Friday, 5 August 2016

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

Karen Mabon sleepwear, Karen Mabon pyjamas collection. AW 2016 scarf collection, Edinburgh International Fashion Festival
Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, symposium at National Museum of Scotland, desire and sexuality in fashion,
Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, foreign exchange fsahion market, South African jeweller blag gold, gold disk earrings, ethical fashion jewellery

Edinburgh seems to have a festival for everything these days, but when it includes one for fashion I won't complain. Edinburgh International Fashion Festival is in its fifth year but I seem to sort of.. forget about it. And that is a total shame, because the tickets are all free and this year I went along to some great things! Here's a quick round up:

1. The Way We Live and Shop: The Rise and Rise of the Lifestyle Brand
This discussion was a great introduction to the notion of lifestyle brands rather than products, and featured speakers such as Holli Rogers from Browns and creative consultant Charlotte Rey. Brand strategist Fiona Mackay led the panel really well to discuss how they shape a lifestyle brand and how consumers interact with them. Apart from anything else, this symposium introduced me to Semaine, which is an online web mag featuring shopping experience. Each week is led by one taste maker, so it has a cohesive but ever-changing feel. It's my new favourite site.

2. Blurred Lines: His or Hers Fashion and the Future of Menswear
In some ways, this was my favourite symposium, as it introduced something quite new to me: menswear. I'm not very knowledgeable in mens fashion (unless it's how I can wear it), so I was intrigued by the discussion surrounding genderless fashion from a male perspective. It was suggested by designer Martyn Bal that men's fashion rules are so prescriptive that any deviation from the norm is considered 'feminine' rather than simply daring. Surprisingly, even the use of a differing sleeve length, a more fluid fabric, or volume is considered 'not male' and can alienate the everyday customer. In many ways I perceive genderless clothes as functional and utilitarian, and this seems to also be a route taken by designers such as Erica Toogood, but again this seems to mean that closing the gender gap in clothing means bringing women into line with men. A really interesting discussion.

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, gender in fashion discussion, symposium on menswear fashion

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, gender in fashion discussion, symposium on menswear fashion

3. Masterclass in Sustainable Business Models
This might seem like a bit of a bore for non-business owners, but even as a consumer I think it's really important to learn about sustainability so that you can make informed choices. Held in the very appropriate Edinburgh Center for Carbon Innovation, the discussion was led by Claire Bergkamp of Stella McCartney, and featured stylists, designers and researchers. The talk was very informative and looked at different models for sustainability, including models for reusing, recycling and responsibly disposing of materials.

4. Foreign Exchange Fashion Market
During the Festival, the National Museum held a Foreign Exchange Market (it was really an exhibition- nothing was for sale) to highlight designers from near and far. Scottish designs by the likes of Siobhan Mackenzie and Elizabeth Martin had pieces on display alongside some contemporary South African designs such as AKJP  and Black Betty. Alongside this was the Elements Jewellery Showcase. These exhibits sat in nicely with the newly revamped Fashion and Design Galleries at the Museum- worth a visit at any time.

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, AKJP designs, foreign exchange fashion market, national museum of scotland fashion,gender in fashion discussion, menswear fashion
new Scottish design form Elizabeth Martin tweed, contemporary lace and tweed, new fashion collection from International Fashion Festival Edinburgh
Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, jewellery exhibition at national museum of scotland edinburgh, black gold jewellery by black betty South Africa

5. Object of Desire: Sex, Fashion and the Female Gaze
This panel was slightly different than I expected, as I thought it would perhaps look into the growth in unsexy 'man repeller' trends, but it was actually an interesting discussion on sexuality, desire and eroticisim in fashion, and possible dangers of these becoming trendy. It seems that sex, as ever, continues to sell. I also popped along to panelist and jewellery designer Betony Vernon's book discussion to hear more about sex positivity. She's truly fascinating.

6. Karen Mabon Sleepwear Salon Show
Local Edinburgh designer Karen Mabon closed the festival with a salon-style showcase of her latest endeavour- a sleepwear collection. Using familiar illustrations with names such as The Lipstick Kimono and Regency Cafe Pyjamas, there were so many designs on display, with leafy forest scenes sat against cosplaying cats. It was great to get a preview and the styling was PERFECT. What an end to the weekend.

Karen Mabon sleepwear, Karen Mabon pyjamas collection. AW 2016 scarf collection, Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

If you are interested in fashion in any capacity, it is definitely worth keeping up-to-date with the current issues beyond the latest shoe trend and the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival is worth a visit. See you there next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment