Dressed to Kilt organisers hit out at Alex Salmond

THE organisers of a world- ­famous New York Scottish fashion show are dismayed that coverage of this year’s US Tartan Week celebrations was dominated by Alex Salmond’s battle for independence.

Alex Salmond walks with Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt in New York. Picture: Getty

Geoffrey Scott Carroll and Peter Morris believe the First Minister’s arguments for ­independence cast a shadow of the week-long event ­promoting Scottish and American ­relationships.

Scott Carroll and Morris have also criticised Salmond’s Scottish Government for ­failing to co-operate with them when they put on their “Dressed to Kilt” fashion ­extravaganza during Tartan Week.

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“We were dismayed at the incredible lack of media coverage here in the US related to this year’s Tartan Week and even more so that what little coverage there was concerned Alex Salmond promoting his political agenda,” Scott Carroll and Morris told Scotland on Sunday.

The celebrations in April this year, marking the anniversary of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, was only the second time that “Dressed to Kilt” was not a highlight of the Tartan Week programme. Cancelled in order to allow Scott Carroll time to recover from a recent operation, the fashion show has been at the forefront of promoting Scottish fashion over the years

A galaxy of stars have ­appeared on the catwalk including: Sir Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Dario Franchitti, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Craig Ferguson, Andie McDowell and Mike Myers.

Politicians have also ­appeared, albeit rather less successfully. Salmond wore a kilt and cowboy hat, while his predecessor at First Minister Lord McConnell, famously donned a pinstripe kilt and Braveheart shirt.

Scott Carroll and Morris said they had appreciated financial support from previous Scottish Governments with whom they had a “good working ­relationship”.

“However, since the arrival of the current administration, despite our repeated annual attempts to work together on what is demonstrably the ­highest profile event in Tartan Week, they have chosen not to co-operate.”

The organisers went on to say that they had financed “dozens of Scottish designers” and claimed that their fashion show was the highest profile Scottish event in the world outside Scotland.

Last night Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray said: “Instead of spending all his time using taxpayers’ money to promote his obsession with separation, it’s time Alex Salmond focused on the day job.

“Tartan Week is a great chance to promote Scotland and attract much needed investment.”

Last night a spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “While D2K is a private initiative, we would be happy to hear from the organisers to consider if a future event might compliment the Scotland Week programme.”