The Kobe Fashion Museum Story September 15 2018, 0 Comments

A few months ago I was delighted to be asked by the amazing Kobe Fashion Museum in Japan to take part in an exhibition they were putting together about the history of tartan , and its modern use. 

 My work was to feature as one of only 6 current  fashion  designers selected , as an example of how we wear and use the fabric now.

I was greatly honoured to be asked to take part. 

Here is a picture of the amazing Kobe Museum , which looks like the star ship enterprise  ( Another bonus as I am a bit of a  Trekky )

I was asked to create 2 unique outfits , and given free reign of the colours and details.  I was also asked to write a short piece for the catalogue , which would  describe my work , my personal journey in fashion and how my work now fits in with the use of tartan. 

Here is the page of the catalogue which features my work

As you can see, its in Japanese ! so here is the translation 

Psychomoda  , which means ' Crazy fashion ' is located in the heart of Edinburghs historic old town, an area , steeped in Scottish history and Culture.

On the premises I designs and create couture garments for women of all ages, with a distinct British and Scottish influence. As well as a ready to wear selection.

Tartan , and other traditional fabrics feature prominently . The designs however are a break with tradition.

Fabrics , colours and patterns are combined in an striking way to create an adventurous and bold look. New , old , recycled and modern fabrics are thrown together in a bright display of colour , pattern and texture.

The traditional use of Tartan in Scotland is that each family , or Clan as they are known, has their own pattern , and should wear only that design. However, more frequently now , people chose which one they prefer, breaking with that system . Also , now tartans are designed and created for other groups. Sports teams for instance , or geographical
It is available in a massive variety of patterns and colours and lends itself to experimentation in cutting and folding, creating striking effects and combinations, juxtaposed with other fabrics.

My use of tartan in this way originates in the punk youth culture era during which I grew up . This culture instigated a creative revolution in The UK, as young people questioned the often unfair traditional class system and its constricting expectations.
As with all youth cultures , a favoured way of dressing emerged , and tartan featured heavily within that framework.

Breaking with tradition and its sometimes restrictive values is an important feature of my work. By mixing tartans with each other , Chopped up and pared down it becomes re invented through new connections. Cultures combine . and discourse is created .

Fashion , is an expression of culture , and a statement about ones own position within it. My own culture is varied and expressive, and I design to empower the wearer and hope to inspire boldness and confidence.

For these two outfits , I have specifically chosen new and modern tartan fabrics. They are both named after Islands , geographical areas , and not specific to Clan names. As such , they are not associated with the historical dogma of Clan identity or ownership.

The pink is called 'Discover Islay ' , it is woven in only 1 mill situated on the Isle of Islay , and was designed to display the beautiful colours of the landscape of the island.. I have coupled this with a modern pink Harris Tweed, woven on the Isle of Harris exclusively , and green velvet.

The second outfit is ' Isle of Skye ' Also designed to show the colours of the flora of that island. This has been woven on mainland Scotland at a mill in the highlands , and I have also used green tweed and purple velvet to accent those beautiful colours.

For the future , I foresee myself continuing down my exploratory fashion route, providing unexpected clothing for adventurous people. It is a great honour to be included in this exhibition and that my work is considered culturally relevant. Thank you for reading.


 Here is a snapshot of the garments that I took instore before posting them off, as you can see I have embellished them with hand worked beading in a thistle and heather design to work with the origins of the fabric.


 I am very excited that the exhibition is touring Japan , making a least 3 more stops over a 2 year period.
 If you are over there , pop in and have a look !

 Here are the garments as they will appear in the exhibit