Scots put on the style for London show

WHEN designer Christopher Kane sent models down the runway in camouflage-style kilts, brain-prints based on MRI scans and ox-blood velvet coats in front of an audience of almost 1000, he confirmed he is at the forefront of British fashion.

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Christopher Kane with friend and mentor Donatella Versace. Photograph Dawn Marie Jones www.stoyanovandjones.com
Christopher Kane with friend and mentor Donatella Versace. Photograph Dawn Marie Jones www.stoyanovandjones.com

The autumn/winter 2013 show was his first collection to be exhibited since the 30-year-old, from Newarthill, near Motherwell, joined forces with French multinational company PPR.

And when he received the nod of approval from his friend and mentor Donatella Versace, as well as Hollywood actress Salma Hayek – who is married to Francois-Henri Pinault, the chairman and chief executive of PPR – it was clear he had been welcomed with open arms.

Kane sold a 51% stake of his firm last month to the conglomerate, which is also the parent company of top brands, including Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Gucci.

It came just seven years after he started his own label with sister Tammy, following his graduation from Central Saint Martin's fashion college.

His latest show, held this month in the capital, during London Fashion Week, featured an edgy display of his signature slouchy knits and biker jackets, reworked to feel more modern than ever.

Stunning shoulder-baring cocktail dresses with fur trim, velvet pieces and feather trims injected a fresh, modern angle to the collection, which felt like it was several different shows rolled into one.

He teamed the looks with flat black patent ankle boots and Mary Jane style shoes, while models wore their hair in grungy middle partings.

Other Scots also hit the high notes.

Glasgow School Of Art graduate Louise Gray, who is originally from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, made headlines after using discarded household items – including toilet roll – for her catwalk show.

Models wore smudged eye make-up and hair rollers, teamed with 1970s carpet clashing prints. They rocked brooches and rings made out of loo roll, earrings made from flattened tart tins, while belts were made with old foil.

Another Glasgow Art School graduate, Jonathan Saunders, worked various textures, including felt, vinyl and rubber, to produce a racy collection for autumn/winter.

Edinburgh-born Holly Fulton received rave reviews after presenting a punk rock collection, with plenty of geometric prints and deep rid lipstick.

But it was not just about the big hitters.

Tessa Hartmann, founder of the Scottish Fashion Awards, who attended shows during London Fashion Week, said: "I loved seeing all these Scottish people on the global stage after watching them evolve.

"I remember giving Kane his graduate award back in 2006.

"And that is not long ago – some brands can take a lifetime to grow but Kane is now alongside houses such as Gucci and McQueen.

"It is phenomenal and it is thanks to their ambition and working with the British Fashion Council.

"There is such a buzz about Scotland now. Even the Milan events showed that tartan is back with a vengeance – Moschino was full of it."

Up-and-coming designers also got their turn to showcase their work on the catwalk.

Brian Chan, from Stepps, Lanarkshire, took part in two London shows.

It was a massive moment for the 25-year-old, who graduated from Glasgow Art School last June.

He said he was refused entry by the city institution four times before scooping a place studying sculpture and painting.

Chan, who also attended the former Glasgow Metropolitan College and Anniesland College, admits his persistency paid off.

He said: "I just kept going back to college until the School Of Art accepted me.

"Eventually it did and I have never looked back."

Despite not even studying design or textiles, Chan turned his talents to clothes by using sculpture as his inspiration.

He said: "I'm definitely inspired by what I studied.

"I just started entering fashion shows in Glasgow and I did the Arches Nightwalk in November.

"It has all happened really quickly and I can't believe I have got to London so quickly."

Chan's dream is to have his own catwalk show like his idol, the late McQueen.

He said: "Of course I would love that eventually, I am ambitious.

"I will keep showing off my designs as often as I can."

rachel.loxton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Fashion

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