, breezy dress shapes and finished off with ruffled ankle socks, was fashioned into ideas that were at once nostalgic, redolent of finger paintings in their wild abandonment, and futuristic in their anarchic shapes. The child-like joy inherent in every look is fashion as escapism, and perfect for the light-hearted mood of Spring.
Edinburgh girl Holly Fulton’s fascination with graphics was previously incarnated in the Art Deco prints and shapes that became her signature upon arrival on the international fashion stage. This season it manifests itself in seascape-inspired motifs, a theme also seen for Spring/Summer at Versace and Chanel. Sweet pastel shells and creeping coral graced this season’s stand-out loose, elegant and eminently wearable new trouser shape. A fresh yet sophisticated palette of nudes, greys, navy and turquoise with a pop of sunny egg yolk yellow was a welcome antidote for those averse to the sickly sweet pastels that dominated elsewhere. Bold black and white graphics adorning high-waisted shorts, shifts dresses and long cardigans provided a Côte d’Azur vibe of grown-up glamour for the pool side this summer.