Tartan weaves its way to height of fashion

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PIPERS, Highland ghillies and lumberjacks are set to become unlikely fashion icons this autumn when tartan hits the shops as the latest style trend.

High street shops, including Next, Topshop and H&M, have embraced the Scottish pattern, incorporating it into everything from overcoats to ballgowns.

Tartan hit the catwalks in February when designers unveiled their autumn collections, and Scottish designers also took last week's London Fashion Week by storm with their collections for next spring.

With Scotland's own Fashion Council also launching last week, experts are predicting all things Scottish to come into style over the coming months.

Tartan hit the mainstream thanks to British designer Henry Holland and model Agyness Deyn, who took to the catwalk in a tartan ball dress, tartan antlers and a matching eye patch.

It was also adopted by Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Just Cavalli, which pushed tartan to be adopted by many shops for their autumn collections.

Brian Wilton, director of the Scottish Tartans Authority, said: "The fashion industry has gone crazy for tartan. It's great for tourism because every time someone sees tartan they think of Scotland.

"The trend has an impact on the luxury tartan market, for people who want their tartan to come from our mills and say 'made in Scotland.'"

David McGill, who is based in Edinburgh and designs national tartans for countries all over the world, said he was receiving more requests than ever.

He said: "The Japanese market is loving the tartan look so much at the moment that I am getting orders for a new cherry blossom tartan that isn't even woven yet."

Tessa Hartmann, chairwoman of the Scottish Fashion Council, which supports young Scottish talent, said tartan was only a small part of Scotland's fashion world.

She said: "What's great is our designers are getting so much attention from the fashion industry for their really modern and imaginative designs. "

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