When we think of fashion, what are the places that spring to mind? I think I can guess: New York, Paris, Milan, London. The cities with the finger on the fashion pulse are the ones that we hear about the most- so surely they are the only places worth a mention? Blah blah blah. Yes, these cities are peppered with the cream of the fashion crop, but should we really overlook the rest of the world?
Turkey is never somewhere that we would associate with fashion but look at the recent success of Hakaan- Kate Moss and Carine Roitfeld sat front row at his shows as he sent waves through the fashion industry. Ireland is overlooked, but it produces many notable style icons. And what about Scotland?
Wherever we grow up, we will create a strong bond with. Our sense of style and outlook on the fashion industry is shaped by our environment and the people around us. Growing up in Scotland has allowed my love of fashion to blossom , even though people never expect Scotland to have style.
We are a country of stereotypes. All those American tourists love to praise "SCAT-land" for it's famous golf courses and our rich history- who doesn't love a historic castle, eh? People expect us to turn up rocking a kilt with a mane of irn-bru hued hair, a tin of shortbread in hand. This is total nonsense, but we are all guilty of stereotyping!
Fashion inspiration, however, can be found everywhere and Scotland has so many cities and so many unique people that we can not simply write it off as a scenic, historic bore.
Through a few work experiences and research I have learnt more and more about Scotland's fashion industry. We have a number of up and coming designers like a guy I met who designed a dress for Cheryl Cole and is set to intern at American Vogue in a short while. We have an impressive network of stylists and photographers who work on Scottish magazines, as well as other prestigious campaigns. We have models-galore with some really exciting modelling talent coming straight out of the heart of Scotland (most aren't even ginger- shock horror!). We also have so many stylish and fashion-forward people parading their fashion finds from George Street to Sauchiehall Street.
Edinburgh is my absolute favourite. Am I biased?... Perhaps. But I still see a lot of really stylish people here. Style is not trends or how "quirky" you look- style is something far more personal and though what someone is wearing may not be suitable for the pages of Elle or Harpers, it is still stylish. I find Edinburgh to be quintessentially stylish- we have so many businesswomen here and I find that some of them are so chic: camel coats, leather pencil skirts, tapered trousers. The look is never OTT or garish- they don't blindly follow trends but they do make an effort and they do have a huge impact. These gorgeous ladies with swishy hair and gym-honed physiques are often lunching at Pret or frantically dashing about the city centre carrying Starbucks mugs and furiously typing on a Blackberry. We also have those indie people- the ones who inhabit Urban Outfitters with that moody-cool expression and edgy fashion, quickly nipping out for a cigarette before browsing cool t-shirts and the latest Kitsuné effort. Then we have the 'Yah's'... UGG boots, comfy clothes that scream "yes, I can afford this!" and glossy blonde hair back-combed within an inch of it's life... Lucky Edinburgh.
Glasgow is pretty cool too. Kind of overlooked you could say, with the connotations of delightful 'neds' and lovely wee old ladies. However some of the coolest Scottish people seem to live in Glasgow- especially men. I have seen so many attractive, stylish men in Glasgow ranging from gorgeous "boy in the band" looks to polished suits- very "A Single Man". The girls are often pretty cool too lots of students with some girls doing really quirky looks and some sticking to more chic alternatives. Generally- Scotland has got style!
Think of all our fashion offspring! Christopher Kane is a total fashion genius- he designs at Versus by Versace and still has his own line which is one of the most anticipated at every LFW- and he comes from North Lanarkshire. We have fashion designer du jour Holly Fulton coming from Edinburgh then working at Lanvin before doing her own collections with delicious geometric prints and lovely jewellery. We have style icons like Tilda Swindon- the totally unique beauty who is the face of Pringle (another high-fashion Scottish name) and inspires many other naturally pale beauties. We also have beautiful models like Stella Tennant and Kirsty Hume who are both massive names in the global fashion industry with Stella now a Chanel muse and Kirsty splitting her time between NYC and Ayr. Then lets not forget Annie Lennox and her super stylish daughter- Tali. Scotland has produced some great fashion names and we should be totally proud.
We have a huge number of really creative and really talented people within Scotland! We have so many fashion designers and stylists who are destined for big things in the industry and Scotland has never looked better.
I guess, the truth of the matter is that fashion can be found anywhere and though we can fantasise about working in London or galavanting around Rue Cambon, we should embrace what we have here and wherever we may live- fashion really is everywhere.