DANISH supermodel Helena Christiensen and the Glasgow-born celebrity photographer John “Rankin” Waddell are to top the bill at a major new Scottish fashion festival this summer.
The pair, renowned as two of the world’s most influential fashion photographers, will be visiting Edinburgh to unveiled a major exhibition of their work as part of the week-long event next month.
The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, which in its third year and is masterminded by Dutch model Anna Freemantle, who is based in Edinburgh, will see specially-curated events staged across some of capital’s most prestigious venues.
Locations lined up include the National Museum of Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Assembly Rooms, where Rankin and Christiensen will be showcasing their work.
Other highlights of the festival, which will be held from 17-26 July, are expected to include major showcases of South African, Scandinavian and Chinese fashion.
Special events include the opening catwalk gala in the national museum, which Chinese cashmere brand Erdos will take centre stage at, an after-hours event at the Queen’s residence in Scotland, which will see a DJ create a special set of music inspired by its current exhibition on the fashion of the Tudor and Stuart eras, a “Nordid knitathon”, and an event which will see guests spirited away to a mystery location for an exclusive catwalk show.
However it is the appearances of Christiensen and Rankin that are expected to be the hottest tickets.
Their exhibition will also be part of Retina, a new international photography exhibition being held across the city this summer, with other venues including Harvey Nichols department store and the City Chambers.
Copenhagen-born Christiensen, 45, has been a leading model since shooting to fame in the 1990s when she appeared on a host of magazine covers around the world, but mainly concentrates on fashion photography.
Glasgow-born Rankin has captured some of the world’s biggest stars on camera, including Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, David Bowie and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Ms Freemantle said: “There is going to be a big exhibition of their work in the fabulous ballroom of the Assembly Rooms - Helena’s will all be in colour and will have the theme of strong women, while Rankin’s photographs will all be in black and white and will be exploring strong men. We’re very pleased to confirm they’ll be in Edinburgh for the festival.”
The festival has also secured appearances from actress Louise Linton, author Candia McWilliam and Mark Hogarth, creative director of the Harris Tweed company and English fashion expert Amanda Harlech, while Scottish supermodel Stella Tennant will be one of the curators of the “makers market” showcase, also to be staged at the Assembly Rooms.
Among the leading Scottish designers being showcased in the market will be Judy Clark, Hayley Scanlan, Joyce Paton, Euan McWhirter, Catherine Aitken, Hilary Grant and Pringle.
The festival - launched as a pilot project at Fringe venue Summerhall in 2012 - was moved out of August last year in a bid to try to raise its profile and take advantage of some of the city’s grandest buildings. Its backers now include national arts agency Creative Scotland, London College of Fashion and the Danish Cultural Institute.
Helena Ward, portfolio manager for creative industries at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support an industry symposium and an emerging talent showcase as part of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.
“The symposium is a great opportunity for respected names in the fashion industry to speak about their work, inspiring the sector, students and the wider public in Scotland, and stimulating debate and potential future industry collaborations. The talent day will showcase the work of emerging fashion and textile designers and recent graduates, helping to promote their designs to the public.”