Fashion Foundry 2016 - Meet the Designers
Starting up in fashion design is a tough business. From finding your feet in the industry to financing your vision, navigating the path to style success and juggling the hurdles of grant application forms, networking with the right people and even finding the right studio space to create can seem like impossible obstacles to overcome. Thankfully for emerging Scottish design talent, Fashion Foundry 2016 is on hand to help. Fashion Foundry is a programme developed by the Cultural Enterprise Office designed to foster a community of Scottish fashion designers through workshops, events, advice and bespoke mentoring. The new intake of Fashion Foundry kicked off on the 11th of May in association with Topshop and Topman, awarding five exceptional emerging designers studio premises in central Glasgow for a year, complete with sampling and production facilities.
So, who are these designers of promising talent, and just why should we be stocking up on their debut pieces before they hit the big time? We take a look at the chosen designers of Fashion Foundry 2016:
No stranger to the pages of Scottish Bitches, Dead Sleekit were announced as the first of the five students for 2016. Having just completed an enormously successful Kickstarter to launch their brand next phase of clothing, Dead Sleekit's illustrative collections are continuing to grow from strength to strength. With the new collection's inspiration tipped to be heavily inspired by popular television shows "American Horror Story" and "Scream Queens", we're certain to be in for a narrative that is far away from the traditional elements of Spring/Summer.
Bring on the macabre, we say.
A photo posted by Birds of Prayers (@birds.of.prayers) on
Birds of Prayers
Headed up by Polish-born designer, Piotr Pyrchala, Birds of Prayers is a unisex street-wear brand heavily inspired by traditional Japanese kimonos. For fashion buffs, the name behind the brand may be familiar - more so for those engrossed in style related television, as Pyrchala was indeed a contestant on the Polish version of Project Runway in 2015. With a promising start in the fashion realm, we look forward to seeing Birds of Prayers develop, and the oversized style of the brand become a regular fixture amongst the Scottish style scene.
A digital print extraordinaire, Rachel McMillan is a name that will be no doubt familiar to those on the Scottish style circuit. McMillan's rise to style success began in 2014, when she was nominated as a candidate for "Young Designer of the Year" at the Scottish Fashion Awards in 2014. Since then, McMillan has continued to develop the brand, focusing on delving further into her signature trademark of digitally printed textiles. Like many emerging designers, McMillan's collections are geared at keeping manufacturing within Scotland, helping to facilitate the growth of a Scottish design economy.
We look forward to seeing McMillan develop over the course of Fashion Foundry 2016 and eagerly anticipate the next collection.
A photo posted by Robert Newman (@robertccnewman) on
Menswear designer, Robert Newman takes his inspiration from the past. Recent collections have focused on the West Country drilling down into eccentric character personas. Newman utilises unexpected fabrics such as industrial canvases and reclaimed army blankets to rework classics such as fly fishing jackets, cargo pants and more. Following his graduate collection of the humourously named "Kicking a Dead Pig", we're excited to see what's next for the budding entrepreneur.
The final candidate, Barbra Kolasinski, in contrast to Robert Newman's grittier creations, balances things out with her designs of all things fluff and colour. A graduate of both the Edinburgh College of Art and London College of Fashion, Kolasinski, stays true to her Scottish (and Polish) roots, with the collection heavily featuring tartan throughout. However, Kolansinski executes her designs well, avoiding the pitfall of "tartanising" her creations, making them less "och aye the noo" and more of a modern representation of the increasingly expressive Scottish style scene.
Fashion Foundry 2016
Outside of the chosen five, Fashion Foundry 2016 will also support external emerging fashion designers through a series of workshops to help develop budding entrepreneurs. As the latest intake of the business accelerator settle into their new studio premises, it's safe to say that more than a few pairs of keen eyes will be watching the progress of Scotland's most promising designers.
Which candidate from Fashion Foundry 2016 are you most excited to see develop? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!