Space Oddities - Flex in the City

Spectacular new clothes from a hot Scottish talent

Feature by Ema Johnson | 10 Feb 2007

Vixy Rae, the designer and shop owner of Edinburgh's Odd One Out, has just unleashed her own fledgling label Oddities. And with the spectacular line drawings of recent St Martin's MA graduate Suzi-Q adorning the cloth, this is certainly not a case of the Emperor's new clothes.

The philosophy behind the Oddities range gracefully embodies the ideal of a Scottish wilderness with an achingly modern twist. "We are not an outwardly patriotic label. We feel that there is a huge difference between calling yourself 'great Scottish design' and 'great design from Scotland'. We consider ourselves the latter because we are not carrying the flag for our country. Like Timorous Beasties before us, we are unashamed of where we come from, but our Scottish identity isn't all we have. Our designs can travel to any country and still be relevant, so that someone in New York could just as easily relate to our need to bring the wilds into the city."

Indeed Oddities is already selling all over Europe, and has secured agents in Japan, Germany and Norway. Berlin's innovative concept store The Apartment has also put an order on the table. "The Apartment is a dream stockist. It exhibits clothing like art installations, and as you explore the rooms upstairs they have fridges stocked with clothes for you to buy!" Vixy explains excitedly.

2007 will kick off with the Guest Artist series. A concept that will run eight limited t-shirt designs by four selected Scotland-based artists, and will only be sold in the Edinburgh store and their ten best stockists abroad. "We have chosen only the best illustrators, typographers and friends to star. Namely Tommy Perman (Surface Pressure, Found), Colin Faulkes (Lucky Me), who's done these amazing ASBO Ts" Vixy laughs, "Nth Design," who Vixy gushes, are reminiscent of her favourite artist combo Kozyndan, " ...and Gemma Brown" an Edinburgh based artist who produces incredible wallpaper designs. Each shirt will be sold lovingly in its own unique gift wrap and packaging.

Odd One Out will also be given a facelift that will include a gallery space for the collaborators to show their wares. The plan is to complete this by March this year. With the recent recruitment of in-house graphic designer and renaissance man Dominic Flannigan, Odd One Out will open its doors to the public in the most intimate way: "People just love seeing you actually working on your ideas. With us doing most of our work in-store, people can share the experience and tell us their own ideas."

Next season will see Oddities plucking the best of what London's creatives have to offer. "We would also love to squeeze in a trip to the Japanese trade shows. All in all, 2007 is about continuing to make Oddities something unique and covetable." Suzy Q is also working on an Oddities own tartan, the so-called GeoRepeat.

Individuality has always been fundamental to the Oddities brand, which is why Vixy has just turned down Topshop's offer of a concessional space in its London store. "I got really excited and carried away when I was first approached by Topshop. But when I really thought about it, the more it appeared to conflict with the reasons I wanted to start my own collection in the first place. I was very flattered, but I just had to turn them down". It seems the offer has only made Vixy more determined for Oddities to become a success in its own right. Designers are becoming more wary of the way the high street appears to be taking a golden goose approach. The infamous Roland Mouret dress being a prime example. Much in the way local grocers are crippled by supermarkets.

Oddities is just something you have to be part of. Whether it's owning the purse, the bag, or the complete luggage collection - featuring Suzy-Q's cityscapes and stars. Or a scarf adorned by SQ's now famous owls. Or a T' with an ornate stag staring out at you. Not to mention Oddities' own offspring, Oddlings: a mini label for all your Cutesy Colins (kiddies).

Be aware: you will want to own all of it. The new Oddities range definitely puts the 'collect' back into collection. I have just sneak-peaked the online store, which feels like an enchanted forest and has made my wish list already.

Ladies and gentlemen... get in there first.