The Style Issue - Trendspotting

Totty Rocks and dress by Laura Lees

Totty Rocks (left) and Dress by Laura Lees from her autumn/winter collection (right).

Scotland might not have a reputation as the most style-conscious of countries, but here at The List we sense a change taking place. In the following pages, we give you the lowdown on the real Scotland with style, at grassroots level. To kick off, Kirstin Innes and Diana Kiernander present some of the hottest young designers in the country who are set to take the world by storm

Dieny Itoe

Not yet out of college, 23-year-old model and design student Dieny Itoe is hotly tipped for fashion fame. Her sophisticated interpretation of form and fabric earned her the coveted Glasgow 1999 Design Medal last year, and while not yet available to buy, her current collection has already attracted media attention.

Totty Rocks

If you want to delve into the charms of Edinburgh’s boutique culture, then a visit to Totty Rocks is a must. The tiny shop in the heart of the Old Town houses the homegrown talents of Edinburgh College of Art graduates Lynsey Miller and Holly Mitchell. An impressive array of hip design classics await, with choices for men, women and tiny tots. Totty Rocks, Edinburgh

Jamie Bruski Tetsill

Yet another graduate from the Glasgow School of Art’s Textiles BA, the 26-year-old designer is one of the many young Scots currently dominating the emergent London design scene. Bruski recently received the seal of approval from Scotland’s current Crown Prince of fashion: the, er, even younger Christopher Kane commended his use of colour at his Central St Martin’s postgraduate catwalk show.

Hilary Laing

Clothes & Accessories
Laing creates playful dresses to dance around in and a colourful line of cravats, ties, skinny scarves and bangles that will add excitement to any outfit. It all looks so glorious, and she is currently working hard to realise her dream of breaking the Japanese market this year. Stocked at Fifi & Ally and Fancy Dans, both Glasgow.

Johanna Basford

24-year-old Dundonian Basford was one of the youngest ever recipients of an Elle Decoration award, as well as a slew of other prizes. She describes herself as a ‘maker of lovely things’. Her smudgy wall hangings dotted with gold-leaf butterflies, her intricately-tangled prints for lamps and cushions which start life as hand-drawn doodles, and her saucy, UV-inked Glow wallpaper, from which ghostly silhouettes of pole dancers shine out when the lights are dimmed, are all thoroughly desirable and maintain her edge in the face of prevalent interior fashions for mumsy, Cath Kidston chintz.

Kirsteen Stewart

Clothes & Accessories
Orkney artist Kirsteen Stewart specialises in producing brilliantly detailed, strong graphic patterns for her contemporary clothes and accessories range. Her bold, gentle designs, below, evoke the landscape of the island she has never been tempted to leave permanently. Stewart works with the Asha Meider Jonno project, a charitable organisation of designers providing care, support and education for women in Bangladesh. &

Laura Lees

Interiors & Clothes
Everyone loves Laura Lees. Best known for giving embroidery an urban edge with her stars and skulls treatment of Topshop’s classic floral frocks, she has recently moved into the realm of interiors, creating a stand-out patchwork chair for celebrated furniture designer Matthew Hilton.


Olanic is the nom-de-anagram of Nikki (Nicola) Taylor, the well-respected Glasgow-based designer who creates lines for established names such as Schuh as well as her own, exclusive range. ‘I wanted to create a label that was wearable but individual, creative and fun – an outlet for me to have fun with. Olanic is a reaction against the conformist high street,’ she says. Her clothes have something of the angular retro-punk aesthetic about them, at once New York and very Glasgow. &


Currently coating the legs of well-dressed West Coasters in printed peacock feather patterns and stylised, embroidered lace, Bebaroque (recent art school graduates Mhairi McNicol and Chloe Patience) take inspiration from Vivienne Westwood, legendary couturier Lesage, antique lace they find in vintage shops and tattoos. They make 80 denier tights into two-legged works of art, and their imitation tattoos, striking colours and designs made a stir at recent London Fashion Weeks. Stocked at Che Camille, Glasgow.

Rowan Joy

Rowan Joy has been transforming vintage lace and modern fabrics into something special since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2003. Her trademark style is flirty, feminine and fairytale, and she offers a made-to-measure service.

William Chambers

27-year-old Glasgow-based hat designer whose bespoke headpieces, sunhats and cloches featured in last year’s Glasgow Fashion Week. His designs tend to have an exaggerated, stylised, 1920s feel to them. Chambers recently created headwear for Roisin Murphy’s European tour.

Christopher Kane

Kane left his native Motherwell to study at the fiercely commercial and competitive Central St Martins in London, where his 2006 graduate collection won him fashion friends in high places. His ultra tight, bright and metallic mesh creations won him a consultancy position with Donatella Versace and his Topshop Boutique Collection was the sellout success story of 2007. Kane’s heart belongs to the avant garde though and his recent outing at London Fashion Week showed he’s still producing the edgiest, most sexed-up silhouettes in the country. Kane’s designs are available through Topshop Boutique.

Petit Pea

Baby Clothes
All-natural fabrics, ethically, organically and often locally sourced, and sweetly cool T-shirt prints and woven textiles by Chloe Highmore, yet another GSA alumni. Tongue gently in cheek, Petit Pea does age-appropriate hipster style for (very) little ones. Stocked at Fifi & Ally, Glasgow & Gertrude & Lily, Edinburgh.

Blue Marmalade

Furniture design with a conscience (and an ace name), Blue Marmalade make everything from seating to light fittings with recyclable materials. The Edinburgh-based duo (directors Rent Jennings and Tom Marsh) marry a contemporary vision with environmental concern, and have recently emerged as leading thinkers in their field. Stocked at Concrete Wardrobe, Edinburgh.

Deryck Walker

After graduating from GSA, the mostly menswear designer moved to London and began selling his sharply-tailored wares first at Dover Street Market then through Topman’s London Fashion Week shows. He maintains a connection with Glasgow and exhibited a sculptural installation made of paper windmills at the Studio Warehouse in late 2007.


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