Fashion: Age before beauty

Old Hollywood and Auld Reekie meld perfectly in the glamorous dresses designed by Carolyn Baxter

Blue 'Lima' dress £225, Carolyn Baxter. Picture: Levi Macdonald
Blue 'Lima' dress £225, Carolyn Baxter. Picture: Levi Macdonald

From Kate Moss to Chloe Sevigny to Daisy Lowe, all will attest that the fashion world’s worst-kept secret is the magical mix of vintage gems and designer investment pieces. The real talent, however, is in making the mix work.

Carolyn Baxter has already gained fans among the likes of Katie Piper and Millie Mackintosh, who love her glamorous occasion wear. But if your bank account won’t stretch to couture, she has developed a series of dressmaking tutorials on, which currently have more than two million views worldwide.

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The 29-year-old studied at Edinburgh College of Art and has stayed in the capital, basing herself in a studio-cum-boutique in London Road. “Being based in Scotland is very important to my brand,” she says. “With such an inspirational city on our doorstep, along with such cultural diversions, I’m provided with a beautiful backdrop for my creative juices. And the internet and social media available today allow me to reach people all over the world from my little studio in Broughton.”

Green 'Grace' gown, £280, Nutmeg Couture. Picture: Levi Macdonald

She remains inspired by the city, its different cultures and variety of architectural style. “It’s a rich cultural city. This, along with the old Hollywood glamour of a past era, are always a basis for my designs, mixing old Hollywood and Auld Reekie.”

Her designs are aimed at girls like her “who will save but not break the bank in buying a dress,” she says.

“My goal is to not be sewing until 1am every night. I would love to get the boutique up and running, with myself taking more of a back seat designing. I’d also love to be able to be stocked somewhere like Selfridges or Harvey Nics one day.” n

Twitter: @Ruth_Lesley

Orange 'Lauren' gown., £280, Nutmeg Couture. Picture: Levi Macdonald

Carolyn Baxter Boutique, 44 London Street, Edinburgh (

Nutmeg Couture

Glasgow-based designer Megan Cuthbertson specialises in bespoke evening and bridal gowns. She studied fashion business at Glasgow Caledonian University and is inspired by the elegance and femininity of the 1950s.

“Scotland is a great place to start in business,” she says. “It has a fantastic range of talented and aspiring creatives and designers all willing to help each other out, which provides great support for a young designer.”

Armstrong’s Vintage

One of Edinburgh’s best-loved vintage shops. Armstrong’s has a solid reputation with fashion fans, stylists and anyone looking for something a little different. It now has three shops in Edinburgh.

Armstrong’s, 14 Teviot Place, 83 The Grassmarket, and 64-66 Clerk Street, all Edinburgh (