Review: Fashion Foundry Exhibition 2018
Located on the second floor of Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, also known as The Lighthouse, is a small but stylish exhibition from Fashion Foundry. Featuring diverse creations by six emerging Scottish fashion designers, the Fashion Foundry exhibition gives an insight into the creative process of each designer, their inspirations, transformation and progression of their brands.
For those who haven’t heard of Fashion Foundry, where have you been?! Providing a support network for emerging fashion and accessory designers in Scotland, Fashion Foundry offers advice, workshops, sample facilities, access to the wider fashion community and mentoring. Helping Scottish designers create, scale and grow their businesses, Fashion Foundry is exhibiting work from six designers taking part in the mentoring program including; Lionpalm, Anika Hoppel, Kathryn Fuller, MG Gabriel, Rory Hutton & Squint.
Womenswear designer Kirsty Frew is the founder of Lionpalm, playing with texture in her asymmetric satin and lace dress, Kirsty creates a piece that exudes not only femininity, but power. Mentored by William Chambers of William Chambers Millinery, the design aesthetic of Lionpalm is contemporary and curious, described as “unapologetically feminine” Frew’s designs are intricate and inspiring, perfect for the fierce female.
Another womenswear designer featured in the exhibition is Anika Hoppel. Specialising in knitwear and working heavily with soft jersey and elasticated frills, Hoppel’s designs are modern yet timeless. Her neutral and muted colour palette is earthy and understated, but none of which compromises the impact of her designs. Mentored by fellow Womenswear designer, Mairi McDonald, Anika and Mairi are a dream pairing.
Printer and surface designer, Kathryn Fuller brought expertly crafted accessories to the 2018 exhibition. Showcasing leather wallets, purses and clutch bags with striking graphic prints and bold colours, Fuller’s talent is in the detail. With supreme stitching and tassel trimmings, Kathryn’s work is modern, stylish and executed to perfection. Mentored by Fiona Chaudard, Director of Fashion Info Trends and founder of Fashion Foundry, the ultimate combination of creative design and business acumen.
One of the only two menswear designers featured in the exhibition is MG Gabriel. Traditional tailoring created by Martin Scroogie, MG Gabriel combines the conventional with the contemporary, delivering smart and sophisticated designs. Mentored by the undeniably talented John Ray; the previous Creative Director of Gucci and Dunhill, MG Gabriel’s multifaceted designs are fresh and artistic with a little edge.
Another menswear designer is award-winning Irish designer, Rory Hutton, the creative force behind the eponymous Scottish accessories brand. Specialising in charming bow-ties, pocket squares and other men’s accessories, Hutton injects some playful character into sophisticated accessories with his eclectic prints. There’s no place for minimalism in the Rory Hutton brand, bold and original, this is a brand not to be missed.
The final designer in this eclectic exhibition is the always bold and playful, Squint. Designed and manufactured by Ellie Valley, the Edinburgh based designer draws inspiration from 80’s retro graphic prints and isn’t afraid of experimenting with colour and textiles. Winning Online Newcomer of the year at The Herald Fashion Awards in 2017, Squint has gone from strength to strength and was selected for the mentoring program with Fashion Foundry.
The exhibition is insightful, inspiring and somewhat patriotic. There’s something about seeing the work of such talented designers from your own city that just conjures up a sense of achievement and pride. Although drawing to a close this weekend, the exhibition will host an official pop-up shop in the review gallery of The Lighthouse with the opportunity to purchase pieces from the designers themselves.