Heriot-Watt Fashion Show Preview

A new generation of designers from Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels are being touted as style stars of the future. Kate Smail investigates new fashion from the Borders, ahead of the students' Edinburgh fashion show this month.

Article by Kate Smail | 26 Mar 2009

Jodi McCann’s gothic tinged collection is already making waves in the fashion world. The 21 year old from Fife embellishes vintage lace with chains and leather to create pieces that remain decidedly feminine, despite the tough nature of some of the materials.

“I was inspired by the work of the mechanical puppeteer, Eduard Bersudsky, after seeing his contribution to the Millennium Clock in the National Museum of Scotland. I wanted my collection to reflect the restriction we face in everyday life, as we try to conform to the expectations imposed by other people,” she says.

The work of Katherine Butler pays homage to Scotland, and in particular to the Highlands where she grew up. Making use of wool alongside ethically sourced deer and reindeer fur, the collection is an eclectic mixture of traditional knitwear alongside more extravagant accessories, including fur hoods and thigh high leg warmers.

“I wanted the pieces to reflect the Scottish countryside. I’ve used only natural materials that can be found in Scotland. The only exception is the reindeer fur, but as they were once native to this country I think it works,” she says.

Gillian Ramsay’s unisex denim collection was inspired by photos of her grandfather in the 1950’s.

“All the clothes he was wearing were these really classic garments. If you saw a guy wearing them today they wouldn’t look dated. I like the timeless appeal of denim,” she explains.

Each piece features intricate detailing that you won’t find in your average pair of jeans such as laser cut patterns and military-inspired stripes. The androgynous cut of the clothes is softened by silk linings in neutral colours and reversible pieces.

“I’d really like to have my own denim line in the future. There’s a misconception that to be successful in fashion you have to be in London, but Scotland has produced some really amazing designers in the last few years.”


The students will be showcasing their work in Edinburgh on April 3 at Mansfield Traquair on Broughton Street. For tickets call 0131 451 3242.